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2 scientists win $3 million ‘Breakthrough Prize’ for mRNA tech behind COVID-19 vaccines

Two scientists who developed a technology used in COVID-19 mRNA vaccines have been awarded a $3 million prize. 

Now in their 10th year, the Breakthrough Prizes recognize leading researchers in the fields of fundamental physics, life sciences and mathematics. Each prize comes with a $3 million award, supplied by the foundation’s founding sponsors Sergey Brin, Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg, Yuri and Julia Milner, and Anne Wojcicki. This year, one of three prizes in the Life Sciences category will go to Katalin Karikó and Dr. Drew Weissman, whose work over the last few decades led to the development of the technology needed to deliver mRNA into cells, paving the way for today’s COVID-19 vaccines, specifically those produced by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

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