Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America
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Katalin Karikó, Ph.D. leads the mRNA-based protein replacement program for BioNTech RNA Pharmaceuticals GmbH. She has more than 30 years of experience working with RNA. Prior to joining BioNTech RNA Pharmaceuticals in 2013, Dr. Karikó spent 25 years as a faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School. There, she investigated RNA-mediated immune activation and, in groundbreaking research, discovered that nucleoside modifications suppress immunogenicity of RNA. In 2006, she co-founded and served as CEO of RNARx. With the support of NIH, her team demonstrated the feasibility of using nucleoside-modified mRNA for protein replacement, thus opening a new field of therapy. She has published more than 60 peer-reviewed papers, many of which focus on mRNA technologies. Dr. Karikó is co-inventor on mRNA-related patents, including one awarded for RNA containing modified nucleosides.