Inside this year’s medicine Nobel: how Kariko and Weissman cracked the mRNA code, and its impact

Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman, win 2023 Nobel Prize in Medicine; image credit: Penn Medicine


What is mRNA technology and how does it work? If this technology was known and researched for decades, why did it take so long to develop into medical interventions? Can its scope extend to areas of medical science other than the vaccines? Here’s an explainer that will answer those questions.

Katalin Kariko and Drew Weissman are household names today. But their path to the glory of winning the Nobel Prize came after years of setbacks, discrimination, and hardships. Shunned in the initial years of their pioneering mRNA technology, Kariko would often be desperately seeking financial support to advance her research. Reviewers at the University of Pennsylvania junked her hypothesis, choosing to back research in alternative models. She

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