Speaker Profile

Ph.D., Professor of Professor of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, and Dermatology, Yale University

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.