Hannu Rajaniemi is most know for his work as a science fiction author. However, recently, he has taken his talent for seeing the bigger picture and turned it towards finding a solution to the pandemic.
In the early days of the crisis, Hannu rapidly pivoted his cancer vaccine startup Helix Nano to focus on developing an mRNA vaccine for COVID-19. But he has as not stopped there. Hannu has also put together a proposal for a Vaccine Manhattan Project, calling for the coordination of public, private and nonprofit sectors to create a vaccine for COVID-19 in a matter of months. This project is ambitious, but it may be the best shot at mitigating the damage the virus could have on our society.
In this episode Hannu and I talk about his background, the biological mechanisms at work when a virus attacks our cells, the different types of vaccines, and the need for a Vaccine Manhattan Project.