The 2021 Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize Lectures and Award Presentation

Lecture 1

“Nucleoside-Modified mRNA-LNP Therapeutics”

presented by
Drew Weissman, MD, PhD
Drew Weissman, MD, PhD

Drew Weissman, MD, PhD

Professor of Medicine

Perelman School of Medicine

University of Pennsylvania

 

Tuesday, March 1, 2022 at 10 a.m. EST

Guests may attend in-person or virtually

Drew Weissman's Biography

Dr. Weissman is professor of medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. He received his graduate degrees from Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Weissman, in collaboration with Dr. Katalin Karikó, discovered the ability of modified nucleosides in RNA to suppress activation of innate immune sensors and increase the translation of mRNA containing certain modified nucleosides. The nucleoside-modified mRNA-lipid nanoparticle vaccine platform Dr. Weissman’s lab created is used in the first two approved COVID-19 vaccines produced by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna. They continue to develop other vaccines that induce potent antibody and T cell responses with mRNA-based vaccines. Additionally, Dr. Weissman’s lab develops methods to replace genetically deficient proteins, edit the genome, and specifically target cells and organs with mRNA-LNPs, including lung, heart, brain, CD4+ cells, all T cells, and bone marrow stem cells.


Lecture 2

“Developing mRNA for Therapy”

Katalin Karikó, PhD
Katalin Karikó, PhD
presented by

Katalin Karikó, PhD

Senior Vice President, BioNTech SE

Adjunct Professor

Perelman School of Medicine

University of Pennsylvania

 

Tuesday, March 1, 2022 at 3:30 p.m. EST

The Horwitz Prize Awards presentation and reception will take place following Dr. Karikó's lecture
Guests may attend the lecture in-person or virtually

 

Katalin Karikó's Biography

Dr. Karikó has been senior vice president of BioNTech SE since 2013. She also is adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, where she worked for 24 years. She received her PhD in biochemistry from the University of Szeged in Hungary in 1982. Her research for decades has focused on RNA-mediated mechanisms with the ultimate goal of developing in vitro-transcribed mRNA for protein therapy. Her groundbreaking investigation of RNA-mediated immune activation and her co-discovery that nucleoside modifications suppress immunogenicity of RNA unlocked the opportunity for the therapeutic use of mRNA. She and Drew Weissman co-invented and patented the use of nucleoside-modified mRNA, a key discovery that made possible the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines developed by BioNTech/Pfizer and Moderna/NIAID. 


Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize Award Presentation

Appreciation by David D. Ho, MD

Responses from Drs. Karikó and Weissman

 

Tuesday, March 1, 2022 at 4:35 p.m. EST

Guests may attend in-person or virtually

Related information

The Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize Website

Press Release: The 2021 Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize Winners

Past Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize Winners