Bad Homburg v.d. Höhe, May 8, 2023 – Akiko Iwasaki, Ph.D. and a professor at Yale University, will receive this year’s Else Kröner Fresenius Prize for Medical Research on June 5th, 2023 at the Palmengarten in Frankfurt, Germany. The prize is endowed with 2.5 million euros, and through it the foundation Else Kröner-Fresenius-Stiftung (EKFS) acknowledges Professor Iwasaki’s research work on immune responses to viral infections. The prize also furthers her investigation of post-acute infection syndromes such as long COVID and myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS).
Representatives of the media are cordially invited to attend the festive event on
June 5th, 2023 at 5 p.m.,
Palmengartenstrasse 11, 60325 Frankfurt/Main
Registration for attendance is requested at email@example.com
We would be glad to organize an opportunity to talk with Professor Akiko Iwasaki in person prior or after to the award ceremony.
At a sum of 2.5 million euros, immunologist Professor Akiko Iwasaki from the Yale School of Medicine is being awarded one of the world’s most highly endowed prizes for research in the field of medicine: the Else Kröner Fresenius Prize for Medical Research. EKFS is consequently honoring Iwasaki’s groundbreaking contributions in the area of “Diseases of worldwide significance.” The focal point is formed by Iwasaki’s work on immune responses to viral infections.
The research interest of the Sterling Professor at Yale University and Director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Yale School of Medicine in the USA lies in post-acute infection syndromes (PAIS). They include inter alia long COVID and myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS).
In the case of some patients who have fallen ill with long COVID, Iwasaki describes in her work that increased levels of antibodies to viruses such as Epstein Barr virus are seen, suggestive of reactivation of latent herpesviruses. Above and beyond this, the scientist was able to show that the level of cortisol in patients with long COVID is lower in comparison to corresponding control groups, and changes in T cell and B cell activation.
On the basis of these findings, Professor Iwasaki plans to facilitate a greater understanding of the underlying mechanisms behind PAIS. The research scientist wants to utilize the prize money to work with her team on studying the immunoprofiles of patients who have fallen ill with PAIS. “Physicians and the public in general just haven’t known what to do with these diseases,” says Iwasaki. “We still don't know how to treat, better diagnose, and prevent PAIS diseases, but at least there is now more awareness for diseases that have been traditionally and historically ignored. What we would really like to do is to get to the bottom of the root causes of these diseases.”
One aim of her research efforts is to identify so-called biomarkers, which are endogenous molecules that enable the differentiation of the various forms of PAIS. Professor Iwasaki ultimately wants to use her research to contribute toward developing therapies to combat these chronic diseases.
For more information
EKFS website: https://ekfprize23.de
Akiko Iwasaki’s website: https://medicine.yale.edu/profile/akiko-iwasaki/?tab=bio
Leopoldina Panel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s05BsmIq8mo&t=21s
Else Kröner Fresenius Prize for Medical Research
The Else Kröner Fresenius Prize for Medical Research was awarded for the first time in 2013 on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Else Kröner’s death. It honors research scientists who have made notable scientific contributions in their field and whose work in the future allows pathbreaking findings to be expected. The prize is endowed with 2.5 million euros – and is thus one of the most highly endowed prizes for medical research. www.ekfprize23.de
Else Kröner-Fresenius-Stiftung (EKFS) – Advancing research. Helping people.
Else Kröner-Fresenius-Stiftung is a non-profit foundation dedicated to the funding and advancement of medical research and the support of humanitarian projects. To date the foundation has funded around 2,400 projects. With an annual funding volume currently amounting to over 60 million euros it is the largest foundation in Germany that actively funds and supports medicine. You can find more information at: www.ekfs.de
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