Dr. Kizzmekia S. Corbett


Dr. Kizzmekia S. Corbett is a research fellow in the Viral Pathogenesis Laboratory at the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Vaccine Research Center, where she works under the direction of Deputy Director, Dr. Barney S. Graham. 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 NIH undergraduate scholar. She then obtained her PhD in Microbiology and Immunology in 2014, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Appointed to the VRC in 2014, Dr. Corbett uses her viral immunology expertise to propel novel vaccine development for pandemic preparedness, 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 was recently shown to be 94.1% effective in Phase 3 trial and is authorized for emergency use in multiple countries.

11:00 - 12:15 PM PST

March 20th Day 1

WOC in Stem Panel

The career fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are becoming more competitive than ever, and with each passing day, groundbreaking discoveries are being made by the greatest minds out there. News flash - that includes women, and especially women of color! The preconceived notion that these jobs are meant for men is harmful not only to female representation, but to STEM industries themselves. It’s time for these girl geniuses to spotlighted, appreciated, and recognized for all the work they have done.