They are now the most famous couple in contemporary science: Özlem Türeci and Uğur Şahin. Together they founded the immunotherapy company BioNTech in 2008. Their aim: breakthrough treatments for cancer. At the beginning of 2020, convinced that a corona pandemic was imminent, they changed course and turned their cards to a corona mRNA vaccine. It turned out to be golden shot.

During the Amsterdam UMC summer lecture, the Turkish-German couple talks about the past turbulent year, 'their' corona vaccine, the availability of vaccines for low-income countries and possibilities to fight other infectious diseases with mRNA vaccines. They also discuss the development of the mRNA vaccine 2.0.

Since Türeci and Şahin have also taken up the thread to apply the technology to cancer and autoimmune diseases. What implications does the success of this mRNA technology have for the major diseases of our time?

The interview is preceded by a number of short scientific contributions from Amsterdam UMC researchers. Four young scientists talk about their COVID-19 research and its implications

Watch the summer lecture with Türeci and Şahin below.