The first winners of the 2023 Nobel Prize have been announced. On the opening day of Nobel week, the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology was awarded. Read our text to find out what Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman received the award for and when the next winners will be announced.
Nobel week has begun. This year, Nobel week falls on October 2-9. During this time, the Nobel committees announce the Nobel Prize winners in individual categories every day around 11:45. This year’s schedule is as follows:
October 2 (Monday) – physiology or medicine,
October 3 (Tuesday) – physics,
October 4 (Wednesday) – chemistry,
October 5 (Thursday) – literature,
October 6 (Friday) – Nobel Peace Prize,
October 9 (Monday) – economic sciences.
According to the announcement schedule, on October 2 we were supposed to meet the winners of the Nobel Prize in medicine or physiology. And so it happened. The committees decided to award two people in this category. Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman received this most prestigious distinction in the world for their discoveries regarding the modification of nucleoside bases, which enabled the development of effective mRNA vaccines against COVID-19. The discoveries made by this year’s Nobel Prize winners have changed the understanding of how mRNA interacts with the immune system. Administration of the vaccine stimulates the development of an immune response to a specific pathogen – for example the polio virus or smallpox. Knowing the threat, the body prepares countermeasures and in the event of subsequent exposure has an advantage over the pathogen.
Interestingly, the couple met outside the laboratory. The Nobel Prize winners met in 1997 at the University of Pennsylvania at a photocopier and competed for access to it to photocopy scientific papers. A year later they started working together, but their work began to be noticed only recently. In 2021, they received the Lasker Prize, which is referred to as the “American Nobel” because about 80 of its winners later won the medical Nobel Prize.
We will inform you about the next winner of the 2023 Nobel Prize every day after 12 p.m.