Kizzmekia Corbett on the pandemic, public service, and her path to becoming a scientist

Kizzmekia Corbett, one of the designers of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine, says everything that has gone into the pandemic response "just cannot be taken for granted."

The world knows Kizzmekia Corbett as one of the designers of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccines. And in her new job as an assistant professor at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Corbett plans to work on vaccine design to help the world better handle future pandemics.

But the 36-year-old from Hillsborough, N.C., is also a passionate promoter of social justice and diversity in science, someone who hopes one day to advise presidents and who feels a deep commitment to public service. She’s frank, openly admitting on Twitter to being “completely in my feels” earlier this month when she was the answer of a Jeopardy question — a show she grew up watching with her grandmother.

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