On Monday, it was announced that although Katalin Karikó was widely considered in scientific circles to be a favorite for the Nobel Prize in Medicine, it was eventually awarded to another pair of researchers, David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian for their discoveries of receptors for temperature and touch.
The decision has surprised many since Karikó’s key role in creating the Pfizer-BioNTech and other mRNA-based vaccines have saved the lives of millions, and gave the chance for humanity to someday leave behind the life that the coronavirus pandemic has been forcing upon us for almost two years.
However, the Hungarian researcher was not disappointed.
I only care about and focus on what I can change, what I can influence, and the prize committees are not one of those things,”
Karikó told Hungarian Forbes. She stressed that for her, the greatest joy comes from the excitement of research and the knowledge that her work has contributed to the creation of an important platform technology in medicine.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine creator said that she fully agrees with the American theoretical physicist Richard Feynmann (also a Nobel Prize winner), who believes that prizes are not important, that the real prize is the discovery itself. On the Nobel committee, it is the team of Swedes who decide who deserves their prize. “Good for them, but let’s focus on what really matters,” Feynmann believes.
Featured image via Csilla Cseke/MTI