Meet the Scientists Behind mRNA Vaccines

Drs. Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman met photocopying journal articles and soon began working together to better understand mRNA. Together, they discovered a breakthrough: how to make mRNA non-inflammatory to enable development of cutting-edge mRNA-based vaccines. In a video from Penn Medicine, they explain how the technology is now being used to develop everything from a gene therapy for sickle cell anemia to vaccines for peanut allergies.

Watch the Penn Medicine video.

A New Approach to Understanding Cancer: Protein Mapping

After more than a decade of research, scientists from the Cancer Cell Map Initiative have published a series of papers outlining a new approach to map protein networks underlying different types of cancer. The technique holds promise to help understand what is driving cancer and identify new therapeutic targets. “Looking at cancer at the protein level could help organize the mess of genetic data into a simpler understanding of the pathways that are driving disease,” Andrew Joseph writes in a recent article for STAT.

Read the full article in STAT.

Antiviral Pills for COVID-19 Now in Clinical Trials

“Oral antivirals have the potential to not only curtail the duration of one’s COVID-19 syndromes, but also have the potential to limit transmission to people in your household if you’re sick,” Timothy Sheahan, a virologist at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, told NBC News. Unlike remdesivir, the only antiviral currently approved to treat COVID, the drugs now in clinical trials can be packaged as pills.

Read the full NBC News article.