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  • Age
    36
  • Title
    Senior Director, Vaccine Access and Partnerships
  • Company
    Moderna

It can take from 10 to 15 years to develop a new vaccine. Hamilton Bennett and her team got it done in months. Facing down a pandemic the likes of which the world hadn’t seen in a century, Bennett, senior director of vaccine access and partnerships at Moderna, was tasked with developing a COVID vaccine even before the virus’s genome had been sequenced. That was in January 2020, just a month after the first reports of a mysterious new lung illness in China. Bennett considered the project a moral imperative even though success was far from guaranteed and the still-young biotech firm had yet to get a single product to market. Her research and development experience and laser-like focus on COVID helped Moderna get its vaccine into early clinical trials within two months—and receive FDA emergency use authorization by December. Since then, Moderna has produced more than 300 million doses and has played a major role in curbing the pandemic.

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