Leading Coronavirus Vaccine Researcher to Speak at Andrews University

On Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021, at 4:30 p.m. (EST), the Andrews University Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry will host an online presentation by Kizzmekia Shanta Corbett, PhD, senior research fellow and team lead for coronavirus research within the Viral Pathogenesis Laboratory (VPL) at the Vaccine Research Center, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Corbett will address the safety and effectiveness of the coronavirus vaccines.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, current director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), the chief medical adviser designate to the incoming Biden–Harris administration, who has served American public health for over 50 years, has spoken glowingly about Corbett: "Kizzy is an African American scientist who is right at the forefront of the development of the vaccine. The very vaccine that's one of the two that has absolutely exquisite levels—94% to 95% efficacy against clinical disease and almost 100% efficacy against serious disease that are shown to be clearly safe—that vaccine was actually developed in my institute's vaccine research center by a team of scientists led by Dr. Barney Graham and his close colleague, Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, or Kizzy Corbett."

Corbett’s lecture on the Rapid Development of Safe and Effective COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines will be the third guest lecture in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry 2021 Winter–Spring Dwain L Ford Guest Lecture Series. This lecture series intentionally seeks to engage not only students, teachers and scientists but also the general public with chemistry-based topics of relevance and importance. Corbett’s lecture is co-sponsored by the Andrews University Office of Research & Creative Scholarship, Berrien County Regional Education Service Agency, Benton Spirit Community Newspaper and Building Excellence in Science and Technology (BEST Early). Contact Desmond H. Murray to learn more about the lecture series and this presentation.

Kizzmekia Corbett was born in Hurdle Mills, North Carolina, but grew up in Hillsborough, North Carolina, in a large family of step-siblings and foster siblings. She went to Oak Lane Elementary School and A.L. Stanback Middle School. Myrtis Bradsher, her fourth-grade teacher saw talent and promise in Kizzy at an early age and encouraged her mother to place her in advanced classes. She graduated from Orange High School in Hillsborough in 2004. Her first lab research experience was as a grade 10 student in the American Chemical Society’s Project SEED program. In 2008, Corbett received a BS in biological sciences, with a secondary major in sociology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), where she was a National Institute of Health undergraduate scholar and a student in the highly acclaimed Meyerhoff Scholarship Program (MSP). The Meyerhoff Scholarship Program was founded in 1988 under the guidance of UMBC President Freeman A Hrabowski III to mentor and nurture African American students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. In 2014, Corbett received her PhD in microbiology and immunology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Corbett was then selected to work at the Vaccine Research Center (VRC) of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases as a research fellow in the Viral Pathogenesis Laboratory under the direction of Deputy Director Barney S. Graham. She has spent several years working on a universal influenza vaccine, which is slated for Phase 1 clinical trial and she has accumulated 15 years of expertise, including during her graduate PhD work, studying dengue virus, respiratory syncytial virus, influenza virus and coronaviruses. Her work also focused on preclinical development of a novel coronavirus vaccine, mRNA-1273, a leading candidate vaccine against the virus that causes COVID-19. Alongside mRNA-1273, Corbett’s team boasts a portfolio which also includes universal coronavirus vaccine concepts and novel therapeutic antibodies. As a trained viral immunologist, Corbett uses her expertise to propel novel vaccine development for pandemic preparedness.

The mRNA-1273 vaccine was co-developed by Moderna, Inc., a biotechnology company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health. An FDA-approved Phase 1 clinical trial began unprecedently only 66 days from the viral sequence release. Following promising results in animal models and humans, mRNA-1273 was recently shown to be 94.1% effective in Phase 3 trial and has received Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA.

Along with her research activities, Corbett is an active member of the NIH Fellows Committee and avid advocator of STEM education and vaccine awareness in the community. Combining her research goals with her knack for mentoring, Corbett aims to become an independent principal investigator.

