Read about Özlem Türeci net worth, age, husband, children, height, family, parents, salary and career as well as other information you need to know.
Özlem Türeci is a German physician, scientist, and entrepreneur. In 2008, she co-founded the biotechnology company BioNTech, which in 2020 developed the first messenger RNA-based vaccine approved for use against COVID-19. Türeci has served as BioNTech’s chief medical officer since 2018. Since 2021, she has been a Professor of Personalized Immunotherapy at the Helmholtz Institute for Translational Oncology (HI-TRON) and Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz.
Türeci and her spouse, Uğur Şahin, have won a number of awards. Due to the proposition of the Rhineland-Palatinate parliamentary group of the SPD, she will be a voting member of the 17th Federal Assembly for the 2022 German presidential election. Türeci has been an honorary citizen of the state capital Mainz since March 2022.
|Physician, Scientist, Entrepreneur
Özlem Türeci was born on March 6, 1967 (age 56 years) in Siegen, West Germany. She is the daughter of Turkish immigrants. Her mother was a biologist. Her father, a surgeon, was from Istanbul and worked at the Catholic hospital St. Elisabeth-Stift in Lastrup in the district of Cloppenburg. She attended, among others, the Städtisches Gymnasium in Bad Driburg and the Werner-von-Siemens-Gymnasium in Bad Harzburg. As a child, she was strongly inspired by the nuns who worked to help people at the hospital her father worked at.
Türeci studied medicine at Saarland University in Homburg and received her doctorate from the Medical Faculty of Saarland in 1992. She was a Heisenberg fellow of the German Research Foundation. Her research focused on the identification and characterization of tumor-specific molecules and the development of immunotherapies against cancer. In 2002, she completed her habilitation qualification at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz in the field of molecular medicine.
While completing her final year of studies, Türeci met her future husband, Uğur Şahin, who was working at Saarland University Hospital in Homburg. They discovered that they shared an interest in using the body’s immune system to fight cancer. The couple married in 2002 and had a daughter four years later. Although Türeci and her husband became billionaires as a result of their business interests, the family continues to live modestly.
Özlem Türeci works as a medical scientist and basic researcher in the field of immunology. She researches target structures in order to develop new therapies against cancer, infectious diseases and diseases of the immune and nervous systems. One focus is on the identification and characterization of tumor-specific molecules and the development of personalized therapeutic approaches.
Türeci was a staff member of the University Medical Center Mainz in the special research area of immunology. Since 2002, she has been a private lecturer there in the field of cancer immunotherapy. Together with her husband and their mentor, the immunologist Christoph Huber, she developed the concept of a “translational institute”, which was realized in 2001 with the foundation of TRON, short for “translational oncology.”
This is a biopharmaceutical research institute that develops new diagnostics and drugs for the therapy of cancer and other diseases with high unmet medical needs. Two companies later founded by Türeci and her husband are spin-offs of work done at the university in Mainz. Türeci accepted the appointment to the professorship for “Personalized Immunotherapy” at the University Medicine of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and the Helmholtz Institute “HI-TRON Mainz” founded in 2019 at the end of 2021.
In 2001, Türeci and her future husband founded the company Ganymed Pharmaceuticals. This company focused on a new class of cancer drugs called ideal monoclonal antibodies and developed zolbetuximab, which is used to treat esophageal and gastric cancer. She was chief scientific officer from 2001 to 2008 and led the company from 2008 to 2016 in the role of chief executive officer. In 2016, the company was sold to Astellas Pharma for $1.4 billion and is now a subsidiary of that company.
In 2008, Türeci, her husband, and Christoph Huber founded the Mainz-based biotechnology company BioNTech, choosing a name derived from Biopharmaceutical New Technologies. Türeci has been Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of the company since 2018. As CMO, she is primarily responsible for Clinical Research and Development.
Özlem Türeci served as chair of the company’s scientific advisory board from 2009 to 2018. Originally, the company focused on the development and manufacturing of active immunotherapies based on Messenger RNA (mRNA) and other technologies for a patient-specific approach to the treatment of cancer and other serious diseases. Along with researchers from TRON, they hired Katalin Karikó, who had developed a way to avoid triggering an inflammatory reaction when injecting an mRNA drug.
In January 2020, Türeci’s husband read an article in The Lancet medical journal regarding a novel coronavirus later named COVID-19. Concerned that a pandemic could be coming, the couple decided to apply the mRNA vaccine technology they had been researching for two decades to develop a vaccine against the disease, which at the time was spreading in China.
They convinced the American pharmaceutical company Pfizer, with whom they had previously begun working on an influenza vaccine, to help with development and distribution costs. By March 2020, they had five vaccine candidates ready to test in humans, and by November 2020, results indicated that the vaccine was more than 90% effective. The following month, the vaccine was authorized for use in Britain and the United States, and the first patient was injected at a hospital in Coventry. As of February 2021, BioNTech was planning to produce 2 billion doses of their vaccine by the end of 2021.
Özlem Türeci was responsible for the clinical trials in the development of the vaccine called BNT162b2 (the Pfizer–BioNTech COVID‑19 vaccine, sold under the brand name Comirnaty). Türeci credits the rapid success of the project in part to international collaboration, including Pfizer and the Chinese firm Fosun Pharma. BioNTech itself has staff from 60 countries.
Türeci and her husband were named Financial Times People of the Year for 2020 based on their ability to produce a safe and effective vaccine for COVID-19 less than a year after the genetic sequence of the virus was released, an achievement cited as “one of the greatest medical breakthroughs of our time.” They also appeared on the cover of the American news magazine Time in January 2021.
Using funds from the successful vaccine, BioNTech plans to pursue its original goal of creating an mRNA-based cancer vaccine; Türeci remarked in March 2021 that the company had several vaccines, with the expectation of offering them to patients within 2 years. Ideally, they will be able to design tailor-made therapies for individual patients. So far, they have treated over 440 patients with 17 types of tumors.
In addition, BioNTech is working on an mRNA vaccine to prevent malaria and investigating the production of vaccines in Africa. Türeci has filed more than 500 international patent applications and published more than 110 articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals. She is internationally active as a lecturer.
Is Özlem Türeci married? Özlem Türeci is a married woman and has a child with her husband. Her husband Uğur Şahin is an oncologist and immunologist and together they have a child. As of September 2023, Özlem Türeci and her husband Türeci are still married.
Özlem Türeci net worth
How much is Özlem Türeci worth? Özlem Türeci net worth is estimated at around $3 million. Her main source of income is from her primary work as a physician, scientist and entrepreneur. Özlem Türeci’s salary per month and other career earnings are over $398,000 dollars annually. Her remarkable achievements have earned her some luxurious lifestyles and some fancy car trips. She is one of the richest and most influential scientists from Germany. She stands at an appealing height of 1.68m and has a good body weight which suits her personality.