Uğur Şahin
CEO of BioNTech
Uğur Şahin
CEO of BioNTech

Uğur Şahin is an immunologist and CEO of BioNTech, the company which developed one of the major vaccines against COVID-19. His family emigrated to Germany from Turkey, where he studied medicine at the University of Cologne. He’s worked as a professor and lecturer at various university hospitals across Germany. In 2011, Şahin became deputy director of the University Center for Tumor Diseases Mainz and in 2017, Şahin helped establish the new Helmholtz Institute HI-TRON. But it was in 2008, when Şahin founded BioNTech with his wife, Özlem Türeci and mentor, Christoph Huber. Though the main focus of his research work is the discovery of mRNA-based drugs for use as individualized cancer immunotherapies, with the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, BioNTech pivoted to using mRNA-based drugs towards fighting this new threat. By the end of 2020, BioNTech developed the BNT162b2 vaccine and reported a 95% efficacy against the COVID-19 disease and became the first mRNA drug approved for human use. Subsequently, Şahin entered a partnership with Pfizer pharmaceutical company to distribute it worldwide.

Source of Influence: Science & Technology

Status: Featured in current year