Black Scientist Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett

Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett (left) a senior virus researcher with Dr. Anthony Fauci and Pres. Trump.  She has been a central figure in Covid-19 vaccine science.
Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett (left) a senior virus researcher with Dr. Anthony Fauci and Pres. Trump. She has been a central figure in Covid-19 vaccine science.

At the core of Covid-19 Vaccine research

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert recently paid tribute at an Urban League forum to Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett of the Covid-19 vaccine research.  “Kizzy is an African American scientist who is right at the forefront of the development of the vaccine. She is a scientist who is right at the forefront of the development of the vaccine,” Dr. Fauci related.  

 “Dr. Corbett is someone who will go down in history as one of the key players in developing the science that could end the pandemic.

To the African American community, Dr. Corbett recently said, “This person who looks like you has been working on this [vaccine] for several years and I also wanted it to be visible because I wanted people to understand that I stood by the work that I’d done for so long as well,”

Corbett said that her participation during that event with the president marked an important step forward for young scientists and people of color.

According to a November Axios/Ipsos poll, only 55% of Black Americans said they would take a vaccine if it was proven safe and effected by officials.

“So, the first thing you might want to say to my African American brothers and sisters is that the vaccine that you’re going to be taking was developed by an African American woman,” Fauci said. “And that is just a fact.”

The very vaccine that’s one of the two that has absolutely exquisite levels — 94 to 95% efficacy against clinical disease and almost 100% efficacy against serious disease that are shown to be clearly safe — that vaccine was actually developed in my institute’s vaccine research center by a team of scientists led by Dr. Barney Graham and his close colleague, Dr. Corbett… ” Fauci told the forum.

According to a National Institutes of Health release, Dr. Corbett is one of the NIH ‘s leading scientists behind the government’s search for a vaccine. She is part of a team at NIH that worked with Moderna, the pharmaceutical company that developed one of the two mRNA vaccines that has shown to be more than 90% effective.

At the University of North Carolina -Chapel Hill, Dr. Corbett studied virus infections while earning her PhD in microbiology and immunology, according to her LinkedIn page.   She joined the NIH’s Vaccine Research Center as a postdoctoral fellow in 2014.

“The reason that I started to work in coronavirus was not to ever develop a vaccine, but really to have such a strong understanding in vaccine immune responses that we could potentially develop one,” she said.

(Information for this article was excerpted from the NIH release and public information on Dr. Corbett on Linked-in by Ted Behr)

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