Best of Philly

2021 Cassandra Vindication

Katalin “Kati” Karikó

Between the lines of the various hagiographies of Karikó — the Hungarian-born, Rydal-based scientist/BioNTech SVP whose dogged work on messenger RNA is the basis of the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines — is a dystopian tale. At each point where Karikó loses her sponsor, loses her funding, or has her work dismissed, lies a portal to an alternate time line where cases aren’t plummeting and we’re all bracing for the next deadly spike.