MPG Forum 'Covid-19 – From Vaccination to Medication'

The Max Planck Society together with the Consulate General of the State of Israel in Southern Germany organised a joint Max Planck Forum on 11 November 2021 under the title 'Covid-19: From Vaccination to Medication'. Three pioneering experts discussed mRNA research and its important contribution in the current pandemic.

Quelle: YouTube-Kanal der Max Planck Gesellschaft

Prof. Ugur Sahin, the co-founder of BioNTech, was one of three high-profile speakers at the event. His work together with his wife Özlem Türeci in the field of mRNA research led to the development of the first SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for the prevention of coronavirus disease, which was approved together with pharma company Pfizer in the U.S. in December 2020. Awarded with the Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize, Sahin discussed the evolution of the coronavirus, the development of the vaccine and potential future drugs for the treatment of the coronavirus disease with two other speakers:

Prof. Tzachi Pilpel, who holds the Ben May Chair as Kimmel Investigator at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, explained mistakes in the copying of DNA between generations and in the translation of DNA into proteins to affect cells, and the impact this has on redesigning vaccines against new virus strains. Pilpel studies the function and evolution of genetic regulatory networks in microbes and mammals by combining experimental, computational biology and theoretical approaches.He is a Member of EMBO and chairs the review panel of the European Research Council (ERC), co-edits several scientific journals, and has won the 2020 Kimmel Award for Innovative Investigation.

At the Department of Molecular Biology of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, Germany, Prof. Patrick Cramer gave an insight into targeting SARS-CoV-2 with antiviral drugs like Remdesivir and Molnupiravir and new substances in order to control local outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2 and prepare for the emergence of future coronaviruses. Cramer aims to understand how our genome is transcribed and regulated in health and disease, how genes are turned on, and how genes are misregulated in disease. The Director at the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Biophysical Chemistry is a multiple award-winning researcher and recently received the Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine, one of the most prestigious awards in Europe for his pioneering work in the field of gene transcription.

Welcome notes:

  • Carmela Shamir, Consul General of the State of Israel in Southern Germany
  • Prof. Ulman Lindenberger, Vice President of the Max Planck Society
  • Prof. Alon Chen, President of the Weizmann Institute of Science