Three scientists with mRNA vaccine technology receive the $ 3 million VinFuture prize


Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh presented the main prize of 3 million USD to three scientists: Katalin Kariko, Drew Weissman and Pieter Rutter Cullis for their technology to research mRNA vaccines that saved millions of lives.

Tonight, January 20, many famous scientists in the world gathered in Hanoi to attend the awarding ceremony of the VinFuture Global Science and Technology Award.

The event attracted the attention of scientists around the globe, with the participation of initiatives and inventions that had an impact on millions of people, contributing to positioning Vietnam as a new destination of science and technology in the world. . At the same time, it creates opportunities to connect and create a direct and multi-dimensional cooperation relationship between international and Vietnamese scientists.

The award ceremony took place with the witness of Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh; Head of the Central Economic Commission Tran Tuan Anh; Mr. Do Van Chien – Chairman of the Central Committee of the Vietnam Fatherland Front – and leaders of departments, ministries, branches, provinces and cities.

On the side of VinFuture Foundation with the participation of Prof. Sir Richard Henry Friend – Chairman of the Award Council; two founders: Chairman of Vingroup Pham Nhat Vuong and his wife, Ms. Pham Thu Huong – Vice Chairman of Vingroup.

“VinFuture Fund is a great idea”

After receiving the award, Professor Katalin Kariko expressed her gratitude to the founders of the VinFuture Award – a bright spot in terms of science, technology and international cooperation.

“I also have to share that I am delighted to be in Vietnam because I have heard great stories about culture from Vietnamese friends and students who have studied with me since the 1970s in Hungary,” Prof. Katalin said. Kariko said.

Prof. Drew Weissman thanked the Prime Minister of Vietnam, the founders and scientists who founded the award.

“This is not the end of everything, but the opening of a new COVID-19 vaccine therapy, new generations of vaccines for different diseases. And importantly, the beginning of a new era. cooperation among countries in Southeast Asia, including Vietnam, Thailand and many other countries,” said Prof. Drew Weissman.

He also said that he is not the recipient of this award, but “thousands of scientists before and after me will follow in these footsteps, creating new treatments for new diseases”.

Expressing that receiving the award is an “unbelievable” honor given to himself, Prof. Pieter Rutter Cullis thanked those who have collaborated with him for many years. He emphasized that scientists cooperate very closely with each other to realize their research works, serving the community and the country. Therefore, the way scientists collaborate with each other and connect with the world is amazing.

He also thanked the founder of Vingroup and expressed his wish to return to visit the country and people of Vietnam.

Three scientists: Katalin Kariko (right cover), Drew Weissman (centre) and Pieter Rutter Cullis – Photo: NAM TRAN

Professor Omar Yaghi (USA) – the owner of the special prize for “Scientist researching new fields” – expressed his joy and honor to receive the award. He shared that the award as well as the fund is a great idea with a very strong message, showing the vision and generosity of the founder as well as Vietnam with the desire to have a better world.

“As for what motivated me to come up with this invention, coming from a refugee family, I see my chances of success are very slim and the way to overcome this difficulty is not only by working hard but also by working hard. We also know how to say no to the person who tells us ‘It’s not okay’ And it’s important that we look around, we will have a better perspective than everyone else.Small opportunities can still be opportunities. for success,” said Professor Omar.

As the first recipient of a special award for “Female Scientist”, Professor Zhenan Bao (USA) shared that throughout her academic career, she has devoted her efforts to scientific discoveries to change lives. live in a positive way.

“Thank you to the award committee for realizing the reality of multi-electron research. There have been challenges in health, climate change and shortages of energy and water… Looking forward to the researchers to continue continue to use her research to solve global challenges. Also hope society will further support female scientists”, Prof. Bao expressed.

Prof. Salim Abdool Karim and Quarraisha Abdool Karim are the winners of the special prize in the category “Scientists from developing countries”.

Professor Salim Abdool Karim said being born and living in South Africa prompted them to conduct their research there.

“HIV is a daily challenge in our lives. For us, this research is about making a difference. We try to do this with our best. The award is not just for my husband and I. but this is a ray of hope for scientists from developing countries who are working hard in research labs to make a difference for the better in the world,” said Prof. Salim Abdool Karim.

