Pope Francis Names Hungarian Nobel Laureate as Member Of Pontifical Academy for Life

  • 12 Feb 2024 5:31 AM
  • Hungary Matters
Pope Francis Names Hungarian Nobel Laureate as Member Of Pontifical Academy for Life
Pope Francis has appointed Nobel Laureate Katalin Karikó as an ordinary member of the Pontifical Academy for Life (Pontificia Accademia per la Vita), the Holy See Press Office said.

The announcement noted that Katalin Karikó’s scientific research led to the development of the mRNA-based vaccine against Covid-19, for which she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2023.

The Pontifical Academy for Life was founded in 1994 and deals with bioethical issues, the focus of which is the protection of life.

The academy consists of a maximum of seventy members, who are appointed by the Pope for five years.

About Katalin Karikó's Scientific Contributions

Karikó's research and its specializations have a broad impact with potential implications for areas such as the generation of pluripotent stem cells, and messenger RNA-based gene therapy, as well as "a new class of drugs".

Karikó's work laid the foundation for BioNTech and Moderna to create therapeutic mRNAs that do not induce an immune response.

In 2020, Karikó and Weissman's technology was used in vaccines for COVID-19 produced by BioNTech and its partner Pfizer and by Moderna.

The mRNA vaccines were developed and approved for use at unprecedented speed, and demonstrated over 90% efficacy. In addition to vaccines for infectious diseases, mRNA has potential applications in treatment of cancer, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases including ischemia.

Click here to know more about Pontifical Academy for Life

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Related links

Watch: Nobel Prize Awarded to Hungarian Biochemist Katalin Karikó

Hungarian Biochemist Katalin Karikó Granted Honorary Degree by Harvard

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