Tuesday, November 29, 2022

University of Pennsylvania commemorates first NFT mRNA research

Newswise—Philadelphia— The landmark scientific breakthrough at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, which helped lead the world’s fight against COVID-19 through mRNA-based vaccines, is being celebrated through a non-fungible token – a digital asset called To be auctioned by Christie’s – that will support ongoing research at Penn.

University of Pennsylvania mRNA NFTs: Vaccines for a New Era A unique digital artifact designed by Penn Drew Weisman, MD, PhDRoberts Family Professor in Vaccine Research, with scientific collaborators Kaitlin Carico, Ph.D.An assistant professor of neurosurgery at Penn and a senior vice president at BioNTech, pioneered the fundamental mRNA modification technology that plays a key role in both Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines for COVID-19, which has affected billions of people globally. has done.

NFT features a stunning, one-minute 3D animation of the type of mRNA modified that protects the immune system from SARS-CoV-2 and platform technology that holds promise in fighting immunotherapeutics, cancer treatments, genetics, among other infectious diseases. does. disease, and more. The video shows mRNA encapsulated inside lipid nanoparticles, droplets of fat that are the delivery technique Weismann’s lab applies to ensure that the mRNA reaches the right side of the body to trigger an immune response. The NFT also includes a Penn mRNA patent document and a letter from Weisman, directing the Penn Institute for RNA Innovation that he and his collaborators are leveraging the mRNA technology platform to fight not only coronaviruses but also influenza, herpes. , malaria, sickle cell anemia and cancer.

The funds raised from the sale of NFTs – the first digital asset offered by Penn – will lead to further significant research across the university.

“The rapid speed with which mRNA COVID-19 vaccines were developed and their global success in fighting the pandemic has led to an explosion of interest in how the modified mRNA technology can be applied to many areas of medicine,” he said. J. Larry Jameson, MD, PhD, University of Pennsylvania executive vice president for the health system and dean of the Perelman School of Medicine. “Dr. Weissman and colleagues across Penn are charting new avenues of discovery with potential for global impact. This digital asset celebrates their historic scientific achievements and points to a bright future in vaccine research and development. does.”

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A non-fungible token, or NFT, is a unit of data stored on a blockchain, a database of transactions for digital currencies or assets that are authenticated and tracked. Penn joins a small number of universities to mint NFTs as a way to further support research and education. The development of the NFTs celebrating mRNA discoveries was led by the Wharton School’s Stevens Center for Innovation in Finance, which includes a blockchain laboratory in collaboration with Penn Medicine and the Penn Center for Innovation, Technology Commercialization, and the University’s Center for Entrepreneurship .

auction for University of Pennsylvania mRNA NFTs: Vaccines for a New Era Offered exclusively online by Christie’s between July 15 and July 25.

Editor’s NotePfizer/BioNtech and Moderna COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine both use licensed University of Pennsylvania technology. As a result of these licensing relationships, Penn, Dr. Weisman and Dr. Karikoó Received and can continue to achieve significant financial gains based on sales of these products. BioNTech also provides ongoing sponsored research funding for Dr. Weisman’s research into the development of infectious disease vaccines.


Penn Medicine is one of the world’s leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of excellence in medical education, biomedical research, and patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation’s first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form an $8.9 billion enterprise.

According to U.S. News & World Report’s survey of research-oriented medical schools, the Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top medical schools in the United States for more than 20 years. With $546 million awarded in the 2021 fiscal year, the school is consistently one of the top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health.

Patient care facilities of the University of Pennsylvania Health System include: University of Pennsylvania Hospital and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center—recognized by U.S. News & World Report—Chester County Hospital as one of the nation’s top “honor role” hospitals Is; Lancaster General Health; Penn Medicine Princeton Health; and Pennsylvania Hospital, the nation’s first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional facilities and enterprises include Good Shepherd Pain Partners, Penn Medicine at Home, Lancaster Behavioral Health Hospital, and Princeton House Behavioral Health, among others.

Penn Medicine is powered by a talented and dedicated workforce of over 44,000 people. The organization has tied up with top community health systems in both southeastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey, creating more options for patients, no matter where they live.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2020, Penn Medicine provided more than $563 million to benefit our community.

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