All are invited to view Kizzmekia Corbett’s online lecture at:



Founded in 1874, Andrews University is the flagship institution of higher education for the Seventh-day Adventist Church and offers more than 160 areas of study, including advanced degrees. Its main campus is in Berrien Springs, Michigan, but the University also provides instruction at colleges and universities in more than 25 countries around the world.


This article was written by Desmond Murray, associate professor of Chemistry, Andrews University and originally appeared on the Andrews University website.

Image by Kizzmekia Corbett, courtesy of Andrews University.


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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/11014
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Makes me wonder if introducing alien code into the human body via mRNA is safe and effective? Initially, it appears to be having its desired effect. But if this mRNA corrupts the code in the DNA somewhere down the line by unintentionally attaching in the wrong place, could mass vaccinations cause Side Effects to future generations (our kids)? Or if the vaccinated individuals have unintended Side /effects, what to do? It cannot be undone???

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It is unlikely that mRNA from mRNA vaccines will incorporate into our own genome. Research on cell cultures has demonstrated that this does not occur. Translation of proteins from mRNA, occurs in the cytoplasm of a cell, not in the nucleus where our DNA resides. Furthermore, even live RNA viruses such as influenza, measles and respiratory syncytial virus that we have been exposed to for decades, when infecting our cells do not incorporate their genetic material into our own genome. Very few RNA or DNA viruses have the ability to do this. Retroviruses such as HIV can because they have enzymes such as reverse transcriptase and integrase that converts RNA into DNA and integrates it into our genome respectively.


this has to be weighed against the risk of death from coronavirus…a covid death is a dreadful thing…

the reticence, and even suspicion, about mRNA vaccinations, or vaccinations in general, is purely conjectural…it places undue weight on the comparatively rare documented side effects of vaccines, and seems to thrive best, i must say, among trump supporters who also believe the presidential election was stolen from him…

a covid death, on the other hand, or even its potential, is a much more demonstrable thing…over 400,000 people have certainly died from coronavirus in the U.S. alone…this could not have happened had these victims all been vaccinated with mRNA and other covid vaccines…

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Several questions that have been posed for which there seems to be no valid answers.
Where are the animal safety studies for this new mRNA technology? Does a vaccine prevent transmission of a virus ? Has the Wuhan virus been isolated? Why was Fauci involved in “gain of function” studies and how did this research end up in Wuhan ? How do you develop a specific vaccine against a virus that has not been isolated? There are 7 coronaviruses and what is the specific DNA sequence that sets it apart from the others? How accurate is the testing for this specific virus when only a small fragment of it is collected and then has to be amplified 35 -45 times? Why aren’t less expensive anti-viral therapeutics that have a well documented and tested outcome being promoted ? I’m referring to Hydrocloroquine and Ivermectin used both as prevention and treatment . Why isn’t there a strong public campaign to promote increased use of immunity boosting nutrients such as Vitamins C, D and zinc and other supplements? Where is the conclusive evidence that masking is of any use? Why isn’t it publicized that certain people such a women of child -bearing age (possible infertility) , immuno-compromised and people who have known allergies and children under 20 should not be vaccinated ? Why are the vaccine producers protected against prosecution in the event of vaccine injury? Do you know the entire list of ingredients of any vaccine let alone these ones? Do they contain mercury, aluminum sulfates like some other vaccines ? When you sign the consent form are you made aware of the risks of an unproven therapy? Are you aware that you are now consenting to tracing for up to 2 yrs or longer? Do you trust that governments, WHO, Fauci, Gates are telling the whole truth regarding this "planned-emic? If you can give me articles or sites that can answer these questions I’d appreciate it.
Dave Okamura


perhaps it’s because they have no merit…specifically, hydroxychloroquine appears to be useless when it comes to covid:

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I’m encouraged to hear that Andrews University is trying to stay current and involved in science and medicine. Sadly, the SDA churches in my area are antivaccination, anti-mask, … but pro conspiracy.
Jesus said if a Roman solider demands a person to carry his backpack for a mile, that a Christian should carry it for two…but wear a mask for an hour in church? Jesus said we should be willing to give our lives for someone else, but wear a mask so an 80-year-old feels welcome at church not likely. We should be willing to wear a mask even if it were harmful! I’m very disappointed, so many fighting for their rights…but not looking out for others.

