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2023 Nobel Prize in Medicine Awarded for Development of mRNA Vaccines Against COVID-19

October 4, 2023


On Oct. 2, 2023, The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded jointly to Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman for their work on nucleoside base modifications that allowed the development of effective messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines against COVID-19. The duo’s groundbreaking discoveries were crucial in the current international understanding of how mRNA interacts with the immune system; their work played a crucial role in the rapid rate of vaccine development during the global pandemic.

Karikó and Weissman began their collaboration during the 1990s at the University of Pennsylvania. Karikó, then an assistant professor, was committed to developing mRNA as a therapeutic, despite difficulties in receiving funding.

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