Katalin Kariko and Drew Weissman Win Nobel Prize 2023 in Medicine for mRNA Covid Vaccines

The esteemed accolade was conferred by the Nobel Assembly, comprising 50 professors at the Karolinska Institute, in recognition of their groundbreaking discoveries that facilitated the creation of highly effective mRNA vaccines against Covid-19.

Katalin Kariko and Drew Weissman
The 2023 Nobel Prize in Medicine has been awarded to Katalin Kariko and Drew Weissman. (Photo:-nobelprize)

The 2023 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was granted to Katalin Kariko and Drew Weissman for their pioneering work on nucleoside base modifications, instrumental in the development of effective mRNA vaccines against Covid-19.

“Through their groundbreaking findings, which have fundamentally changed our understanding of how mRNA interacts with our immune system, the laureates contributed to the unprecedented rate of vaccine development during one of the greatest threats to human health in modern times,” the Nobel Assembly said in its statement.

The Nobel Prize, an annual accolade bestowed by the Nobel Assembly comprising 50 professors at Karolinska Institutet, acknowledges individuals who have made substantial contributions to the field of medicine for the betterment of humanity.

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Katalin Kariko, born in 1955 in Szolnok, is a Professor at Szeged University and an Adjunct Professor at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Drew Weissman holds the position of Roberts Family Professor in Vaccine Research and serves as the Director of the Penn Institute for RNA Innovations.

This recognition marks the 113th Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine since its initiation in 1901, with 12 of them awarded to women. Frederick G. Banting remains the youngest laureate, receiving the 1923 Medicine Prize at the age of 32 for the discovery of insulin.

Reflecting on the previous year, the 2022 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine honored Swedish geneticist Svante Paabo for his exceptional contributions to extracting and analyzing DNA from ancient bones, particularly those of Neanderthals.

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As the director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, Paabo’s work significantly advanced our understanding of extinct hominins and human evolution.

The Nobel Prize announcements, held annually in October, are highly anticipated events, with committees convening in Stockholm and Oslo to unveil the laureates. Since its inception in 1901, the Nobel Prize has recognized scientists making pivotal discoveries for the betterment of humankind.

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