Dr. Katalin Karikó and her remarkable scientific journey to save humanity

As Lifestyles Magazine/Meaningful Influence enters our 50th year of chronicling the world’s leading philanthropists’ efforts in supporting the betterment of Humanity, we would like to extend our heartfelt congratulations to Dr. Katalin Karikó and her colleagues for being named TIME’s 2021 Heroes of the Year.

Dr. Karikó and her colleagues, Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, Dr. Barney Graham, and Dr. Drew Weissman, are the scientists behind the building blocks of the COVID-19 vaccine that saved countless lives across the globe.

These visionaries worked to harness the therapeutic power of the synthetic genetic messenger RNA (mRNA) to become the key to the production of the vaccines.

While working at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Karikó wanted to use mRNA for therapy and researched how she could reduce the RNA immunity. She replaced one of the four building blocks of mRNA, uridine, with its modified version, pseudo uridine, which is often found in the RNA of human cells, and the team concluded that such mRNA is “silent”—it does not activate immune cells. This became the basis for COVID-19 vaccine development.

For the last decades, Dr. Karikó has dedicated herself to making the world a better place through science -often at great personal sacrifices.

We have been most fortunate to be granted the first exclusive magazine interview with her, just as the worldwide vaccine rollout began.

It is news like TIME’s “Heroes of The Year” that reminds us how fortunate we are at Lifestyles Magazine/Meaningful Influence to have opportunities to bring early awareness to people about extraordinary individuals who have the ability to change the world—or in Dr. Karikó’s case, make it a lot safer.

Please click here for her Lifestyles Magazine/Meaningful Influence original interview!

Another well-deserved recognition for a lifetime of pioneering work in research for Hungarian-American biochemist Dr. Katalin Karikó whose first exclusive magazine interview was granted to Lifestyles Magazine/Meaningful Influence.

At a recent Los Angeles ceremony, the American Academy of Achievement awarded its Golden Plate Award to Dr. Katalin Karikó, the scientist whose game-changing work on mRNA led to the successful Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

The other recipients of the prestigious award included Andrea Ghez an American astrophysicist and professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at UCLA whose research focuses on the center of the Milky Way galaxy. In 2020, she became the fourth woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics.

The third recipient is Armenian-American Ardem Patapoitan a neuroscience professor and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at Scripps Research in La Jolla, California, and a Nobel Prize laureate.

The Awards were presented at the Los Angeles ceremony by Francis Arnold an American chemical engineer and Nobel Laureate. She is the Linus Pauling Professor of Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering and Biochemistry at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). In 2018, she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for pioneering the use of directed evolution to engineer enzymes and serves as co-chair on  President Biden’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

Lifestyles Magazine/Meaningful Influence congratulates the latest recipients of the American Academy of Achievement Awards!