Yale’s Akiko Iwasaki, PhD, Named to TIME100 Lists of Most Influential People in the World

TIME has named Yale School of Medicine immunobiologist Dr. Akiko Iwasaki to the 2024 TIME100 Health, the magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in global health care. She was also named last week to the TIME100, TIME’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

“I am still in shock to be included in the TIME100 and TIME100 Health lists,” Iwasaki says. “What an incredible honor!”

Iwasaki is the Sterling Professor of Immunobiology and Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology at Yale School of Medicine and has previously been elected to the National Academy of Science, National Academy of Medicine, the European Molecular Biology Organization and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Throughout her career, Iwasaki’s research has focused on the intricate interactions between pathogens and the immune system, with an emphasis on viral infections like Zika, herpes simplex virus (HSV), and COVID-19.

“A devastating consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic is that millions of people are now suffering from long COVID,” Iwasaki says. As co-principal investigator of the Yale COVID Recovery Study, the groundbreaking PAXLC trial, and other clinical trials, she helped uncover the root causes behind the lingering symptoms affecting millions of Americans.

Post-acute infection syndromes can follow a number of other bacterial and viral infections, like Lyme disease. Iwasaki created the Center for Infection and Immunity, launched last August, to help build on the progress made during the pandemic and better understand post-acute infection syndromes.

“These syndromes, including myalgic encephalomyelitis chronic fatigue syndrome, have been largely neglected and understudied,” says Iwasaki. “Now is the time for us as a society to make a strong commitment to tackle these diseases from every angle with urgency. I feel fortunate to work with so many dedicated brilliant colleagues and patients in the fight against post-acute infection syndrome.”

TIME100 Health honorees will gather for the TIME100 Impact Dinner: Leaders Shaping the Future of Health on May 13.

For more information about Yale School of Medicine, visit www.medicine.yale.edu.