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Who is Katalin Kariko, pioneering scientist and 2023 Nobel winner?

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Nobel Medicine Prize given to 2 scientists for developing mRNA Covid vaccines

Nobel Medicine Prize given to 2 scientists for developing mRNA Covid vaccinesWorldEurope

Nobel Medicine Prize 2023: how Katalin Kariko helped pave way for Covid-19 vaccine discoveries

Katalin Kariko and Drew Weissman, pioneering scientists of Covid-19 vaccines, won this year’s Nobel Prize in Medicine on MondayKariko, the 13th woman to be awarded the prize, received an honorary doctorate of science from Chinese University of Hong Kong in AugustNobel PrizeAgence France-PressePublished: 11:31am, 3 Oct, 2023Why you can trust SCMP

Hungarian-born scientist Katalin Kariko’s obsession with researching a substance called mRNA to fight disease once cost her a faculty position at a prestigious US university, which dismissed the idea as a dead end.

Now, her pioneering work – which paved the way for the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines – has won her the Nobel Prize in Medicine.

Kariko, 68, spent much of the 1990s writing grant applications to fund her research into “messenger ribonucleic acid” – genetic molecules that tell cells what proteins to make, essential to keeping our bodies alive and healthy.

She believed mRNA held the key to treating diseases where having more of the right kind of protein can help – like repairing the brain after a stroke.

But the University of Pennsylvania, where Kariko was on track for a professorship, decided to pull the plug after the grant rejections piled up.

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