Covid vaccine pioneers Katalin Kariko, Drew Weissman awarded Nobel Prize in Medicine

    Pankaj Sharma
    October2/ 2023
    Last Updated:

    Katalin Kariko and Drew Weissman

    Stockholm [Sweden]: Katalin Kariko and Drew Weissman have been jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine for their discoveries that enabled the development of effective mRNA vaccines against COVID-19.
    "The 2023 #NobelPrize in Physiology or Medicine has been awarded to Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman for their discoveries concerning nucleoside base modifications that enabled the development of effective mRNA vaccines against COVID-19," The Nobel Prize posted on X on Monday.

    "The findings by 2023 #NobelPrize laureates Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman led to the approval of two highly successful mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines in late 2020. The vaccines have saved millions of lives and prevented severe disease in many more," the post added.
    The Nobel Assembly said the discoveries by the two Nobel Laureates were critical for developing effective mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 during the pandemic that began in early 2020.
    “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,” it said.  
    It said the laureates discovered that base-modified mRNA can be used “to block activation of inflammatory reactions and increase protein production when mRNA is delivered to cells”.
    The Nobel Assembly said Karikó and Weissman published their results in a seminal 2005 paper that received little attention at the time but laid the foundation for critically important developments that have served humanity during the COVID-19 pandemic.