Messenger RNA vaccine pioneer Katalin Karikó shares her long journey to Covid-19 vaccines

In the span of the Covid-19 pandemic, and thanks to the success of two of the currently available vaccines for SARS-CoV-2, messenger RNA, or mRNA, went from being an obscure cell biology concept understood and mentioned only by scientists to being a household term.

But the technology behind the mRNA vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer and BioNTech is anything but new. Developed over an arduous 40 years, it was the result of an unlikely success story. One of the key figures behind this achievement was Katalin Karikó, senior vice president of the German biotech company BioNTech and adjunct associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

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