Corona vaccine maker and mRNA pioneer Uğur Şahin visits the LUMC

Scientist and vaccine developer Uğur Şahin has been appointed LUF-Boerhaave professor, an honorary doctorate from the LUMC. Sahin is a pioneer and expert in the field of mRNA vaccines against infectious diseases and cancer.

           Corona vaccine maker and mRNA pioneer Uğur Şahin  visits the LUMC

He achieved world fame through his work on personalized cancer vaccines and the successful Pfizer/BioNTech corona vaccine. Şahin is professor at the University of Mainz in Germany and CEO of the biotech company BioNTech, which he co-founded with his wife Özlem Türeci.

On Thursday, January 25, professor Şahin visited the Immunology department and the Center for Proteomics and Metabolomics for scientific discussions. Next, he gave a Masterclass to PhD students, thereafter followed by round table discussions with senior scientists. In the afternoon he received the Boerhaave medal and a certificate. Şahin then gave the accompanying Boerhaave lecture.

In a packed lecture hall, he spoke for an hour about mRNA vaccines against cancer, which his company has returned to focus on after the corona pandemic.

Şahin praised, among other things, "the impressive structure for drug research in combination with immunology" at the LUMC. "This place has a high status. Major developments have been made in clinical research over the past fifteen years. In addition, scientists here have the opportunity to conduct years of research on a particular subject," he said. Şahin sees that his company and the LUMC strengthen each other. "We have the pharmaceutical knowledge and the LUMC the technical competence."

Şahin's appointment as LUF-Boerhaave professor was initiated by the Department of Immunology, the Leiden University Center for Infectious Diseases (LUCID) and the Leiden Vaccine Group. The appointment process was made possible by the Leiden University Fund (LUF) and the Leiden Institute for Immunology (LIFI).

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