Professor Iwasaki studies antiviral immune responses and designs new vaccine strategies. She is currently directing a translational Immunology team to investigate the role of immune response in COVID-19 disease outcome. She will discuss the immune responses that correlate with positive vs. negative COVID-19 outcome, and the sex differences in immune response to SARS-CoV-2 that underlie disease susceptibility.
Immune Responses to SARS-CoV-2
The clinical presentation of COVID-19 involves a broad range of symptoms and disease trajectories. Understanding the nature of the immune response that leads to recovery over severe disease is key to developing effective treatments for COVID-19. In this talk, I will discuss immune responses in COVID-19 patients with moderate and severe disease. I will compare viral load, immune phenotype and cytokines that are predictive of mortality, and discuss signatures of cytokines and growth factors that associate with recovery vs. disease exacerbation. I will also discuss sex differences in immunity to SARS-CoV-2 and how such differences correspond to disease outcomes.