The HonoreesDr. Kizzmekia Corbett is a viral immunologist who co-developed the Moderna vaccine used to fight COVID-19. "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," Corbett explained. "The body then says 'Oh, we've seen this protein before. Let's go fight against it.' That's how it works."
Corbett received her early education in rural Hurdle Mills, North Carolina and obtained her PhD in microbiology and immunology from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2014. Corbett’s earlier research focused on developing a universal influenza vaccine. For 15 years, she studied the dengue virus, the respiratory syncytial virus, and various coronaviruses.