2022. January 27., Thursday
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Katalin Karikó Receives the Benjamin Franklin Medal and Named as the Most Influential Person in Philadelphia

Since 1824, The Franklin Institute has honored the best and brightest minds from around the world. Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman are awarded the 2022 Benjamin Franklin Medal in life science who laid the foundation of mRNA-based vaccines. Katalin Karikó, professor at the University of Szeged and University of Pennsylvania, senior vice president of BioNTech has been voted the most influential person in Philadelphia.

The 2022 Benjamin Franklin Medal in life sciences was awarded to Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissmann- announced by the Franklin Institute on 30 November, 2021.


The Franklin Institute Awards Program recognizes the basic research achievements of Katalin Karikó, professor at the University of Szeged, senior vice president of the German biotech company BioNTech and adjunct associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania and her fellow American researcher Drew Weissman, professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine. In their statement describing the merits of the development of a vaccine against Covid-19, the Franklin Institute acknowledge "the use of mRNA as a safe, effective and life-saving vaccine platform for the prevention of infectious diseases".



Founded in 1824, the Franklin Institute is one of the oldest centers of science education and development in the United States. For nearly 175 years, the Institute’s awards program presented 25 different awards. In 1998, the program was reorganized under the umbrella of the Benjamin Franklin Medals.The Institute, named after Benjamin Franklin — America’s first great scientist, inventor and statesman- scheduled the award ceremony for May 5, 2022, where 13 of today's pioneers in science, industry and business in a total of 9 categories will be awarded.


Katalin Karikó was named the most influential person in Philadelphia. Katalin Karikó ranked 1st on Philadelphia Magazine's list of 76 most influential people in Philadelphia.


76 people are on this special list as a reminder of tradition and values: the first Pennsylvania Constitution was signed in 1776. A short film summarising the scientific career of the world-famous resident of the largest city in the US by focusing on the achievements of her researches at the University of Pennsylvania. Katalin Karikó’s discoveries led to the development the revolutionary mRNA technology that powers the world’s most effective COVID-19 vaccines. Katalin Karikó continues her research on mRNA as a professor at the University of Szeged.

SZTEinfo – Ilona Újszászi

Photos from: internet, SZTE NKI

Article translated by: A.SZ.

SZTE Experience

93292160_608489396406408_4799535565693255680_oOlney Rodrigues - Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

My name is Olney Rodrigues de Oliveira and I am from Brazil. I am currently pursuing my PhD studies in the Doctoral School of Education at SZTE. I chose the University of Szeged because it’s one of the best universities in Europe, especially in the field of education. I personally love Szeged because it is safe and I love the architecture, the cultural events, the local Market Mars Tér and so many other beautiful destinations. For my studies I wanted to have an excellent university in a good quality life city and Szeged offers me that. It’s neither too big nor too small, I can ride my bike to go to my classes and practically everything is within a walking distance. I would advise the prospective students to enjoy the city during their stay, the cultural and historical events, know other international students and make a lot of friends, visit other cities in Hungary and make good memories. I am pretty sure that you will be proud of this priceless experience. Before coming to Hungary I worked several years as a teacher. I love the academic environment, the libraries, relationship with students and the feeling to be involved in the acquisition of new knowledge. That is why I plan to be part of a University as a professor as well as to keep researching in different aspects of the process of education. I am so thankful to be here and I believe that the Universe brought me to Szeged because the city and the University are the experience that I need in my life now.


Tamerlan Mendybayev – Faculty of Agriculture

My name is Tamerlan Mendybayev. I am from capital of Kazakhstan, Nur-Sultan. Currently I am first year student at the Faculty of Agriculture. I chose the University of Szeged as my study destination for several reasons: firstly, it is a well-known applied science institution in Europe and the best in Hungary. Secondly, the program is designed with a significant focus on the developing practical skills of the students and there is a University pilot farm where students keen their skills and implement their knowledge in practice. Undoubtedly, University of Szeged is a place where students become professionals in their academic field.