History in the Making: Meet Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, Inspiring Vaccine Scientist

Dr. Kizzmekia S. Corbett

A virtual conversation with Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, recipient of The Franklin Institute’s inaugural Benjamin Franklin NextGen Award and lead scientist behind the development of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

Thursday, April 15, 2021 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm

For years, Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett has braced for a pandemic. As a leading viral immunologist, she was part of a team at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) designing vaccines for other coronaviruses in collaboration with Moderna. Early in 2020, during the height of the sweeping COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Corbett quickly put her research into practice. Today, she is praised for her scientific brilliance and commanding leadership of the team that designed one of the first highly effective vaccines for COVID-19. Developed at a remarkably unprecedented speed, the vaccines marked the first glimmer of hope in the fight against the devastating global pandemic—and proved the power of scientific innovation.  

At age 35, Corbett is a powerful role model for generations to come and the recipient of the inaugural Benjamin Franklin NextGen Award. She joins the prestigious class of Franklin Institute Awards laureates, recognized for rapidly moving innovation beyond the lab and to the point of human impact, motivated by steadfast desire to satisfy a fundamental societal need. 

The Franklin Institute presents an extraordinary Franklin Institute Awards Virtual Speaker Series event celebrating science and the pioneers who have brought us this far and those who will take us further.  

Dr. Corbett joins Chief Bioscientist Dr. Jayatri Das and Stem Scholars Student Taleen Hamad for an inspirational look at her personal journey as a scientist, including her growing interest in vaccines as a tool for tackling health disparities. She will share an inside look into the development of the Moderna vaccine and the future of mRNA as a “fast, reliable, and universal” vaccine platform as a rapid response to infectious disease. The conversation will end with Corbett’s thoughts on the importance of communication, public trust, and inspiring a diverse next generation of scientists, with a virtual audience Q&A. 

Moderated by Chief Bioscientist Dr. Jayatri Das and Franklin Institute STEM Scholars student Taleen Hamad.

Learn more about Dr. Corbett.  

  • Public
  • Evening
  • Adults
  • Families
  • Free
  • Educators