Nobel Prize 2023: Katalin Kariko says, ‘My mom is listening from above’

Oct 02, 2023 05:14 PM IST

Nobel Prize 2023: My mother has now passed away and might be “listening from above”, Katalin Kariko said.

Katalin Kariko who won the Nobel Prize for medicine for work on messenger RNA (mRNA) technology that paved the way for Covid-19 vaccines said that winning the award feels "unbelievable". The 68-year-old said that even though she had received recognition in recent years, she had struggled for a long time.

Nobel Prize 2023: Hungarian biochemist Katalin Kariko(AP)
Nobel Prize 2023: Hungarian biochemist Katalin Kariko(AP)

But her mother had faith and would always listen to the Nobel Prize announcements, she said.

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"She listened when I was not even a professor, like 10 years ago," Katalin Kariko said, adding, "She always listened, saying: ‘Maybe your name will be said’. I was just laughing because I never get a grant and never had a team. I was not even a professor because I was demoted. So I just left it. I said: ‘No way’.

My mother has now passed away and might be “listening from above”, Katalin Kariko said.

Read more: Katalin Karikó, Drew Weissman win Nobel Prize in Medicine for role in Covid-19 vaccines

Praising Katalin Kariko, Thomas Perlmann, secretary-general of the Nobel Assembly, said that she remained committed even when her research was met with scepticism.

"She struggled and didn't get recognition for the importance of her vision," Thomas Perlmann said while announcing that Katalin Kariko and Drew Weissman of the United States were the winners of this year's Nobel Medicine Prize.

"This is an extraordinary and unusual scientist... who was very passionate about this idea of mRNA and using it therapeutically," he said.

Drew Weissmann, 64, said he found it hard to believe he had won the prestigious award.

"I heard it from Katie first because they called her first and didn't have my number," he said, adding, “We weren't sure if somebody was playing a prank on us.”

I am not a big celebrator but would probably go out with his family for a “nice dinner”, he said.

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