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Katalin Karikó is One of the First Recipients of the South Korean "Park MahnHoon Award"

The first " IVI – SK bioscience Park MahnHoon Award" will be awarded to Dr. Katalin Karikó, Research Professor at the University of Szeged (SZTE), Dr. Drew Weissman, Professor at UPenn, and Dr. Tore Godal, CEPI Advisor, as it was announced in Seoul on March 24. The US$85,000 award, established last year in the Republic of Korea, recognizes individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the development of vaccines and their delivery to children in low-income countries.

"Three vaccine pioneers" are recognized by the first ever "IVI - SK Bioscience Park MahnHoon Award". The award ceremony will take place on 25 April 2022.

Among the vaccine developers, Dr. Katalin Karikó, Research Professor at the University of Szeged, and Dr. Drew Weissman, Professor at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn), have contributed to the development of key technology that led to the world's first mRNA vaccine against Covid-19," said the Director General of the Vaccine Institute (IVI), explaining the decision of the award committee. Dr. Jerome Kim added that the next-generation vaccine has saved millions of lives worldwide.


Among the scientific achievements of Dr. Katalin Karikó and Dr. Drew Weissman, the laudation highlights their discovery of a new way to modify mRNA and their development of a delivery technique to package mRNA into fat droplets, more specifically into so-called lipid nanoparticles. These laboratory breakthroughs allow mRNA to reach the right part of the body and trigger the body's immune system to fight disease. This innovation has made mRNA safe, effective, practical to use, and has served as basis for two vaccines against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. All this has helped to fight the virus and contain the Covid-19 pandemic. Among the awards that the two researchers have jointly won, the 2022 Benjamin Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences and the 2022 Japan Prize are included in the "IVI - SK Bioscience Park MahnHoon Award" justification published on 24 March 2022


The "IVI - SK Bioscience Park MahnHoon Award", established last year, recognizes individuals who have contributed to the advancement of global health and the discovery, development and delivery of vaccines. The award was established by the International Vaccine Institute (IVI), a non-profit, intergovernmental organization based in the Republic of Korea, and SK Bioscience, which defines itself as "a global innovative partner in vaccines and biotechnology". The establishment of the International Vaccine Institute (IVI) was proposed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). SK Bioscience will contribute US$ 85,000 to the "Park MahnHoon Award", named after its late Vice President, Dr. Park MahnHoon.


The third recipient of the Prize, Dr Tore Godal - founder and currently advisor of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI) - accelerated the delivery of Covid-19 vaccines to low-income countries, thus has played an important role in global health.

What links the world-renowned Hungarian biochemist and his US research colleague to the Norwegian public health advisor is the rapid development of vaccines against Covid-19 as well as the Prince Mahidol Prize which they all received – at different times.

SZTEinfo – Ú. I.

Source: ivi.int


For more information about Dr. Katalin Karikó, Research Professor of the University of Szeged, please visit the website of SZTE, or the website of the SZTE Klebelsberg Library.

SZTE Experience


Ahmad Adha - Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

I am Ahmad Adha from Indonesia and currently a 3rd year student in Theoretical Linguistics PhD program. I chose the University of Szeged (SZTE) as my study destination because it is located in the center of the town and it is also the highest ranked university in Hungary. The university staff and the professors were very accommodating and understanding when I decided to change the program that suits my research topic. I am so glad that I can be a part of my current department, and of course SZTE, since it is also the Center of Pragmatic Research which aims to promote advanced linguistic pragmatic research with international collaborations. After graduating, I wish to continue to work in my academic field as a professor and a researcher. My advice for prospective SZTE students is to choose a university with a good academic reputation that fits their passion.



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.