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Akiko Iwasaki, PhD

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Sterling Professor of Immunobiology and Professor of Dermatology and of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology and of Epidemiology (Microbial Diseases)

Publications Overview

  • 326 Publications
  • 52,753 Citations
  • 207 Yale Co-Authors



Sterling Professor of Immunobiology and Professor of Dermatology and of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology and of Epidemiology (Microbial Diseases)

Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute


Akiko Iwasaki, Ph.D., is a Sterling Professor of Immunobiology and Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology at Yale University, and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Toronto in Canada and her postdoctoral training from the National Institutes of Health. Her 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. Dr. Iwasaki also leads multiple other studies to interrogate the pathobiology of long COVID, both in patients, and through developing animal models of long COVID. Dr. Iwasaki was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2018, to the National Academy of Medicine in 2019, to the European Molecular Biology Organization in 2021, and to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2021.


Education & Training

University of Toronto (1998)



In the Iwasaki Laboratory, we focus on understanding how viruses infect the host through the mucosal surfaces to cause diseases, how the immune system deals with viral infections within these local tissues, how acute infections lead to long-term diseases, and to use such insights to design vaccines and therapeutics against acute & chronic viral diseases, post-viral diseases, autoimmunity, and cancer. We study immune responses to a variety of viruses including herpes simplex viruses, Zika virus, influenza viruses, rhinoviruses, and retroviruses - with the most recent focus on SARS-CoV-2. Our studies have led to the development of mucosal vaccines that can prevent infection, transmission, and recurrent diseases.

Our research addresses mechanisms of innate immune recognition of viruses and initiation of adaptive antiviral immunity, particularly at the natural site of virus encounter at the mucosal surfaces. Basic insights gained from studying the natural immune protective mechanisms help propel better vaccine designs. On the other hand, when the immune system fails to successfully deal with the pathogens, downstream consequences include the development of infectious diseases, autoimmunity, neurodegenerative diseases, and cancer. For specific projects being carried out in this laboratory, please click on the links below.

Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)

Arboviruses; Autophagy; Central Nervous System Viral Diseases; DNA Viruses; Encephalitis, Viral; Herpes Simplex; Immune System; Immunity, Cellular; Immunity, Innate; Inflammasomes; Influenza, Human; Molecular Biology; Pneumonia, Viral; Pregnancy Complications; Proviruses; RNA Viruses; Sexually Transmitted Diseases; Tumor Virus Infections

Research at a Glance

Yale Co-Authors

Frequent collaborators of Akiko Iwasaki's published research.


Clinical Trials

Current Trials

Academic Achievements and Community Involvement

  • honor

    Nakaaki Tsukahara Memorial Award

  • honor

    Elected President

  • honor

    Connecticut Medal of Science

  • honor

    Elected Member of Council

  • honor

    Elected to the European Molecular Biology Organization Membership

Get In Touch


Academic Office Number
Lab Number
Mailing Address


PO Box 208011, 300 Cedar Street

New Haven, CT 06520

United States