Hungarian-born scientist Katalin Karikó believed in the potential of messenger RNA — the genetic molecule at the heart of two new COVID-19 vaccines — even when almost no one else did.
Karikó began working with RNA as a student in Hungary. When funding for her job there ran out, Kariko immigrated to Philadelphia in 1985. Over the years, she's been rejected for grant after grant, threatened with deportation and demoted from her faculty job by a university that saw her research as a dead end.
Through it all, Karikó just kept working.