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Karikó and BioNTech to Receive the Most Prestigious German Prize

Júlia Tar 2021.09.21.

Hungarian-born biochemist Katalin Karikó and the founder-directors of BioNTech, physicians Ozlem Tureci and Ugur Sahin will receive the most prestigious award in medical science in Germany, the Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize, the board of the Paul Ehrlich Foundation announced.

BioNTech and its scientific team led by Karikó are acclaimed for the research and development of mRNA-based vaccines. In a statement, the foundation said BioNTech “established a technology platform that is likely to initiate a paradigm shift in some areas of medicine.” “The spectacularly rapid development of a highly effective vaccine against the coronavirus disease COVID-19, which has proven to play a decisive role in the worldwide containment of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, has been an outstanding success,” the statement reads.

Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine Creator Karikó on TIME's List of 100 Most Influental People
Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine Creator Karikó on TIME's List of 100 Most Influental People

"All of us who received the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines owe an enormous debt to Hungarian scientist Katalin Karikó," they wrote, quoting Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry, Jennifer Doudna.Continue reading

Karikó and the others will receive the prize in 2022 which comes with a EUR 120,000 (HUF 42,6 million) reward. To date, 128 scientists have been awarded this prize. 25 laureates have also received the Nobel Prize. Karikó seems to be getting closer and closer to a possible Nobel Prize win, and the 25 Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize winners who have also won one are a promising sign too.

mRNA Pioneer Karikó Mentioned Among Favorites in Two Nobel Prize Categories
mRNA Pioneer Karikó Mentioned Among Favorites in Two Nobel Prize Categories

The signs look very promising for the Hungarian scientist in the medical category. She would be the very first Hungarian woman to win a Nobel Prize.Continue reading

More can be read about the winners of the prize and the importance of the mRNA on the website of the Foundation, here.

Featured image via Csilla Cseke/MTI