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Dr. Kizzmekia S. Corbett, PhD

2022 Speaker

Dr. KIZZMEKIA S. CORBETT, PhD, is an assistant professor of immunology and infectious diseases at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the Shutzer Assistant Professor at Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study, and an Associate Member of the Phillip T. and Susan M. Ragon Institute. Dr. Corbett’s laboratory studies host immune responses to coronaviruses and other emerging and re-emerging viruses in order to propel novel vaccine and antibody therapy development. Prior to Harvard, she was a research fellow and scientific lead at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Vaccine Research Center. A leading COVID-19 vaccine, mRNA-1273, was co-designed by Dr. Corbett’s NIH team from viral sequence and rapidly deployed to industry partner, Moderna, Inc., for Phase 1 clinical trial – an unprecedented feat which began only 66 days from viral sequence release. mRNA-1273 is now used globally to prevent COVID-19 disease. Alongside mRNA-1273, Dr. Corbett boasts a patent portfolio which also includes universal coronavirus and influenza vaccine concepts and novel therapeutic antibodies. In all, she has over 15 years of experience studying dengue virus, respiratory syncytial virus, influenza virus, and coronaviruses, garnering several prestigious awards and recognitions, such as being named a Time magazine Hero of the Year in 2021. Combining her research goals with her knack for mentorship, Dr. Corbett invests much of her time in underserved communities as an advocator of STEM education and vaccine awareness. She received a BS in biological sciences, with a secondary major in sociology, from the University of Maryland – Baltimore County in 2008, where she was a Meyerhoff Scholar and NIH undergraduate scholar. She obtained her PhD in microbiology and immunology in 2014 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.