Professor Akiko Iwasaki received her Ph.D. from the University of Toronto, and her postdoctoral training from NIH, before joining Yale in 2000. She is a Sterling Professor of Immunobiology; Molecular Cellular Developmental Biology; Dermatology; and Investigator at Howard Hughes Medical Institute. She has received the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award in Biomedical Sciences; Wyeth Lederle Young Investigator Award; BD Biosciences Investigator Award; and the Seymour & Vivian Milstein Award. She was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2018, to the National Academy of Medicine in 2019, to the American Academy of Microbiology in 2020, and to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2021. Iwasaki is well known for her Twitter advocacy for women and underrepresented minorities in the science and medicine fields.
Iwasaki’s research focuses on the mechanisms of immune defense against viruses at the mucosal surfaces, and the development of mucosal vaccine strategies. She is the co-Lead Investigator of the Yale COVID-19 Recovery Study, which aims to determine the changes in the immune response of people with long COVID after vaccination, and is the director of the new Yale Center for Infection and Immunity. The center will focus on post-acute infection syndromes.