Hungarian-American researcher Katalin Karikó, whose scientific contributions were essential in the making of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines, has been presented with another prestigious award. This time, the mRNA pioneer has been awarded the Carnegie Foundation’s Great Immigrants Award, along with celebrities such as John Oliver and Helen Mirren.
Katalin Karikó has been celebrated as one of 2021’s Great Immigrants by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Hungarian scientist announced on Facebook.
Every Fourth of July, (i.e Independence Day), the foundation honors the contributions of immigrants who have strengthened the American nation through the lives they live and the examples they set. This year, 34 naturalized American citizens have been awarded, representing more than 30 countries of origin.
In addition to Katalin Karikó, other notable recipients of this year’s Great Immigrants Award include HBO’s popular Last Week Tonight host John Oliver and Oscar-winning English actress Helen Mirren. Other recipients include Soviet-born writer Ilya Kaminsky, four-time Olympic champion Olga Korbut and NASA chief scientist Kamlesh Lulla from India.
Biochemist Katalin Karikó is responsible for creating the groundbreaking technology that became the basis of all available mRNA based COVID-19 vaccines. Through her achievement she provided a major contribution in saving the lives of millions and slowing the spread of the coronavirus. In recent months the Hungarian scientist has received countless prestigious awards. Among them stands out this year’s Reichstein Medal, the most prestigious Swiss award, hinting at her increasing odds of receiving a Nobel Prize.
Featured photo by Csilla Cseke/MTI