During her visit to her former workplace, the ELKH Biological Research Centre (BRC) in Szeged, on 19 May 2021, Katalin Karikó received the Straub Plaquette from Ferenc Nagy, the current Director General of BRC. The world-famous researcher was awarded the Straub Plaquette, named after the first Director General of BRC, Bruno F. Straub, in recognition of her outstanding scientific achievements.

The world-famous researcher said that if it were not for the pandemic, she would not be here now. She also stressed that the mRNA-based vaccine against the coronavirus is the result of the persistent and enthusiastic work of numerous colleagues, with whom she would like to share this recognition.

Widely regarded as a Nobel Prize candidate, Katalin Karikó received the Straub Plaquette as one of many awards. In her acceptance speech, she said that while she was always happy to receive any recognition, for her the joy of discovery and the motivation to achieve scientific results are at the heart of research.

During the meeting with her former colleagues, they discussed scientific issues in addition to personal topics, including the program of the National Biotechnology Laboratory to be implemented under the professional leadership of BRC.

Katalin Karikó worked as a researcher at BRC between 1978 and 1985. Thereafter, she pursued her scientific activities in the United States of America, in Philadelphia and Washington, where she continued to work on topics connected to those she had studied in Szeged, including mRNA-based research.