3 January 2021 – “Mucosal immunity is likely the best strategy to go forward fighting this pandemic. It’s like placing the guard outside the door instead of inside the door,” immunologist Akiko Iwasaki told the EMBO podcast. Iwasaki has been studying how the immune system fights infections at the interfaces between the host and the environment ever since graduate school when she challenged the prevailing dogma about how DNA vaccines work. Her lab has made fundamental contributions to our understanding of the pathophysiology of COVID-19, using patient samples and data, as well as developing new model systems. We discussed her research, some of the challenges of science communication during the pandemic, and her approach to teaching.
Akiko Iwasaki was elected an EMBO Associate Member in 2021.