The world-renowned Hungarian biochemist announced in an interview that she is leaving her current Vice President post in BioNTech, a German biotechnology company. Katalin Karikó spoke about this to Women’s Magazine (Nők lapja), a Hungarian weekly, but she only revealed that she will leave the company at the end of September.
“I have new tasks ahead of me: first of all I would like to finally get back to my scientific work, because in the last year and a half I have had less time for it,” she said. Although she did not say where she would continue, she has probably already received several offers.
Karikó has been working on mRNA technology for several years and during the coronavirus outbreak she and her colleagues discovered that the technique could be used for vaccines against Covid-19.
The Hungarian biochemist then immediately became known as one of the inventors of the mRNA vaccine, and has received more than 70 awards and honors for her work.
However, she told the magazine that she is not happy about the high profile, because it is not easy to be in the spotlight.
Karikó has also become something of an icon in Hungary; for example, a large mural in Budapest depicts her on a house with the inscription “Hungarians build the future.”
The mural depicting Katalin Karikó in Budapest
Commenting on the painting, the biochemist said she hoped her work would have a positive impact on young people and inspire them to learn and persevere.
Featured photo: MTI/Czeglédi Zsolt, MTI/Balogh Zoltán