- Dr Kizzmekia Corbett is a viral immunologist by training with the National Institute of Health in Maryland in the United States
- Dr Corbett is leading a team in charge of efforts to find a vaccine for the COVID-19
- The team has started the human phase 1 trial for their COVID-19 vaccine
As governments look for solutions to the coronavirus pandemic, Dr Kizzmekia Corbett, a doctor, is leading efforts to develop a vaccine for coronavirus.
Dr Kizzmekia Corbett, a viral immunologist by training with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), began her research in January 2020 when researchers first gathered knowledge of the novel COVID-19 that was similar to pneumonia.
As a doctor at the National Institute of Health in Maryland, she started intense research for a vaccine.
While vaccines usually take up to two years to develop, Dr Corbett is leading a team in charge of efforts to find a vaccine for COVID-19.
The team is now using the template for the SARS vaccine since coronavirus comes from the same family, swapping genetic code to make it more palatable for the current virus.
Corbett and her team are already running the first human trials of the vaccine in Seattle, just 66 days after the initial viral sequence was released.
She said in a tweet that it is ''a testament to rapid vaccine development for emerging diseases''.
Volunteers will receive two doses of the mRNA-1273 vaccine and will be monitored for 28 days apart in an effort to see how well the medicine reacts to humans.
Forbes reports that Phase 1 will only be tested on 45 patients but the second phase of the trial will require larger numbers.
Dr Corbett’s research interests entail elucidating mechanisms of viral pathogenesis and host immunity as they pertain to vaccine development.
In 2008, Corbett graduated from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences and another one in Sociology.
She went on to earn her PhD in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2014.
In other news, a 72-year-old Italian priest infected with coronavirus has died after giving up his ventilator to help another infected person.
The priest, Don Giuseppe Berardelli, gave up his ventilator to a younger person on Sunday, March 15.
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