Kate Broderick is a 42-year-old scientist from Scotland, and she has been fighting infectious diseases for more than 20 years now. Her work includes successful vaccines for zika, ebola, and MERS, and she is now sleeping for just two hours at night as she races against the clock to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus.
She has told that she feels a “personality responsibility” to do everything in her power to develop a vaccine for the new coronavirus, and she sleeps, on average, just two hours while testing on mice and guinea pigs during the day.
She told The Times that she has spent her entire life working towards making a difference in an outbreak setting like this, and she’s willing to do whatever it takes.
Broderick is a vaccine expert that moved to the U.S. after she got her Ph.D. from Glasgow, and she worked at the University of California on a therapeutic solution to sepsis. She has a team of researchers at pharmaceutical company Inovio (based in San Diego), and she currently works around the clock to create a vaccine for the coronavirus that took 249 lives, and there have been 11,946 cases reported worldwide.
The virus continues to spread around the world, and Spain has confirmed its first case today.
The mom-of-two said that she was on holiday on New Year’s Eve when she first heard about reports of the virus cases in Wuhan, and she and her colleagues designed a vaccine within three hours against the virus. She added that the design went straight into manufacturing the following day, but she said that in order to provide vaccine doses for the 1.4billion population of China, a 220-gallon fermenter would be needed, as gene-based medicines can be created in much larger quantities within months.
Her team has been given a £7.5million grant from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations in order to distribute the vaccine, and Dr. Broderick said that the first people to be vaccinated will be healthcare workers who are in contact with coronavirus patients.
According to Dr. Broderick, the most worrying element of the virus is the 14-day incubation period, even though some people experience only mild symptoms.