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Event Detail

Women in STEM Speaker Series: Kizzmekia Corbett

Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020 | 1 p.m. - 2 p.m.

  • Zoom

Spelman College is pleased to host Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, senior research fellow and scientific lead of the Coronavirus Vaccines and Immunopathogenesis Team at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a branch of the National Institute of Health (NIH). Dr. Corbett’s seminar, “Rapid SARS-CoV-2 mRNA Vaccine Development Enabled by Pandemic Preparedness,” will highlight Dr. Corbett’s career journey as a viral immunologist. Additionally, she will discuss the work that led her and her team to a rapid development of a COVID-19 vaccination, currently in Phase III clinical trials and how COVID-19 and the vaccine development process impacts the African American community.

Register in Advance



Speaker: Kizzmekia Corbett, Ph.D., scientific lead, Coronavirus Vaccines & Immunopathogenesis Team, National Institutes of Health
Moderator: Kimberly Williams, Ph.D., assistant professor, Environmental & Health Sciences
Director: Tamara Pearson, Ph.D.,
Center of Excellence for Minority Women in STEM

Registration will open soon.

Kizzmekia Corbett, Ph.D.

Kizzmekia CorbettScientific Lead
Coronavirus Vaccines &
Immunopathogenesis Team
National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergy And Infectious Diseases
Vaccine Research Center

Dr. Kizzmekia S. Corbett is a research fellow and the scientific lead for the Coronavirus Vaccines & Immunopathogenesis Team at the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Vaccine Research Center. She received a BS 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 a NIH undergraduate scholar. She then enrolled at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, from where she obtained her PhD in Microbiology and Immunology in 2014. A viral immunologist by training, Dr. Corbett uses her expertise to propel novel vaccine development for pandemic preparedness. Appointed to the VRC in 2014, her work focuses on developing novel coronavirus vaccines, including mRNA-1273, a leading candidate vaccine against the virus that causes COVID-19. In response to the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, the vaccine concept incorporated in mRNA-1273 was designed by Dr. Corbett’s team from viral sequence and rapidly deployed to industry partner, Moderna, Inc., for FDA-approved Phase 1 clinical trial, which unprecedently began only 66 days from the viral sequence release. Following promising results in animal models and humans, mRNA-1273 is currently in Phase 3 clinical trial. Alongside mRNA-1273, Dr. Corbett’s team boasts a portfolio which also includes universal coronavirus vaccine concepts and novel therapeutic antibodies. Additionally, Dr. Corbett spent several years working on a universal influenza vaccine, which is slated for Phase 1 clinical trial. In all, she has fifteen years of expertise studying dengue virus, respiratory syncytial virus, influenza virus, and coronaviruses. Along with her research activities, Dr. Corbett is an active member of the NIH Fellows Committee and avid advocator of STEM education and vaccine awareness in the community. Combining her research goals with her knack for mentoring, Dr. Corbett aims to become an independent principal investigator.

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