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Black female scientist leads vaccine research


Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett is an American viral immunologist. She is an Assistant Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Shutzer Assistant Professor at the Harvard Radcliffe Institute.

Appointed to the VRC in 2014, Corbett was the scientific lead of the VRC’s COVID-19 Team, with research efforts aimed at COVID-19 vaccines. In February 2021, Corbett was highlighted in the Time’s “Time100 Next” list under the category of Innovators, with a profile written by Anthony Fauci.
Dr. Corbett says about her work: “The vaccine teaches the body how to fend off a virus, because it teaches the body how to look for the virus by basically just showing the body the spike protein of the virus” she explained. “The body then says ‘Oh, we’ve seen this protein before. Let’s go fight against it.’ That’s how it works.”

Corbett’s understanding of the socio-cultural issues and her knowledge of science has made her an influential person in the scientific community.
In a time where vaccine scepticism is high among African Americans, Corbett hopes Black people will put faith in the vaccine and faith in the scientists working behind the scenes to bring it to the American people.

You find out more about her in this CBS interview:


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