January 12 in Hillsborough was a little different this year. As her work was used to help elderly residents and frontline workers across the country fight the coronavirus, one native to the town saw recognition for her efforts.

The town’s Board of Commissioners declared Tuesday as Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett Day at its meeting the night before to honor the Hillsborough native for her work leading development of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

Corbett, who was born in Hurdle Mills and raised in Hillsborough, has been earning national recognition for her role in combating the ongoing pandemic with the National Institutes of Health. Part of the federal government’s Operation Warp Speed plan to both develop and distribute a vaccine against COVID-19 on a faster timeline than most vaccines, she took time on Monday to join the virtual board meeting to thank the town for her recognition.

“It is absolutely amazing to be recognized by my hometown,” Corbett said.

On Tuesday, Hillsborough Mayor Jenn Weaver told 97.9 The Hill having Corbett able to attend the reading of the town’s proclamation declaring January 12 in her honor was a treat.

“We weren’t sure [it would happen] because we know she’s a very, very busy person,” said Weaver. “It felt like we had a total celebrity there.”

Before attending the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, for degrees in biological sciences and sociology, Corbett graduated from Orange High School. She was also conferred a doctorate in microbiology and immunology from UNC in 2014.

The full proclamation from the Town of Hillsborough honoring Corbett can be found on the local government’s website.

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