Diversity and Inclusion

For each week of Black History Month we want to highlight members of the Black scientific community that are currently making impactful contributions to science and society. At the end of the month we will spotlight a selection of Black scientists that made significant contributions to progress the scientific field. All of this was possible with the help of Anentor O. Hintor Jr’s article “100 Inspiring Black Scientists in America” from Cell Mentor (http://crosstalk.cell.com/blog/100-inspiring-black-scientists-in-america).

Dr. Kizzmekia S. Corbett

Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett is a researcher at the Dale and Betty Bumpers Vaccine Research Center at NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). In collaboration with Moderna, Dr. Corbett and her colleagues developed the Moderna coronavirus mRNA vaccine that is currently in distribution. Dr. Corbett graduated with her Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology in 2014 from the University of North Carolina where her dissertation work focused on understanding the human antibody responses to dengue virus infection. After receiving her Ph.D., she began work at the NIAID as a research fellow where her research focused on understanding the pathogenesis of respiratory viruses like coronavirus and respiratory syncytial virus and on vaccine design. A few of her publications from her recent work with COVID-19 include: “SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine design enabled by prototype pathogen preparedness[DR1] [WZA2] [WZA3] ,”1 [WZA4] “Evaluation of the mRNA-1273 Vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 in Nonhuman Primates,”2 and “Cryo-EM structure of the 2019-nCoV spike in the prefusion conformation.”3 Outside of her research activities, Dr. Corbett is an advocate for STEM education and vaccine awareness, especially in African American communities.

1 https://pubmed-ncbi-nlm-nih-gov.ezproxy.uky.edu/32756549/

2 https://pubmed-ncbi-nlm-nih-gov.ezproxy.uky.edu/32722908/

3 https://pubmed-ncbi-nlm-nih-gov.ezproxy.uky.edu/32075877/ 


We are dedicated to recruiting underrepresented minority faculty, students, and staff into our community.  

We will ensure mutual respect among all members of the Department. 

We will create and maintain a supportive environment that promotes the physical and mental well-being of our community members so that everyone can meet their full potential. 

We will continue to learn how best to develop such an environment.

 

The Department’s Diversity and Inclusion Council will advance these goals through concrete steps. The Council encourages feedback and participation from all members of our community.  The Council is happy to provide consultation and feedback to leaders in the department for assistance with promoting inclusivity on their teams and in their work. We also invite applicants for positions in our Department to contact the Council with any questions (listed alphabetically by last name): 

 

Trevor Creamer (trevor.creamer@uky.edu; faculty)

Rebecca Dutch (becky.dutch@uky.edu; faculty and Chair)

Rebekah Eleazer (rebekah.eleazer@uky.edu; graduate research assistant)

Yvonne Fondufe-Mittendorf (yfondufe@yahoo.com; faculty)

Kathleen O’Connor (kloconner@uky.edu; faculty)

Kanakanagavalli Shravani Prakhya (shravani.prakhya@uky.edu; graduate research assistant)

Wesley Saintilnord (wsa235@g.uky.edu; graduate research assistant)

Alexis Smith (alexis.smith26@uky.edu; graduate research assistant)

Caroline Smith (caroline.smith2@uky.edu; graduate research assistant)

Kia Markussen

Viral Oza

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