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Kizzmekia Corbett

Viral Immunologist and Vaccine Developer

Who is Kizzmekia S. Corbett? 

Today, Dr. Kizzmekia S. Corbett is a leading research fellow. People look to her for scientific guidance and respect her professional opinion. But she did not start from nowhere. On the contrary, Dr. Kizzmekia received a B.S in Biological Sciences, with a secondary major in Sociology, in 2008 from the University of Maryland–Baltimore County, where she was a Meyerhoff Scholar and an NIH undergraduate scholar. Afterwards, she enrolled at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Here, she received her PhD in Microbiology and Immunology. The years after we spent researching a universal influenza vaccine which, today, is approved for Phase 1 clinical trial. 

She is truly destined for the history books. She’s been at the forefront of development for a vaccine to protect against COVID-19 since nearly the start. When the virus began spreading globally, that very same vaccine began to be delivered to millions of healthcare workers and high-risk individuals. Prior to even the pandemic, Corbett was a member of the team at the National Institutes of Health whose research on other coronaviruses laid the foundation for the design of the COVID0-19 vaccination. It was due to these early efforts that the vaccine was able to be developed in collaboration with the biotech company Moderna. Corbett is not only a world-renowned immunologist, she is a powerful voice bringing awareness to great injustices and encouraging a new trust in science. During a difficult period in our history, Corbett stayed a powerful beacon of hope and inspiration.

3 Things We Love About Kizzmekia S. Corbett:

  • Corbett is a member of the NIH Fellows Committee.
  • She has won several awards, including the Benjamin Franklin Next Gen Award and the Salzman Memorial Award. 
  • Dr. Corbett invests her time in underserved communities by being an advocate for STEM education and vaccine awareness. 

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