The creators of mRNA technology have received the Lasker Prize, known as the US Nobel Prize, and are among the nominees for the most prestigious Nobel Prize in science. On Monday, the Nobel Committee will announce the winners of this prize in the field of physiology and medicine.

The Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation Prize is the most prestigious award in medicine, with the exception of the Nobel Prize. That is why it is also called the nobel vestibule, and so far it has won nearly 80 Nobel laureates in physiology or medicine.

Prior to the week of September 24, the Lasker Prize was awarded to Katalin Kariko of BioNTech and Professor. Drew Wiseman of the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine. It was awarded to develop the mRNA technology that was used to develop a vaccine against COVID-19.

These researchers made an amazing discovery in 2005, when the publication “Immunology” published a publication on obtaining a stable mRNA that encodes a specific protein, that is, contains instructions on the basis of which the cell produces the appropriate protein. The key was to have stable mRNA, which is not destroyed after penetrating the cell. Because only then can it fulfill its task of starting the production of the necessary protein.

In the case of the mRNA vaccine, this protein is called the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus peak protein that stimulates the body’s immune response. As a result, it was possible to quickly develop an exceptionally effective preparation. It contributed significantly to containing the epidemic.

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Published by Catalin Carrico and Prof. At first, Drew Wiseman did not attract much attention, and was not accepted for publication in other specialized journals. At the time, mRNA technology was not yet appreciated, and attempts were made to use it to develop treatments to treat cancer without much success. Currently, there are many attempts to use it in the treatment of many diseases, especially cancer.

“This is a completely new type of treatment that will also stay with us after the pandemic,” – said PAP Prof. Jacek Jemielity, a chemist from the Center for New Technologies at the University of Warsaw. For 20 years, he and his team have conducted research on the therapeutic use of mRNA. He claims to be fascinated by this technology because it has tremendous therapeutic potential.

The Lasker Prize has been awarded to living researchers since 1946 by a foundation founded by modern advertising pioneer Albert Lasker and his wife, Mary Goddard Lasker (a medical research activist). It is awarded each year at the end of September, before the Nobel Prize winners are announced. This recognition carries a cash reward of $250,000. (PAP)

Author: Zbigniew Wojtasiński

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