About the speakers

Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, Lead Scientist in the Department of mRNA Vaccine Development against COVID-19; Associate Professor at the Harvard T. Chan School of Public Health

Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett was the scientific leader of the coronavirus group at the Center for Vaccine Research at the US National Institutes of Health, where she studied coronavirus biology and vaccine development. These 6 years of research led to the groundbreaking discovery that a stabilized version of the spike protein found on the surface of all coronaviruses will be a prime target for vaccines, treatments and diagnostics. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, she and her colleagues were central to the development of Moderna’s mRNA vaccine and Eli Lilly’s therapeutic monoclonal antibody, both of which were the first in the world to enter clinical trials. As a result, her work is having a significant impact on ending the worst respiratory disease pandemic in more than 100 years. Dr. Corbett is currently Associate Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at the Harvard T. Chan School of Public Health, as well as the Schutzer Associate Professor at the Harvard Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and an Associate Fellow at the Phillip T. and Susan M. Ragon Institute. Her work is now moving beyond the rapid development of vaccines against COVID-19 to looking at the prospects for this pandemic and future viral pandemics.

Perhaps as important as her scientific achievements, Dr. Corbett stepped onto the public stage as the face of a diverse and rising generation of talented scientists who will change the world. She is a stellar science communicator, explaining the vaccine and the virus in highly accessible ways to the media, two US presidents, and audiences around the world.

Laurent DuVernay-Tardif, Graduate of Medicine; Super Bowl champion

Laurent DuVernay-Tardif, who has been called “the most interesting man in the NFL,” is an eight-year NFL veteran, a Super Bowl champion, and the only current NFL player with a medical degree. Just months after winning the Super Bowl with the Kansas City Chiefs — and in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic — DuVernay-Tardif stepped away from football to join the medical profession. DuVernay-Tardif shares her remarkable personal story, from the incredible accomplishments of winning the Super Bowl to the exhaustion of working as a paramedic, talking about resilience, leadership and more.

As plans for the 2020 NFL season ramped up, DuVernay-Tardif walked away from the game he loved, becoming the first player in the 2020 NFL season to publicly opt out. For the first time in his distinguished career, DuVernay-Tardif was unable to juggle his twin passions of football and medicine, and with his team’s Super Bowl victory just months behind him, he found himself on the front lines of the pandemic, working at a long-term care facility in Quebec. While working on the front lines, DuVernay-Tardif enrolled at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Jürgen Eckhardt, Senior Vice President and Head of Leaps by Bayer

Jürgen Eckhardt is Senior Vice President and Head of Leaps by Bayer, Bayer’s investment arm. Leaps’ mission is to invest in breakthrough technologies and breakthrough business models in the healthcare and agriculture industries. Jürgen has been a venture capitalist since 2002 and currently serves on the board of directors of Joyn Bio, Dewpoint, Century, Khloris, Oerth Bio, Immunitas, eGenesis and others. Jürgen was previously a management consultant and associate partner at McKinsey & Co. and a member of McKinsey’s healthcare executive team. He began his career as a radiologist at the University Hospital of Basel, Switzerland. Jürgen received his MD from the University of Basel and his MBA from INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France.

Elizabeth Bramson-Boudreau

Elizabeth Bramson-Boudreau, CEO and Publisher of MIT Technology Review

Elizabeth Bramson-Boudreau is CEO and publisher of MIT Technology Review, the independent media company of MIT.

Since Elizabeth took the helm of MIT Technology Review in mid-2017, the business has undergone a huge 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 sustainable business. Under her leadership, MIT Technology Review has been praised for its editorial credibility, best-in-class events, and innovative use of independent, original research to support both advertisers and readers.

Elizabeth has 20 years of experience building and managing teams at leading global media companies. She maintains a keen eye on new ways to commercialize media content to appeal to discerning, discerning consumers as well as B2B audiences.

Prior to joining MIT Technology Review, Elizabeth served as a senior executive at The Economist Group, where her leadership spanned various business lines and included mergers and acquisitions; creation and modernization of editorial and production products; sales; marketing; and events. Earlier in her career, she worked as a consultant advising technology firms on go-to-market and international expansion.

Elizabeth holds an MBA from the London Business School, an MSc from the London School of Economics and a BA from Swarthmore College.

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