Dr. Kizzmekia S. Corbett is a research fellow and the scientific lead for the Coronavirus Vaccines & Immunopathogenesis Team at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Vaccine Research Center (VRC). She 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. She then enrolled at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she obtained her Ph.D. 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. 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 data and rapidly deployed to industry partner, Moderna, Inc. Alongside mRNA-1273, Dr. Corbett’s team boasts a portfolio that also includes universal coronavirus vaccine concepts and novel therapeutic antibodies. Additionally, Dr. Corbett spent several years working on a universal influenza vaccine. She has 15 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 advocate of STEM education and vaccine awareness in the community.