Hope. Happiness. Elation. Those were the emotions coursing through me as I arrived to get my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. And once that first shot was actually administered, it was like the world was suddenly bright again. Like I could actually breathe easier again. After over a year of feeling constantly constrained, I finally felt free. I know millions of people around the world felt something similar when they got their shot. And now, as a result of vaccinations, we are starting to see restrictions being lifted little by little as we move closer to a return to some sense of normal that we have all been yearning for. Much of the thanks for this can be attributed to this year’s Uber ELITE winner, Stéphane Bancel, CEO of Moderna.
Stéphane helped accomplish something truly extraordinary. The fastest a vaccine had ever been developed before was four years. Both Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech delivered a vaccine in under a year, using a new technology that always held a lot of promise but had yet to result in a medication on the market—mRNA. Stéphane always had faith mRNA would change medicine forever, enough so that he left his position as the CEO of a global diagnostics company to become just Moderna’s second employee. And he fully believes mRNA will continue to change the world with advancements in medicine that sound like they are straight out of science fiction, which you can read all about here.
However, this issue doesn’t just focus on Stéphane’s achievement, but the amazing things each of our ELITE 100 winners accomplished in one of the most difficult years the world has ever seen. Not all of them are COVID-related (though we did create a special category, COVID Heroes, for the ones that are), but every one of our winners lived up to what these ELITE Awards are meant to represent—the most influential people in healthcare and life sciences. They are changing the ways we develop drugs to make new treatments possible. They are finding better ways to engage with patients and healthcare professionals using technology like never before. They are forming and transforming companies to adjust to a changing healthcare landscape. They are people you want to get to know—and you will have that chance during our virtual celebration on June 22nd. Don’t miss it, because the work of all these winners is guaranteed to make you feel hope, happiness, and elation.