VinFuture is the largest science and technology award held in Vietnam so far, attracting the attention of the world’s top scientists.
Tonight (January 20), the owner of the main prize VinFuture has been determined. Those are the 3 scientists who researched the Covid-19 vaccine with mRNA technology, including Dr. Karikó, Professor Weissman and Professor Pieter R. Cullis.
|Three scientists were awarded the VinFuture main prize.|
Professor Drew Weissman is an infectious disease specialist at the School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania (UPenn, USA). During his career, Professor Weissman has spent more than 15 years researching RNA for vaccine production with great confidence in the seemingly endless healing power of customized mRNA.
|Professor Drew Weissman.|
Dr. Katalin Karikó was born in 1955 into a family of butchers in Kisújszállás, a town 150 km east of Budapest (Hungary). Her love of math and science stemmed from the lectures given by teachers at the local school she attended.
After graduating from high school, Karikó enrolled at the University of Szeged. She majored in biochemistry and completed the equivalent of a Master’s degree in 1978.
|Professor Katalin Kariko.|
Karikó received a PhD scholarship while working at the Szeged Biological Research Center (BRC) of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. She received her PhD in 1982 from the University of Szeged.
Karikó began working at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia in 1989, focusing on the therapeutic applications of transcribed mRNA in vitro.
Dr. Katalin Kariko and Professor Drew Weissman have developed nucleoside modified mRNA technology and other innovations related to mRNA vaccines. This is the technology that Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna used in their vaccine development.
Groundbreaking research into modifying mRNA helps prevent the immune system from reacting to mRNA when introduced. The body’s natural immune system is capable of recognizing the sudden presence of foreign RNA and reacting as if it were an actual viral attack.
The 2004-2005 study by Dr. Kariko and colleagues ensures that RNA enters cells and functions properly without causing cytokine reactions, toxicity or side effects.
With Professor Pieter R. Cullis, he is the Director of the Institute of Life Sciences at the University of British Columbia (UBC). He is also a Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Head of the NanoMedicines Research Group, UBC.
Professor Cullis and colleagues have made fundamental advances in the generation and delivery of intravenous lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) in the form of small molecule drugs and macromolecule drugs. as small interfering RNA (siRNA).
|Prof. Pieter R. Cullis.|
Cullis is the one who brought lipid nanoparticle technology from theory to reality. He also played a central role in founding the nonprofit Center for Drug Research and Development (now Admare BioInnovations) and other non-profit organizations such as the NanoMedicines Innovation Network.
Then, over the years, he also founded several companies to commercialize new developments in the LNP formulation, enabling the development of the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine.
Cullis’ research achievements have laid the foundation for the birth and strong development of the gene therapy industry using LNP technology, with typical representatives such as: Moderna, CureVac, BioNTech and Intellia.
Professor Pieter R. Cullis has been awarded the VinFuture Main Prize for his groundbreaking achievement in developing lipid nanoparticles needed to envelop and protect active mRNA. This has opened up a new science and new methods of producing COVID-19 mRNA vaccines that improve the daily lives of millions of people.
The technique pioneered by Professor Cullis has been successfully used to develop LNP delivery systems for mRNA vaccines, including those being used in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The work of the three scientists mentioned above is ground-breaking in modifying the mRNA to help prevent the immune system from reacting to the injected mRNA.
The effectiveness of this scientific work has been demonstrated when people of more than 150 countries benefited from a Covid-19 vaccine using mRNA technology developed by these three scientists.
Vietnamese people are good at math: Advantage to develop AI technology
With certain advantages in terms of society and people, Vietnam has the opportunity to close the gap in AI technology with the world.