Friday, 03 December 2021


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.


Tranlated by Rita Csúri-Magosi