Women should not choose to raise children or be scientists: Karikó

Daniel Venegas

Paris France / 24.06.2022 01:40:00


biochemistry Katalin Karikó, considered the mother of the covid-19 vaccinefor being a pioneer in the study of messenger RNA, used by most of these biologists, assures that it is necessary maintain the presence of women in sciencebecause they think differently and points out that governments should seek better conditions to help generate working conditions so that they do not have to choose between raising children and their careers.

The hungarian scientist is one of the women honored this year by L’Oréal and the Unesco with the Women in Science Awardwhich was delivered in Paris France after three years of pandemic.

On the future of the fight against covidvaccines and increased uses of messenger RNAassures that it is necessary to advance to better formulations to inject it directly into tissues and organs, to help heal them.

In interview with MILLENNIUM, talk about the work you have done; the importance of young people pursuing their dreams and discovering that science is useful for humanity.

– How can you use your influence to make little children follow their dreams?

“I try to see how I can take advantage of this opportunity and I try to draw attention to the importance of science, and especially in the field of science I must emphasize that children who solve problems, think and love that part of science as a profession. If they like what they do and are good at it it will be great, that’s what I hope. And also the fact that they discover science will be very useful for society.”

-Your research started 30 years ago has been crucial to combat covid. What do you think the world of science will be like in the next 20 years?

“Definitely everything is going to change a lot in the future. In the last century we had proteins that were the beginning of the DNA extraction, in the eighties we started doing recombinations of this protein, which was a big change because now we can make human proteins. Now we just have to create the messenger RNA and the patient will make the protein. It will become more affordable because it will be cheaper to do so. And the protein that is made inside the body will be added without problem, just like any other medicinal protein. It will be revolutionary. Right now we can see the fastest growing section of approved drugs.

“Besides, you can also do gene therapy so you can deliver messenger RNA that encodes an intracellular protein, which may not be sufficient in the patient. We have to improve the formulation so that we can administer directly andl Messenger RNA to specific tissues and organs. This is a big challenge right now. But we already have very successful reports of bone marrow application. We can also administer to the lung. And to have greater precision of the particle means that less is enough and more effective and with fewer side effects. And therefore more efficient medicine can be achieved.”

-You said that the covid changed the world. Does this change also happen for the opportunities of women in science?

“Yes, we need women in science because we think differently, multitasking is the best. Variety is always better. So I hope that governments will listen, if they want to do something it could be in the area of ​​high-quality child care, it would be very good, especially for women to stay in science. So that they do not have to make the decision to leave their career or take care of their children. You can have both. Because maybe now men are dominating. But things are changing. L’Oreal and Unesco They’re bringing attention to women in science and that’s important.”

-You have been called the mother of vaccines. What do you think about it?

“I always think of the people who came before me and did all this work. Science builds on science. I am sitting here representing all those people who made these contributions, and who also worked at Pfizer, Moderna, generating all the vaccines.

“The doctors, they are the real heroes who worked in the hospitals and went and risked their lives. I have never risked my life. I work in my laboratory and I have fun there. Right now I’m representing all of them, that’s how I feel.”


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