Özlem Türeci (b. 1967, Lastrup, Germany), German biomedical scientist and businessman.
“Özlem Türeci, selected as the woman of the year in Germany“
Türeci, an experienced researcher in cancer research, is one of the founders and chief medical officer of the biotechnology firm BioNTech. He is the President of the Cancer Immunotherapy Association (CIMT) and teaches at Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz. He is also one of the founders of the Individualized Immunity Response Team (Ci3) in Mainz, Germany. The company named Ganymed Pharmaceuticals, of which he is one of the founders, continues its activities as a subsidiary of the Japanese company Astellas today.
Life and Science life;
He was born in Lastrup, Germany in 1967 as a child of an immigrant family from Istanbul. Is the source reliable, whose father is from Rize, Fındıklı? He was working as a surgeon in a Catholic hospital. Türeci, who admired the nursing nuns in the hospital where her father worked, grew up in a multicultural environment. In an interview, he described himself as a “Prussian Turk”.
Türeci completed her undergraduate education at Saarland University. In 2001 he moved to the city of Mainz. He conducted studies at the University Hospital of Mainz aiming to fight the immune system against cancer with modified genetic codes. He continued his studies in the company he founded with Uğur Şahin in 2001 and named “Ganymed”, inspired by the Turkish word “booty”. Turkey as immigrants colleague who he married in 2002 with Ugur Sahin. The couple continued to work together to get the immune system to detect cancerous cells as if they were a virus entering the body and eliminate them.
Ganymed, which pioneered cancer-sensitive antibody treatments, was sold to the Japanese pharmaceutical company Astellas in 2016. The company’s sales of 1.3 billion euros were the highest-ever sales in the medical sector in Germany to date. This sale put Özlem Türeci-Uğur Şahin among the richest people in Germany.
Türeci founded the company BioNTech in 2008 together with her husband Uğur Şahin and Austrian immunologist and oncologist Christoph Huber. He became the company’s chief medical officer in 2018. The company, which has 1300 employees as of 2020, initially worked on immunotherapy cancer treatments. With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the company turned to find a coronavirus vaccine. Özlem Türeci played a leading role in the vaccine studies aimed to be developed against SARS-CoV-2. The US pharmaceutical company Pfizer, which collaborates with BioNTech on the development of the vaccine, announced on November 9, 2020 that the COVID-19 vaccine (BNT162) has achieved 90% success.
1995 German Society of Hematology and Oncology – Vincenz Czerny Prize
1997 Calogero Pagliarello Research Award
2005 German Immunology Association – Georges Köhler Award
BioNTech SE is a publicly traded biotech company based in Germany. It produces active immunotherapies with a patient-specific approach for the treatment of various diseases. He develops mRNA-based drugs for cancer immunotherapy, vaccines for infectious diseases and protein therapies for rare diseases.
It was founded in 2008 in Mainz, Germany by Turkish-German scientists Uğur Şahin and Özlem Türeci. In August 2018, it cooperated with Pfizer for the development of mRNA-based vaccines for the prevention of influenza. In 2019, it reached an agreement with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for HIV and tuberculosis vaccine studies. In 2020, in order to produce a COVID-19 vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, it started vaccine studies in partnership with Pfizer and Fosun. BNT162b2 vaccine studies are currently in phase 3.