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Akiko Iwasaki

Akiko Iwasaki, Ph.D.

Akiko Iwasaki is an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Waldemar Von Zedtwitz Professor of the Department of Immunobiology and the Department of Molecular Cellular and Developmental Biology at Yale University. Iwasaki’s research explores the mechanisms by which immunity is initiated and maintained at mucosal surfaces against viruses including SARS-COV-2, influenza virus, and herpes simplex viruses. Her work focuses on how cells from the innate immune system recognize viruses and generate protective adaptive immunity. Ultimately, Iwasaki’s laboratory aims to apply these insights to design vaccines or microbicides to prevent transmission of viral and bacterial pathogens.

Iwasaki is the recipient of numerous awards including the Eli Lilly and Company Research Award, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award in Biomedical Sciences, the American Association of Immunologists (AAI) Thermo Fisher Meritorious Career Award, Yale’s Charles W. Bohmfalk Teaching Award, and Wistar Institute’s Helen Dean King Award. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Microbiology, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Iwasaki is an active mentor and advocate for women and scientists from underrepresented groups, and is the recipient of two Inspiring Yale awards. 

Iwasaki received her B.Sc. and Ph.D. from the University of Toronto and completed postdoctoral training at the National Institutes of Health. She joined Yale University as faculty in 2000.