“The whole world is grateful and admires scientists”

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh speaks at the award ceremony – Photo: NAM TRAN

On behalf of the leaders of the Party and State, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh welcomed scientists and delegates from all over the world who had come to the peace-loving country of Vietnam, to Hanoi to attend the Prize. VinFuture Global Science and Technology Award.

The Prime Minister shared that during the past two years, especially in the most difficult time of the epidemic, all of humanity has put their trust, hope and hope in scientists to find a vaccine and cure against the epidemic. COVID-19.

“The whole world is grateful and admires scientists – who have carried out their noble mission. We are here today peacefully and safely thanks to scientists, thanks to vaccines. and special medicine,” said the Prime Minister.

Mr. and Mrs. Pham Nhat Vuong and Pham Thu Huong present flowers to the award board – Photo: NAM TRAN

Emphasizing that most countries in the world pay great attention to the development of science and technology, especially scientific research with high application, contributing to the people’s happiness and well-being, the Prime Minister affirmed. Honoring award-winning works is honoring scientific values ​​that contribute to humanity, honoring scientists who have researched day and night with outstanding intelligence, enthusiastic heart and dedication aspiration. for mankind.

He emphasized that the Vietnamese people have a tradition of peace-loving and aspiration for development, always praising the beauty of humanity and the noble values ​​of science and creativity, improving labor productivity, and improving living standards. material and spiritual for the people. At the same time, Vietnam always respects, cherishes and honors genuine scientists who contribute to the rapid and sustainable development of mankind.

Positive signal from prestigious award

With the mission of the VinFuture Award, the Prime Minister expressed his pleasure because in the first season, the participation of 60 countries was recorded with nearly 600 projects competing for the award, of which nearly 100 projects came from the top 2% of the world’s top universities. most cited scientists in the world and more than a third of the applicants are female scientists. “This is really a positive signal of a big and prestigious award,” the Prime Minister affirmed.

The Prime Minister wished that the tradition of peace-loving, kindness and wisdom among the Vietnamese people would shine in every Vietnamese businessman to build the country to develop and fulfill responsibilities, spreading good values ​​to the people. international community and humanity.

At the same time, we highly appreciate and acknowledge Vingroup’s efforts in building and developing VinFuture Fund – a non-profit operation fund founded by Vingroup chairman Pham Nhat Vuong and his wife, in order to respect honor the value of science and technology globally.

Prof. Sir Richard Henry Friend, Chairman of the Awards Committee – Photo: NAM TRAN

On behalf of the award committee, Prof. Sir Richard Henry Friend shared that as the chairman of the awards committee, he is delighted to work with such an outstanding and dedicated young team who have developed a system of excellence. Professional operating system. The VinFuture team worked tirelessly to identify and contact a large number of award nominees, from all continents and from all innovation sectors, with nearly 600 nominations surpassing each other. far from the nomination level of many prestigious international awards.

“Global leadership is important. With the creation of the VinFuture award, Vietnam has accepted the challenge. Recent events have reinforced the importance of finding global solutions,” Prof. Sir. Richard Henry Friend said.

VinFuture Foundation has a mission to honor and support scientific researches and breakthrough technological inventions that have contributed or have the potential to contribute to a better life for millions of people on earth. Creating a sustainable living environment for future generations.

On the International Day of Human Solidarity (December 20, 2020), the VinFuture Foundation established the VinFuture Global Annual Science and Technology Award.

The Prime Minister attended the awarding ceremony of the VinFuture Global Science and Technology Award – Photo: NAM TRAN

World famous singer John Legend presented at the program – Photo: NAM TRAN

Performance by artist Dang Thai Son – Photo: NAM TRAN

The lotus dance by artist Linh Nga – Photo: NAM TRAN

Professor Omar Yaghi (USA), special prize winner for “Scientist researching new fields” – Photo: NAM TRAN

Chinese-American professor Zhenan Bao received a special prize in honor of female scientists – Photo: NAM TRAN

Prize for scientists from developing countries – Photo: NAM TRAN

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