4BIO Capital appoints Akiko Iwasaki to its Scientific Advisory Board
4BIO Capital, an international venture capital firm focused on advanced therapies addressing high unmet medical and social needs, has appointed Professor Akiko Iwasaki to its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB).
Professor Iwasaki is currently the Waldemar Von Zedwitz Professor in the Department of Immunology and a Professor in the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at Yale University, where her team is studying immune responses to influenza in the lungs and the herpes simplex virus in the genital tract.
Professor Iwasaki has made major breakthroughs throughout her career – including the demonstration of tissue-specific properties of dendritic cells, how DNA vaccines elicit an immune response, and being the first group to create a mouse model of vaginal Zika infection – and has been the recipient of a number of honours, including the Inspiring Yale awards in 2017 and 2020, and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2018 and to the National Academy of Medicine in 2019.
While running her own lab at Yale University, Professor Iwasaki has developed a novel two-stage vaccination method strategy called “prime and pull”, which is currently being used in a vaccine in clinical trials to treat women with precancerous cervical lesions. Most recently, her work has been focused on investigating the immune responses of COVID-19 patients and sex differences in SARS-CoV-2 infection. In addition to her work at Yale, Professor Iwasaki is also a principal investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, where her current research focus is mechanisms of innate recognition of viral pathogens and antiviral immunity.
Dmitry Kuzmin, Managing Partner at 4BIO Capital, said: “We are delighted to welcome Professor Iwasaki to 4BIO’s Scientific Advisory Board. Her pioneering research and unrivalled knowledge in the field of Immunology is a huge asset to our growing team of experts.
“Professor Iwasaki is a champion of both women in science and young career academics, which we hope to continue and support through her place on the 4BIO SAB.”