2022. January 25., Tuesday


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

95930002_620793281842686_908476219798847488_oDianne - Faculty of Science and Informatics

I am a PhD student and a Stipendium Hungaricum scholarship holder from the Philippines. I am currently pursuing my PhD in Environmental Science and I happen to be in my 3rd year of studies. I chose University of Szeged because its one of the top ranked research university in Hungary known for its good reputation in the fields of health and natural sciences. Coming from the Philippines with a warm climate, I had huge preference of Szeged for my studies, the city having the most rays of sunshine and considered to be the warmest place in Hungary. I would advise all the prospective students to join University of Szeged’s diverse and vibrant community! Don’t be afraid to leave your comfort zone, try to find and establish your niche in a new place like what I did. I didn’t regret coming to Szeged as it continuously provides me an enabling learning environment for various reasons, has affordable cost of living, very safe and calm university town, organized transport system, beautiful and clean surroundings with the very sightly Tisza River which adds to its appeal, and also holds many festivals throughout the year. After graduation, I am planning to go back to my home institution and continue my teaching duties at the University of the Philippines Los Baños


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.