Nobel Prize winner Katalin Kariko:Katarina Carrico received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine on Monday. Her research with co-winner Drew Weisman laid the groundwork for Covid-19 vaccines developed by BioNTech-Pfizer and Moderna. Carrico’s career is a lesson in perseverance. Her research on mRNA, the genetic messenger that sends DNA instructions to make specific proteins, is often overlooked. While at Penn, she struggled to raise funding and bounced from lab to lab.
Despite being “downgraded four times,” she said she never considered a distraction. “When I did the research, I saw the promise of it,” she told CNBC Make It. “In 1989, nobody thought mRNA was useful.”
For her, the small but consistent progress makes the late nights worth it.
“When other people think I’m a failure, I feel successful because I’m in complete control of what I’m doing,” she said. She said her persistence and conviction didn’t just make her a good scientist. These qualities also make him a good parent. Her daughter, Susan Francie, is a two-time Olympic gold medalist. She holds BA and MA degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from UCLA. When people ask Carrico how she juggles a demanding career and children, she says, “I just tell them, don’t overdo it.”
Instead of spoiling your children, lead by example.
“Children are part of the family and they have responsibilities”
Growing up, Francie was always good at sports, but she wasn’t good at any sport, Carrico said. Standing six feet two inches tall, many thought she was good at basketball. But in reality it is not. But like her mother, she has both drive and perseverance.
“Her trophy was ‘most improved,’ which shows you go from cranky to so much or ‘most enthusiastic,'” Carrico said. Those qualities eventually proved useful when she joined the rowing team as a sophomore at Penn State, where she competed from 2000-2004. She then joined the US Senior National Rowing Team and won Olympic gold medals in 2008 and 2012. “She always said that in the 500 you feel like you’re on acid, and then the rest of the race it’s just your mind pushing you,” Carrico said.
When others see me as a failure,
I feel successful because I am in complete control of what I do.
Francie’s success didn’t come from extra classes or coaching, Carrico said. It comes from seeing those around you determined and focused. “You watch your parents, how they feel about each other and how they feel about your grandparents, your neighbors, your friends,” she said. “In school, you observe the behavior of the teachers. It’s what makes you. “
Carrico said watching her parents work hard and stay positive was more important to Francia’s development than any means.
She added that when children have some independence, they also feel proud and independent. “I’m at the lab at six in the morning because I have to avoid traffic, and my daughter knows she has to get up, and sometimes she has to make breakfast for my husband, who works late and will probably be back tomorrow.” said she explained. “Children are members of the family and they have responsibilities.”
Carrico says kids will follow your habits, not your words. The best way to raise a resilient child is to demonstrate this quality yourself.