Katalin Karikó is professor at University of Szeged and adjunct professor of neurosurgery at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, where she worked for 24 years. She is former senior vice president at BioNTech SE, Mainz, Germany, where she worked between 2013-2022. She received her Ph.D. in biochemistry from University of Szeged, Hungary, in 1982. For four decades, her research has been focusing on RNA-mediated mechanisms with the ultimate goal of developing in vitro-transcribed mRNA for protein therapy. She investigated RNA-mediated immune activation and co-discovered that nucleoside modifications suppress immunogenicity of RNA, which widened the therapeutic potentials of mRNA. Her patents, co-invented with Drew Weissman on nucleoside-modified uridines in mRNA provided the foundation to create the FDA-approved COVID-19 mRNA vaccines by BioNTech/Pfizer and Moderna.