This is how Catalin Cariko became the champion of science

This is how Catalin Cariko became the champion of science

The name Katalin Karikó has recently become known all over the world. Although he has not yet received the Nobel Prize, he was still one of the heroes of scientific life in 2021.

Katalin Kariko In 2021, he also had a serious chance of receiving the Nobel Prize in physiology, medicine, and then in chemistry: the expert played a key role in the development of the mRNA vaccine. The technology developed earlier has been really appreciated during the coronavirus pandemic, but this method could have a huge impact on other areas of medicine in addition to fighting the pandemic.

In the end, Catalin Cariko did not receive this recognition, which is not really surprising, because it is not uncommon for the world to wait decades for an award after an important achievement. After the decision, the Hungarian expert stated that he was not interested in the awards, the excitement of research, and the contribution to recovery.

Medicine Award of the Year David Juliusnack And Erdem Patbutianak The researchers’ findings explain how our bodies perceive temperature and touch. chemical class Benjamin List And David MacMillan Won who independently discovered a new type of third organic catalyst. After a long time, he would have been a Nobel Prize winner of Hungarian descent again: the last one so far Hersko Ferenc He is the one who received recognition in the chemical category in 2004. We wrote more about the Hungarian honorees in this article.


Despite the “failure”, Katalin Kariko was one of the dominant scientific figures for 2021. Not only was his name known in Hungary, his life and achievements were covered by the press all over the world.

Zoltan Balogh / MTI Katalin Kariko, the Széchenyi Prize-winning research biologist and biochemist who developed an mRNA-based vaccine against the coronavirus, is Vice President of BioNTech at the award ceremony at the Ministry of Human Resources on May 25, 2021.

penetration in America

Catalin Cariko was born in 1955 in Szolnok. The researcher began working at the Szeged Center for Biological Research of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 1978, being sent in 1985 due to staff reduction.

Then she decided to travel with her husband and daughter abroad – her daughter A Susan France, who became a two-time Olympic champion in the USA.

He also worked in Philadelphia and Washington in the United States and then worked for a long time at the University of Pennsylvania. The focus of the Hungarian expert’s research has been on mRNA for decades, and he has long been convinced that mRNA can be used in therapeutics.

Despite his efforts, his position at the University of Pennsylvania remains precarious, he writes New York times. According to AFP, RNA research was widely criticized at the time, and Catalin Cariko was only given a research position instead of the expected professorship, and she also had to deal with everyday sexism in her work.

Despite the difficulties, he conducted exciting research that sparked the work of the University of Pennsylvania. Drew Wiseman who was dealing with HIV at the time. In 2005, the two experts patented a new technology for creating the desired mRNA based on modified nucleosides. their studies It was a real breakthrough in this topic, but its solution did not burden professional circles for a long time.

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Medicine Ben Drew Wiseman and Katalin Carico receive the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine.

Decades of work have matured

However, over time, the two biotech companies, Moderna in the US and BioNTech in Germany, began to take an interest in their work. Both companies made a job offer to the Hungarian researcher, who finally decided to jointly with Weissmann at BioNTech in 2013. Catalin Kariko then became the company’s vice president. A joint laboratory at Pfizer and BioNTech has begun research into how their technology could be used in vaccine development, including the development of the influenza vaccine. Then came the Covid-19 epidemic, which accelerated the pace of events.

It has long been known to those skilled in the field that whatever the coronavirus, elevated proteins are key to helping cells attack. The genetic sequence of the new pathogen discovered in Wuhan became available as early as January 2020, and researchers around the world have used it to begin their research with the power of steam. The BioNTech vaccine plan was completed within hours, and Moderna employees worked on developing it themselves for two days. Both vaccines are third generation and mRNA.

Pfizer and BioNTech have done very well in tests and are now world-renowned for their vaccine safety and efficacy.

The emergency request was first approved in the UK last December. Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman themselves received the vaccine they created their way, very early on, in late 2020.

Jennifer Varga / 24 Five-storey mural depicting Katalin Cariko on Krisztina Street. The mural was created by the organizers of the Brain Bar Future Festival, which begins September 9.

science hero

Although the importance of mRNA technology has been recognized before, the pandemic has made Catalin Carrico’s work extremely important. The Hungarian researcher has received many awards in the recent past, to name a few,

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He also had serious expectations for the Nobel Prize, and although the award did not accrue this year, he may receive it later.

The coronavirus vaccine has shown what many experts have been expecting for some time: mRNA technology is revolutionizing vaccines and even medicine.

However, Katalin Karikó and her work are not only interesting to the profession. The Hungarian researcher indirectly saved millions of lives with his results, while trying to prove himself mediocre. He said of a possible Nobel Prize in a previous interview that even if he did receive the prize, he would be happier with how happy others were with it.

His unfortunate success story is an inspiration to many. Catalin Cariko’s life and achievements have been recently covered by the world’s largest newspapers and her work Mark Zuckerberg The Facebook leader also praised the expert Victor Urban Also received. No wonder a real cult arose around him, his image was immortalized not only on the streets of Budapest, but also on the streets of Valencia.

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