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Tribune News Network
Qatar University’s (QU) Biomedical Research Center (BRC) organised a lecture on ‘SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine design enabled by prototype pathogen preparedness,’ presented by one of the biggest names in COVID-19 research.
Dr Kissmekia Corbett, a research fellow in the Viral Pathogenesis Laboratory at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Vaccine Research Center (VRC) in the US, presented the lecture, which aimed to highlight the developmental stages of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Dr Corbett led the collaboration between the NIH and Moderna to develop and evaluate the Moderna mRNA vaccine in preclinical and clinical trials. She works under the direct supervision of Dr Barney Graham, deputy director of the VRC, and Anthony Fauci, director of the NIAID.
During the lecture, Dr Corbett revealed the different stages of the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine development, illustrating the utilised approaches that made the candidate vaccine available for phase one clinical trial, which occurred 66 days after the emergence of the pandemic.
Relying on the knowledge from the MERS vaccine development, the Viral Pathogenesis Lab at VRC-NIH demonstrated the ability of the mRNA vaccine to induce potent antibody response in preclinical settings (using mice and monkeys), before the vaccine was tested in phases 1-3 clinical trials.
Answering questions, Dr Corbett recommended the vaccination of pregnant and nursing mothers when it is available, noting that phase three clinical trial is still undergoing for this group.
Dr Hadi Yassine, section head of research at BRC moderated the seminar. Dr Yassine participated in coronavirus vaccine development at NIH before joining the university.
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