Meet Kizzmekia Corbett, the black doctor at the helm of developing a vaccine against Coronavirus

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Kizzmekia Corbett

As the coronavirus  pandemic continues to hold the world to ransom, there is absolutely no doubt that the world needs those who can provide solutions to eradicate it. 

Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, a doctor with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), is at the heart of a project to develop a vaccine to combat the virus.

Since early January before coronavirus became pandemic, Corbett has been working, right from when strange cases were reported in China. Ever since, doctors at the National Institutes of Health in Maryland began digging for a vaccine to curtail the disease.

According to the NY Times, the creation leading to vaccine development could sometimes take up to two years. While they may not necessarily be helpful at the start of an outbreak, they can prove vital in the latter end. 

Dr. Corbett and her team of doctors are using the same template for the SARS vaccine since the virus comes from the source, swapping genetic code to make it more palatable for the current virus in a strategy that Corbett calls “plug and play.”

Corbett is a viral immunologist by profession whose research interests consists kd elucidating mechanisms of viral pathogenesis and host immunity as they pertain to vaccine development.

She has an advanced degree of Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County with another one in Sociology in 2008. She is also a NIH scholar and also a Meyerhoff Scholar. Later in 2014, she earned her PhD in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

As of now, Dr Corbett has started running the first human trials of the vaccine in Seattle, just 66 days after the initial viral sequence was released, which according to her is “a testament to rapid vaccine development for emerging diseases.”

Volunteers will have two doses of the vaccine (mRNA-1273) that are studied 28 days apart in an effort to see how well the vaccine “stimulates an immune response to a protein on the virus’s surface.”

“The phase 1 will only be tested on 45 patients but the second phase of the trial will have to be tested on a larger number of participants,” Forbes reports.

“Discovering a safe and effective vaccine to prevent infection with SARS-CoV-2 is an urgent public health priority. This Phase 1 study, launched in record speed, is a significant first step toward achieving that goal,” Anthony S. Fauci, head of the NIAID said.

Africh Royale

Africh Royale

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