Viral immunologist Dr. Kizzmekia S. Corbett has been working with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus…and has been doing so since January. Kizzmekia is the scientific lead for Dr. Barney Graham’s coronavirus team based in Seattle.
“If you can block the spike protein from binding to a cell, then you’ve effectively prevented an infection,” Corbett told the New York Times.
Her and her team studied the spike proteins of SARS and MERS (which are similar to COVID-19 viruses) in detail and used them to develop experimental vaccines.
According to Black Enterprise, the vaccines never made it to market because SARS was successfully contained with public health measures. However, due to their similarities, the experimental vaccines can be used to help find a solution to the current Coronavirus health crisis. The first human trials of the vaccine are already underway.
Kizzmekia obtained her Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences, with a secondary major in Sociology in 2008 and her Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology in 2014 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Black girl magic in full effect!