2021. October 22., Friday
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The 2021 French Grande Médaille Award Goes to Katalin Karikó

Katalin Karikó, whose discoveries paved the way for the mRNA technology, has been awarded France's highest honour, the Grande Médaille. To mark the occasion, a short film and a press release on the website of the French Academy of Sciences presents the life of the world-famous scientist, honorary doctor and former student of the University of Szeged.

"I imagine one day all the mRNA-based drugs will be in the fridge. And if someone burns their hand while cooking, they can just take out the right RNA serum, which will speed up the healing process," says Katalin Karikó, flashing a vision of the future, showing how she would apply the ointment to the imaginary wound... So begins the short film produced by the French Academy of Sciences about Katalin Karikó, winner of the 2021 Grande Médaille award. While the world-famous Hungarian scientist talks in English about mRNA, this fragile molecule, subtitles in French describe the life of the honorary doctor and former student of the University of Szeged.


According to a press release issued in Paris on 28 September 2021, the Hungarian biochemist "has been carrying out pioneering research on messenger RNA and its therapeutic applications since the 1990s. His work has been crucial in the development of a new vaccine strategy that has become key in the fight against Covid-19".


The Grande Médaille was founded in 1997 by the French Academy of Sciences. Its purpose is to award scientists who have made a decisive contribution to the development of science and who, through the originality and international impact of their discoveries, have created a school of thought and inspired others to carry out research.


SZTE Info

Tranlated by Rita Csúri-Magosi

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

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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.

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