Pathways: The Vaccine Science Issue

A magazine cover showing a cross-section of a sphere with spikes on its surface and a coil inside. Text reads: “The spike protein. What does it have to do with the COVID-19 vaccines? (Find out inside.)”
Cover of Pathways student magazine.

NIGMS is pleased to bring you Pathways: The Vaccine Science Issue [PDF], which explains how the messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines for COVID-19 work and how they were developed. Building on years of research, scientists were able to create these vaccines, thoroughly test them, and get them to the public as quickly as possible—while still making sure they were safe and effective.

Pathways, designed for students in grades 6 through 12, aims to build awareness of basic biomedical science and its importance to health while inspiring careers in research. All materials in the collection are available online for free.

The new issue includes:

  • An infographic showing how COVID-19 mRNA vaccines work
  • The story of how scientists developed COVID-19 mRNA vaccines
  • The use of modeling to predict infectious disease outbreaks
  • Insights from Vice President Kamala Harris in the student magazine and the accompanying Kahoot! quiz game
  • Spotlights on NIGMS-supported researchers who study infectious diseases

Featured in This Issue:

Kizzmekia Corbett, Ph.D., assistant professor at Harvard University

Jason McLellan, Ph.D., associate professor at the University of Texas at Austin

Erin A. Mordecai, Ph.D., associate professor at Stanford University

Marcos J. Ramos-Benítez, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Research Associate Training fellow at the National Institutes of Health

Mauricio Santillana, Ph.D., director of the Machine Intelligence Research Lab at Boston Children’s Hospital

Pathways is distributed to subscribers of Scholastic’s Science World and Upfront magazines. In addition, anyone can download the current and previous issues for free on the Pathways website. Materials include student magazines, teaching guides, videos, and interactives. Free print copies of the student magazine and teaching guide for all issues are available for order.

Tell us on social media how you’re sharing Pathways with your students by using the hashtag #NIGMSPathways!