It starts with a theory. Soon, an idea takes shape. Then, with hard work and ingenuity, it’s transformed into a life-altering or lifesaving scientific discovery. At CTEH, we are no stranger to innovation. That’s why, this Black History Month, we want to spotlight—and honor—the modern history makers in our field, starting with Kizzmekia “Kizzy” Corbett, PhD.

Dr. Corbett is a female viral immunologist at the Vaccine Research Center (VRC) at the National Institutes of Health. Interested in science from a young age, Corbett attended the University of Maryland in Baltimore, where she participated in the Meyerhoff Scholars Program that mentors minorities and women in STEM-related fields. She later obtained her PhD in microbiology and immunology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Today, Corbett serves as the scientific lead of the VRC’s coronavirus team. She recently gained notoriety for leveraging her research on messenger RNA to help Moderna create a vaccine that would produce protective antibodies against COVID-19. All the while, she has been a vocal supporter of national vaccination efforts, including among traditionally vaccine-hesitant populations.

CTEH is constantly striving for innovation, and Dr. Corbett exemplifies it in a way that inspires us. We look forward to highlighting other history makers like her throughout Black History Month.