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Appointment of Professor Akiko Iwasaki to Scientific Advisory Board

LONDON & BOSTON – 4BIO Capital (“4BIO” or “the Group”), an international venture capital firm focused solely on the advanced therapies sector, announces the appointment of Professor Akiko Iwasaki to its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB).

Professor Iwasaki has made significant contributions towards understanding innate and adaptive immunity. Throughout her research career she has made major breakthroughs 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. She has received a number of honours in her career including the Inspiring yale awards in 2017 and 2020, and being elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2018 and to the National Academy of Medicine in 2019. Her publications in prestigious journals have been widely cited, and she is also well known as an advocate for women in science.

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 herpes simplex virus in the genital tract. Her long-term goal is to design effective vaccines or microbiocides to prevent transmission of viral and bacterial pathogens.

Professor Iwasaki’s wealth of experience in Immunology will be a true asset to 4BIO’s SAB. Whilst 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 focussed 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.

Professor Iwasaki received her bachelors in biochemistry and physics and doctoral degree in Immunology from the University of Toronto and carried out her Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Institute of Health.

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.”

Professor Akiko Iwasaki said: “I am excited to join 4BIO’s Scientific Advisory Board. I am particularly interested in contributing my expertise in basic immunology and virology to help advance promising technologies for the treatment of a variety of chronic diseases.”

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