UMBC graduates more Black students who go on to earn doctorates in natural sciences and engineering than any other U.S. college

As a trifecta of crises upended life in 2020, the need for a diverse scientific and medical community grew ever more clear. George Floyd’s murder elicited worldwide protests against racial injustice. COVID-19 affected all of our lives and had an outsize impact on Black and brown communities. And COVID-19’s economic fallout only exacerbated extreme wealth inequality.

At the same time, while some Black and brown people were reluctant to take the vaccine because of a negative history with the medical establishment, there was no one better than Kizzmekia Corbett ’08, M16, biological sciences and sociology, to reach out to “vaccine inquisitive” folks, as she describes them. Corbett rose to fame in 2020 as the lead of the NIH team developing the Moderna vaccine and as the first Black woman in the world to create a vaccine. Click here to continue reading.

Kizzmekia Corbett, who led the team that developed the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, talks to CNN in UMBC’s Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building in April 2021. Photo by Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC. Image Source