WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn today released the latest edition of his podcast Clyburn Chronicles with guest Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, a trailblazing, African American viral immunologist who played a key role in the creation of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.
Dr. Corbett serves today as an Assistant Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and she noted that she is the first in her family to go to a 4-year college. She went on to earn a PhD and become a scientist, which was something she could never have imagined as a child.
“I wasn’t exposed to people who had PhDs, I was not exposed to science as a profession, but I worked in a laboratory when I was 16 at the University of North Carolina near where I grew up and it really kind of opened my eyes to what the possibilities were,” Dr. Corbett told Congressman Clyburn.
Her success came despite the advice she received from colleagues.
“One of the things, particularly when I started working with coronaviruses – everyone was like, ‘Why would you work on coronaviruses? They really don’t matter,’” Dr. Corbitt continued. “But I just kept chugging away at the thing that I believed in, that mattered for me. Low and behold, here we are now have setting the world record with vaccine development, etc. because slow and steady really does win the race…the race is with you. Your only competition is yourself.”
To hear the conversation, please click here.