Globe and Mail "COVID-19 vaccine pioneers honoured at Gairdner awards ceremony"


Excerpt of:  COVID-19 vaccine pioneers honoured at Gairdner awards ceremony

"For the first time since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers from around the world whose groundbreaking work has earned a Gairdner award – Canada’s most prestigious medical science prize – were in Toronto to receive the accolade in person.

Fittingly, among those honoured at a gala on Thursday were three scientists whose discoveries have played a large role in making such gatherings possible.

Katalin Kariko, a senior vice-president with the German pharmaceutical company BioNTech, and her collaborator Drew Weissman of the University of Pennsylvania received their Canada Gairdner International Awards for showing how messenger RNA, a molecule that normally carries genetic information from DNA to other parts of the cell, can be re-engineered to work as a vaccine.

They were recognized alongside Pieter Cullis, the University of British Columbia biochemist whose work with lipids ultimately provided the delivery mechanism that enables the modified mRNA to enter cells without being destroyed."

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