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Katalin Karikó Delivers Inaugural Lecture as Honorary Member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences

MTI-Hungary Today 2024.04.11.

Katalin Karikó, Honorary Member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA), delivered her inaugural lecture on Tuesday in the Great Hall of the Vigadó. Ms. Karikó, along with Drew Weissman, was awarded the 2023 Nobel Prize in Physiology. She was elected as an honorary member of the MTA  in 2022.

During the event, László Lénárd, President of the Section of Biological Sciences of the MTA, paid tribute to Katalin Karikó’s remarkable achievements. He noted her historic accomplishment as the first Hungarian woman to receive the Nobel Prize and praised her resilience and determination.

Following Mr. Lénárd’s speech, Veronika Ádám, President of the Section of Medical Sciences of the MTA, in her laudation, emphasized the extraordinary life and career of Ms. Karikó. She reflected on Karikó’s upbringing, highlighting her early mentor, teacher Albert Tóth, who recognized her potential as a future researcher.

Ms. Ádám also underscored Karikó’s perseverance in the face of adversity, portraying her life as akin to a captivating novel inspired by Hungarian folk tales.

After her lecture titled “The Therapeutic Application of mRNA,” Karikó presented her research journey.

Katalin Karikó giving her inaugural lecture. Photo: MTI / Bruzák Noémi

The audience, included Tamás Freund, President of the MTA, and former presidents Szilveszter E. Vizi (Pesident of the Friends of Hungary Foundation, the publisher of Hungary Today and Ungarn Heute) and József Pálinkás.

A special tribute was paid to Albert Tóth, whose guidance propelled Karikó’s career during her secondary education.

Photo: MTI / Bruzák Noémi

Karikó’s presentation traced the pivotal milestones in mRNA research, from its discovery in 1961, to its transformative applications today. She acknowledged the contributions of fellow scientists, including Eva Kondorosi, Ernő Duda, Tamás Kiss, Norbert Pardi, Elliot Barnathan, and David Langer. Reflecting on her own scientific journey, she shared the challenges she faced and the breakthroughs that culminated in the development of the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine.

She highlighted the superiority of mRNA drugs over protein-based alternatives and discussed their potential applications in treating various diseases, including cancer.

The ceremony concluded with Lénárd presenting Karikó with the certificate of honorary membership of the MTA.

The Vatican Recognizes the Work of Nobel Prize Winner Katalin Karikó
The Vatican Recognizes the Work of Nobel Prize Winner Katalin Karikó

The members of the Pontifical Academy for Life are appointed by the Pope for a five-year term.Continue reading

Via MTI; Featured Image: MTI / Bruzák Noémi

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