Kizzmekia Corbett headed a team of scientists at the National Institutes of Health that led to the creation of the Moderna vaccine.
While the COVID-19 pandemic forced most of the world to shut down in an effort to prevent the spread of the deadly virus, Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett and her team at the National Institutes of Health went into overdrive. The fruits of their labor came in the form of the Moderna vaccine, which was one of the first two mRNA vaccines in the United States to receive emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration. Corbett has since used her platform to both educate people on the safety and efficacy of the vaccine while also rebuilding trust in the Black community where some were initially (and understandable) hesitant about taking the vaccines. She described the process of building that trust as a "brick-by-brick" effort and wants other physicians and scientists to approach educating about the vaccine in the same way. Harvard University announced in May that Corbett would be joining its T.H. Chan School of Public Health as an assistant professor in the Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases—furthering her mission to be a teacher and leader in the fight to develop life-saving vaccines.