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Groundbreaking Achievement: Nobel Prize in Medicine Awarded to Pioneers Behind mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines

October 2, 2023

Two distinguished scientists, Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman, have been recognized with the Nobel Prize in medicine for their groundbreaking discoveries that paved the way for the development of mRNA vaccines against COVID-19. Their innovative research, conducted at the University of Pennsylvania, has fundamentally transformed our understanding of how mRNA interacts with the immune system.

The Nobel Prize panel acknowledged the vital role played by Karikó and Weissman in the rapid development of COVID-19 vaccines during one of the most critical health crises of our time. The laureates expressed their overwhelming gratitude upon learning of the prestigious award.

Gunilla Karlsson Hedestam, a member of the Nobel Prize selection panel, emphasized the significant impact of their work on saving lives, particularly in the early stages of the pandemic.

This achievement follows last year’s Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine awarded to Swedish scientist Svante Paabo for his discoveries related to human evolution and Neanderthal DNA, which provided crucial insights into our immune system and vulnerability to severe COVID-19.










The Nobel announcements continue with the physics prize on Tuesday, chemistry on Wednesday, and literature on Thursday. The Nobel Peace Prize will be revealed on Friday, followed by the economics award on Oct. 9.

Each Nobel Prize carries a cash award of 11 million Swedish kronor ($1 million), funded by the bequest of the prize’s founder, Alfred Nobel, who passed away in 1896. This year, the prize money was increased by 1 million kronor due to the devaluation of the Swedish currency.

The laureates will have the opportunity to receive their awards at ceremonies held on Dec. 10, the anniversary of Alfred Nobel’s death. The peace prize ceremony takes place in Oslo, while the other award ceremony is hosted in Stockholm.

Credit: AP


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