PS Is there such thing as Zoom Spectrum Sabbath School class?

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I am aware of these news headlines and would refer you to Lancet (prestiges medical journal ) which published a “study” claiming " that a 90,000 patients were treated with HQ and there no significant difference in mortality to standard medical care Some medical reporters were skeptical and asked to see the data because of the size of the test population The unfortunate outcome of this “study " was the data that was used to make this conclusion was based on non- existent data. In other words they just made up the article and one editor confessed they did not review the article for accuracy which was a departure from their usual scrutiny because they were “pressured” to do so from a “source” I think you can read between the lines and can infer that “big pharma” didn’t want to lose the opportunity to make a buck on an untested vaccine Further Lancet retracted the article and it never retracts anything they publish maybe one article in a doctor’s lifetime. The retraction never saw the light of day because it got buried both in their journal and major news sources. If you look for the study online you will find “retracted” As for WHO is concerned it has little credibility in the medical community It was WHO that changed the name from the China Virus or Wuhan virus on the insistence of the communist Chinese government We still refer to a virus based on location of the outbreak eg Spanish flu, German measles . They won’t even admit that the virus was a result of” gain of function studies" conducted in the Wuhan lab sponsored by none other Fauci who help fund the “research” when the US banned "gain of function " research in 2015 because it was unethical since its only purpose would be to develop a bio-weapon. That’s another question that needs.to be asked of Fauci ,why did you approve “gain of function” research? Another question to ask is why is the mortality rate in sub-saharan Africa lower for covid deaths compared to other developed countries, where HQ is dispensed on a regular basis to protect the people from malaria? In South America Brazil and Argentina have lower mortality rates where Ivermectin is readily available. In New York, an emergency room doctor (Dr Simone Gold) was warned and then fired for prescribing HQ to patient who all recovered . Same thing happened to a Dr in Oregon There was no medical review which is a form of a legal trial They and many others a being silenced without due process If you’re okay with that then you don’t believe in legal and constitutional rights and that is bordering on demonic tyranny. For all the “news” spread by various news outlets you have to ask the question who are some of the major the sponsors of their news Big Pharma isn’t going to give up $70 billion to “develop” a vaccine for no return on investment. I know first hand of the corruption in the pharmaceutical oligarchy Profits at all cost -the public be damned My final comment is that both HQ and Ivermectin needs to be used prophylactically or at first signs of illness to mitigate full express of the “pneumonia” Statistically 70% of elderly patients will die of pneumonia either bacterial or viral Why aren’t they quarantined ?
Dave Okamura

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That is fascinating but not conclusive.
Should I believe that unlikely really means impossible?
Scientists once thought that it was impossible for many diseases to cross the species barrier. But it appears that some diseases are crossing it as if the species barrier was non-existent.

In a rush to develop a cure for an epidemic, I prefer to be cautious.
My child had COVID-19 (thank the Lord it was a mild case). I cared for her using all the precautions. I praise the Lord that I did not catch it. Two weeks after she recovered, her father was one of the 400k that died of COVID-19. He had multiple organ failure.

If the push for mas-vaccination has unintended consequences, they cannot be undone.
Looking at the big-picture. COVID is mutating rapidly.
If vaccinated people do not get sick from a mutation, what could it do to their bodies?
If the choice is vaccination or death, that is a no brainer.
But if the choice is a COVID death vs a life of the potential perpetual misery post-jab
that is a different choice.
Since the jab appears to be safe and effective,
I hear folks say NO NEED TO BE TOO CAUTIOUS.
If caution is thrown to the wind, will overconfidence reap the whirlwind?
In a free America, people have the right to examine the facts through the filter of their understanding. If I choose correctly, the outcome will be great. If I make a dumb decision, I will suffer the consequences.

