As mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines are deployed to protect hundreds of millions of people across the world from the deadly global pandemic, the University of Pennsylvania scientists whose research breakthroughs laid the foundation for swift vaccine development have been awarded the 2021 Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award. Here, mRNA vaccine pioneers Drew Weissman, MD, PhD, and Katalin Karikó, PhD, share the story behind their development of this groundbreaking technology, and what it means for the future of medicine.
Vaccines are about to change the world…again. mRNA Vaccines are currently being used to battle COVID-19, and have the potential to eradicate diseases like HIV, herpes, sickle cell anemia, and even cancer. Learn how the vaccines work and where the technology could be headed in this explainer video.
Currently, the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines for COVID-19 use the mRNA technology developed at Penn by infectious disease expert Drew Weissman, MD, PhD, along with longtime research collaborator Katalin Karikó, PhD, an adjunct associate professor. Dr. Weissman has been studying mRNA vaccines for decades. This technology could change the way future vaccines are made to prevent countless other diseases.
Screening testing is one tool the University of Pennsylvania is using to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread within the University community. That’s why we’re performing saliva-based viral testing for students, faculty, postdocs, and staff who are on campus.
The new Pavilion at Penn Medicine will be one of the most state-of-the-art patient care facilities in the world when it opens in 2021.
Exercise physiologists are healthcare professionals that work with patients who are deconditioned or have a variety of different health complications. They work with pulmonary and cardiac patients, as well as competitive athletes with a wide range of fitness issues.
Penn Medicine’s Christopher J. Kusmiesz, MS describes his role as “assessing a patient’s fitness level and providing recommendations and guidance so they can improve and reach their health and fitness goals.”
Exercise physiologists at Penn uses patient test results, recommendations from their cardiologist and the patient’s own goals to create an exercise program that is unique to each patient.
Learn what CRISPR is, how it works, and how Penn Medicine is working to harness its power to help patients.