Tackling huge challenges together
About the speakers
Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, Lead Scientist, COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine Development; Assistant Professor, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett was the scientific lead of the Vaccine Research Center’s coronavirus team at the U.S. National Institutes of Health where she studied coronavirus biology and vaccine development. Those 6 years of research led to the groundbreaking discovery that a stabilized version of a spike protein, which is found on the surface of all coronaviruses, would be a key target for vaccines, treatments, and diagnostics. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, she and her colleagues were central to the development of the Moderna mRNA vaccine and the Eli Lilly therapeutic monoclonal antibody, both of which were first to enter clinical trials in the world. As a result, her work is having a substantial impact on ending the worst respiratory-disease pandemic in more than 100 years. Dr. Corbett is now an assistant professor in the Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, as well as the Shutzer Assistant Professor at Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study and an Associate Member of the Phillip T. and Susan M. Ragon Institute. Her work now extends beyond the rapid development of COVID-19 vaccines to the outlook of this pandemic and future viral pandemics.
Perhaps just as important as her scientific accomplishments, Dr. Corbett has burst onto the public stage as the face of a diverse and rising generation of talented scientists who will transform the world. She is a stellar science communicator, explaining the vaccine and the virus in highly accessible ways to media outlets, two U.S. presidents, and audiences around the globe.
Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, Graduate in Medicine; Super Bowl Champion
Called “the most interesting man in the NFL”, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is an eight-year NFL veteran, Super Bowl champion, and the only active NFL player with a medical degree. Just months after his Super Bowl win with the Kansas City Chiefs — and in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic — Duvernay-Tardif stepped away from football to join the medical front lines. From the incredible highs of winning the SuperBowl to the burnout of working as an orderly, Duvernay-Tardif shares his remarkable personal story, speaking to resiliency, leadership, and more.
As plans for the 2020 NFL season ramped up, Duvernay-Tardif stepped away from the game he loved, becoming the first player of the 2020 NFL season to publicly opt-out. For the first time in his remarkable career, Duvernay-Tardif couldn’t reconcile his twin passions of football and medicine, and with his team’s Super Bowl win only months behind him, he found himself on the front lines of the pandemic, working in a long-term care facility in Quebec. While working on the front lines, Duvernay-Tardif enrolled in Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Juergen Eckhardt, SVP and Head, Leaps by Bayer
Juergen Eckhardt is SVP and Head of Leaps by Bayer, the impact investment unit of Bayer. The mission of Leaps is to invest in breakthrough technologies and disruptive business models in the areas of healthcare and agriculture. Juergen has been a venture investor since 2002 and currently serves on the board of Joyn Bio, Dewpoint, Century, Khloris, Oerth Bio, Immunitas, eGenesis, and others. Previously, Juergen was a management consultant and Associate Partner with McKinsey & Co. and a member of McKinsey’s Healthcare Leadership Team. He began his career as a radiologist at the University Hospital of Basel, Switzerland. Juergen received his M.D. from the University of Basel and his MBA from INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France.
Elizabeth Bramson-Boudreau, CEO and Publisher, MIT Technology Review
Elizabeth Bramson-Boudreau is the CEO and publisher of MIT Technology Review, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s independent media company.
Since Elizabeth took the helm of MIT Technology Review in mid-2017, the business has undergone a massive transformation from its previous position as a respected but niche print magazine to a widely read, multi-platform media brand with a global audience and a sustainable business. Under her leadership, MIT Technology Review has been lauded for its editorial authority, its best-in-class events, and its novel use of independent, original research to support both advertisers and readers.
Elizabeth has a 20-year background in building and running teams at world-leading media companies. She maintains a keen focus on new ways to commercialize media content to appeal to discerning, demanding consumers as well as B2B audiences.
Prior to joining MIT Technology Review, Elizabeth held a senior executive role at The Economist Group, where her leadership stretched across business lines and included mergers and acquisitions; editorial and product creation and modernization; sales; marketing; and events. Earlier in her career, she worked as a consultant advising technology firms on market entry and international expansion.
Elizabeth holds an executive MBA from the London Business School, an MSc from the London School of Economics, and a bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College.