STOCKHOLM: Scientists Katalin Kariko and Drew Weissman from Hungary and the USA respectively gained the 2023 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medication for discoveries enabling the event of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, the award-giving physique mentioned on Monday (Oct 2).
The prize, among the many most prestigious within the scientific world, is chosen by the Nobel Meeting of Sweden’s Karolinska Institute medical college and likewise comes with 11 million Swedish crowns (about US$1 million).
“The 2023 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medication has been awarded to Katalin Kariko and Drew Weissman for his or her discoveries regarding nucleoside base modifications that enabled the event of efficient mRNA vaccines in opposition to COVID-19,” the physique mentioned.
Kariko was senior vice-president and head of RNA protein alternative at BioNTech till 2022 and has since acted as an adviser to the corporate. She can be a professor on the College of Szeged in Hungary and an adjunct professor on the College of Pennsylvania’s Perelman Faculty of Medication.
Weissman is a professor in vaccine analysis on the Perelman Faculty.
Kariko discovered a method to forestall the immune system from launching an inflammatory response in opposition to lab-made mRNA, beforehand seen as a significant hurdle in opposition to any therapeutic use of mRNA.
Along with Weissman, she confirmed in 2005 that changes to nucleosides, the molecular letters that write the mRNA’s genetic code, can preserve the mRNA beneath the immune system’s radar.
“So this 12 months’s Nobel Prize recognises their fundamental science discovery that basically modified our understanding of how mRNA interacts with the immune system and had a significant influence on society through the current pandemic,” mentioned Rickard Sandberg, member of the Nobel Meeting at Karolinska Institute