Akiko Iwasaki advocates for more lead roles for women
Akiko Iwasaki, the Waldemar Von Zedtwitz Professor of Immunobiology and Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology and professor of molecular, cellular, and developmental biology will be among the panelists working to dispel common myths regarding women in STEMM fields at an upcoming panel discussion on Sept. 12 called “Women in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, and Medicine): Where Have All the Women Gone?”.
An article by Iwasaki in the Aug. 19, 2019 issue of Nature Immunology underscores the importance of diversity in the highest levels of the immunology research community. In it, she draws a parallel to the benefits of diversity in the immune system itself, which “makes a life-or-death difference in the body’s ability to defend against pathogens.” She also discusses both the barriers to the advancement of women and minority scientists, including biases in grant reviews, unusually high demands on their time, and unrewarded work, and the ways diversity has benefited her lab over the past 19 years.
Iwasaki has become a renowned advocate for women scientists on Twitter. “Twitter has become a very important platform for me,” she says. “It allows me to send encouragement to students and postdocs — as well as more junior faculty — particularly women and underrepresented minorities.”
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