Debbie Dadey

Never Give Up: Dr. Kati Kariko and the Race for the Future of Vaccines

Meet Hungarian American biochemist Katalin “Kati” Kariko.
She became fascinated by science as a child and grew up determined to find a way to use messenger RNA—a copy of a part of DNA that provides cells with instructions to make proteins—to help fight illness. An mRNA vaccine had never been made before, and she faced frequent criticism and was told by other scientists she would never succeed. Kariko refused to give up her research, and when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, she played a critical role in developing the successful Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccine faster than any other vaccine in history.
Debbie Dadey

Debbie Dadey taught first grade before becoming a librarian. It was while teaching that she first realized how much she wanted to write a book for reluctant readers. Her first book, Vampires Don’t Wear Polka Dots, with fellow teacher Marcia Thornton Jones, was the result of a very bad day. In fact, Marcia and Debbie joked that if they were vampire teachers all the kids would pay attention to them! Since then, Debbie and Marcia have collaborated on more than 125 books with sales of over forty-seven million copies. Debbie has traditionally published 180 books and is enjoying writing the Mermaid Tales series for Simon and Schuster. She has had a great time channeling her inner girl (and inner mermaid) with the adventures of Shelly, Echo, Kiki and Pearl. In each book, the mergirls deal with kid issues, as well as learning things about the ocean in school. Marcia and Debbie’s newest adventure is with the Bailey School Kids graphic novels, adapted by Pearl Low. Debbie grew up in Kentucky, but has lived all over the country with her family. She currently lives in Tennessee with her husband and two dogs. She loves it when her children visit and enjoys visiting schools all over the world.


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