Dr. Katalin Karikó, University of Pennsylvania

Katalin Kariko Lab 1 Lois ElfmanDr. Katalin Karikó is a biochemist recognized for her contributions to mRNA technology and the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. Currently an adjunct professor of neurosurgery at Penn Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Karikó is senior vice president at BioNTech. She has researched RNA-mediated mechanisms for decades with the goal of developing in vitro-transcribed mRNA for protein therapy. Recent honors have included the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, the Princess of Asturias Award, and the Vilcek Prize for Excellence in Biotechnology.