Akiko Iwasaki honored with career award in immunology

Photo of Professor Akiko Iwasaki.
Akiko Iwasaki (photo by Robert Lisak)

Akiko Iwasaki, the Waldemar Von Zedtwitz Professor of Immunobiology at Yale School of Medicine, has been honored for her work by the American Association of Immunologists (AAI). She is the 2018 recipient of the AAI-Thermo Fisher Meritorious Career Award.

The award recognizes a mid-career scientist for outstanding research contributions to the field of immunology. The association honored Iwasaki for her pioneering work in the field of antiviral immunity. She will present her research at the AAI annual meeting on May 6 in Austin, Texas.

Iwasaki’s research focuses on the mechanisms of immune defense against viruses at the mucosal surfaces. Her laboratory made seminal contributions to the understanding of how innate recognition of viral infections lead to the generation of adaptive immunity, and how adaptive immunity mediates protection against subsequent viral challenges. Her investigations span diseases caused by viruses including herpes, influenza, common cold, human papillomaviruses, and Zika. Based on her research, a clinical trial for a therapeutic vaccine on cervical cancer is underway at Yale New Haven Hospital. “By harnessing the power of immune cells to fight viral infections, we hope to prevent and treat diseases like cervical cancer and genital herpes,” Iwasaki says.

A professor of molecular, cellular and developmental biology, Iwasaki is also an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Media Contact

Ziba Kashef: ziba.kashef@yale.edu, 203-436-9317