Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman awarded Nobel Prize in Medicine for their work on mRNA Covid-19 vaccines

The 2023 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been awarded to Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman for their discoveries concerning nucleoside base modifications that enabled the development of effective mRNA vaccines against COVID-19.

The findings by 2023 Nobel Prize laureates Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman led to the approval of two highly successful mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines in late 2020. The vaccines have saved millions of lives and prevented severe disease in many more.

They discovered that base-modified mRNA can be used to block activation of inflammatory reactions and increase protein production when mRNA is delivered to cells.

Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman published their results in a seminal 2005 paper that received little attention at the time but laid the foundation for critically important developments that have served humanity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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