I read the book of Revelation to say that in the last days there will be a plague that consists of a sore that will not heal. I wonder if this push to mas-vaccinate will set the stage for that endtime phenomena ?

That revelation does not comfort me. If a bogus study encourages HQ usage in the fight against COVID-19, can the push to find a vaccine result in bogus studies that are pressured to tout the effectiveness of vaccines or downplay the known side effects?

A two edged sword can cut in two directions.

I choose to be faithful to Jesus and to use the common sense that He gave me. My personal decision will stand or fall when the time comes.

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‘Where are the animal safety studies for this new mRNA technology?’

In her lecture Dr. Corbett explained that based on the excellent published pre-clinical (animal study) data with an mRNA MERS vaccine the regulators allowed the team to pursue the pivotal COVID mRNA safety studies in parallel with the Phase I human studies. These data were examined by the Review Board that approved the emergency use. The full Review Board meeting was
live streamed and can be accessed on YouTube.

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As a scientist I try not to use the word ‘impossible’ since in science we deal with probabilities not absolutes. From the research that has been done on mRNA vaccines and from our knowledge of how foreign DNA integrates into a human genome the probability of vaccine genetic material incorporating into our own is extremely low.

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Tim… I just sent Ron Graybill’s weekly list to your direct mallbox.

When it comes to the unknown, absolutes are more comforting than uncertainties.

As a former employee in the virology department at USAMRIID (United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases), I have had more vaccinations than most people. For my protection, my titer had to be at a certain level before I could even go into the lab.
I am aware of the beneficial vaccines that have stopped epidemics and saved lives. But I see a difference in the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine that causes me concern at this moment in earth’s history.

Hi David,
This is a partial response to some of your questions/points you raised.

One of my friends, friends is Jennifer Doudna, who was given a Nobel Prize for CRISPR. If you want to change DNA, CRISPR is the way to do it. CRISPR is what we will use cure genetic diseases like Cystic fibrosis, etc. It is also the tool that could be used to alter what humans look like, which is scary. What we really need are Christians that work hard and earn degrees in chemistry, biology, etc. and get involved in science careers so that there are God fearing people with outstanding ethics to be involved … not just stone throwers.

No one is forcing you to get a vaccine, and if they do send them to me. I am a teacher and would really like to get the vaccine, but that probably won’t happen until after school is out. My wife is a nurse, so she was able to get her shot … no one is being forced to get the shot, everyone knows it is being released early, is not fully tested. Yes, there are risks, but one look at the CT scan of even an asymptomatic COVID positive person tells you that getting COVID has even greater risks. (another friend that is a radiologist)

I take my vitamins every day, which will help me fight a virus, but that should not be confused what a good vaccine will do. A lot of time and money has spent trying to eradicate Polio. One only needs to “google” polio images to be reminded of how beneficial vaccines are. What is tragic is how the anti-vaxers in Africa have prevented the eliminate of the disease by spreading conspiracy theories and killing the aid works that were trying to save their lives.

Millions of healthcare workers wear mask every day, all day, for their entire career…my wife works in the operating room and does so every day, it is part of taking care of the patient. If they have someone with something more contagious, they will use their N95 mask to protect themselves. (They must do a special mask fit test every year to make sure it works correctly.) With this background, it is hard to understand why so many would refuse wear a mask for an hour of church. Those same people will “cough into their sleeve”, wear a ski mask all day for fun, a dusk mask in a shop while working, etc. but will not wear a mask to make people feel comfortable at church…or to save someone’s life. I must admit that it bothers me when anti maskers are so proud of not wearing a mask…and so quick to tell others that if they are concerned, they should stay home and not come to church.

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