10 leaders at the center of Irvine’s health care

With life approaching a pre-pandemic norm, Philip Felgner is feeling justifiably proud. Felgner, 72, UCI’s director of Vaccine Research and Development Center, has spent more than half of his lifetime helping to lay the groundwork for the cutting-edge messenger RNA vaccines that have saved countless lives. … Last year, Felgner was one of seven scientists to win Spain’s prestigious Princess of Asturias Award, but he isn’t resting on his laurels. At the start of the pandemic, in February 2020, his lab began monitoring local virus exposure and later measured the stunning efficacy of the mRNA vaccines. “My proudest moment is now,” he says, “to see the results of my contribution and those of hundreds of other scientists come to fruition in such a dramatic way.”