The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been conferred upon two distinguished scientists, Dr. Katalin Kariko and Dr. Drew Weissman, in recognition of their groundbreaking contributions to the development of mRNA-based Covid vaccines.
Dr. Kariko and Dr. Weissman have been jointly awarded this prestigious prize. Their pioneering work initially involved experimental technology before the onset of the pandemic, but it has since been administered to millions of individuals across the globe.
Remarkably, the same mRNA technology is now undergoing research for applications beyond Covid, including its potential use in combatting cancer.
The Nobel Prize Committee praised the laureates for their significant role in accelerating the vaccine development process during one of the most formidable health crises of our time.
Conventional vaccine strategies have traditionally relied on using inactivated or weakened forms of the virus or bacterium in question, or fragments thereof, to stimulate immunity. In stark contrast, mRNA vaccines employ an entirely different approach.
Throughout the Covid pandemic, both the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines were developed based on mRNA technology.
Dr. Kariko and Dr. Weissman’s collaborative journey began in the early 1990s when they were both engaged in research at the University of Pennsylvania in the United States.