Hungarian researcher Katalin Karikó receives Canada's most prestigious biomedical award

October 28. 2022. – 08:52 AM



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Katalin Karikó and her two fellow researchers, Drew Weissman and Pieter Cullis were presented Canada's most prestigious biomedical award, the Canada Gairdner International Award in Toronto on Thursday. The Gairdner Foundation's international prize was awarded this year to the Hungarian researcher for her work in the development of mRNA technology, MTI reported.

The Gairdner Prize is one of Canada's most prestigious medical awards. The Gairdner Foundation was established in 1957 with the aim of honouring scientists who have achieved practical results in basic medical research.

The justification on the foundation’s website states that Ms Karikó and her fellow researchers were given the award “for their pioneering work developing nucleoside-modified mRNA and lipid nanoparticle (LNP) drug delivery: the foundational technologies for the highly effective COVID-19 mRNA vaccines.” Katalin Karikó was introduced as the Professor of the University of Szeged, Adjunct Professor of the University of Pennsylvania and Senior Vice President of RNA Protein Replacement Therapies at BioNTech.

At the gala on Thursday evening, the award was presented to the Hungarian researcher by Janet Rossant, President of the Gairdner Foundation, and Mária Vass-Salazar, Ambassador of Hungary to Canada. The event was attended by around 400 guests, including members of the scientific community, medical, academic and pharmaceutical leaders, and government officials.

Since 1957, the Gairdner Medal has been awarded to 402 scientists from 40 countries around the world, 96 of whom have gone on to win the Nobel Prize.

Each of the recipients receive 100,000 Canadian dollars, which they can use at their discretion to support scientific research – a statement from the Gairdner Foundation reads.

To find out more about the Hungarian scientist, originally from Szeged, read our interview with her.

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