As the coronavirus pandemic continues to upset lives around the world, the race for a vaccine is on – and leading that sprint is biologist and North Carolina native Kizzmekia Corbett, according to a profile in People magazine.

Corbett, 34, is a research fellow at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD, where she and her team are hard at work on the first of three stages of necessary clinical trials before the vaccine is permitted for public use.

“There was, and is, already a fair amount of pressure,” admits Corbett. “A lot of people are banking on us or feel that we have a product that could, at least, be part of the answer this world needs. And, well, whew, just saying that out loud is not easy.”

If the clinical trials are successful, the vaccine could be available as early as mid-2021.

“I would say that my role as a scientist is really about my passion and purpose for the world and for giving back to the world,” says Corbett.
According to University of North Carolina professor Ralph Baric, who is part of Corbett’s vaccine development team: “Fate has put her in a position to make a huge difference in human health, and it has made a good choice.”

Read more about Kizzmekia Corbett and the work of her coronavirus vaccine team here.