Interest in global health among applicants to medical schools, residency programs, and infectious disease fellowships has grown enormously in recent years, but the career development pathways for translating this interest into successful academic careers remain poorly defined and perilous, with relatively few mentors available in academia. The candidate for this K24 Award is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine who has established a funded research program to investigate the immune response to childhood malaria and identify in vitro correlates of protective immunity among children in high transmission settings. This research program is based upon strong collaborative relationships with leading malaria epidemiologists and clinical trialists working in Uganda. The PI and her collaborators have forged an effective multidisciplinary team and have built substantial research infrastructure to conduct field studies in Tororo, Uganda, a setting of exceptionally high malaria transmission intensity. Malaria is the leading cause of pediatric deaths in Uganda and claims the life of more than one million children worldwide each year. The need for an effective vaccine against malaria is self-evident. However the iterative process of vaccine development, refinement, and testing would be greatly aided by a better understanding of the immunologic effector mechanisms that confer protection from malaria, as well as immune subversion mechanisms that may hinder the development of durable immunity. Our current understanding of the mechanisms of immune protection from malaria is very limited, and comes mostly from experimental vaccination studies of animals and humans. To date, population-based studies of the malaria-specific T cell response among children naturally exposed to malaria have been few in number and limited by shortcomings in study design. The proposed studies will use samples obtained from well-characterized pediatric cohorts to identify correlates of protective immunity to malaria, and to determine how the natural acquisition of antimalarial immunity is altered by chemopreventive interventions and by prenatal exposure to malaria and to HIV. In addition, this award will enable the candidate to branch into new areas of investigation including the role of semi-innate ?? T cells in malaria infection and clinical tolerance. The primary goal of this K24 will be to develop a cohort of young investigators with the skills require to conduct high quality translational immunology research, encourage their passion for patient-oriented global health research, and help them to become successful independent investigators. Trainees will include U.S. physician scientists at all levels - infectious disease fellows, post-doctoral scholars, residents, and students - working side by side with Ugandan scientists and students to conduct innovative immunology research in a region of exceptionally high malaria transmission intensity, while capacitating U.S. and Ugandan researchers to work in collaborative teams.

Public Health Relevance

The goals of this training program are to provide mentoring to early stage investigators in the conduct of patient-oriented global health research in children, and to further develop the research and mentoring capabilities of the applicant. Mentoring of students, residents, and post-doctoral fellows will be performed in the context of the applicant's established research program, which seeks to define correlates of naturally acquired immunity to malaria in Ugandan children.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Midcareer Investigator Award in Patient-Oriented Research (K24)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Microbiology and Infectious Diseases B Subcommittee (MID)
Program Officer
Rao, Malla R
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of California San Francisco
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
San Francisco
United States
Zip Code
Odorizzi, Pamela M; Jagannathan, Prasanna; McIntyre, Tara I et al. (2018) In utero priming of highly functional effector T cell responses to human malaria. Sci Transl Med 10:
Prahl, Mary; Jagannathan, Prasanna; McIntyre, Tara I et al. (2017) Sex Disparity in Cord Blood FoxP3+ CD4 T Regulatory Cells in Infants Exposed to Malaria In Utero. Open Forum Infect Dis 4:ofx022
Jagannathan, Prasanna; Lutwama, Fredrick; Boyle, Michelle J et al. (2017) V?2+ T cell response to malaria correlates with protection from infection but is attenuated with repeated exposure. Sci Rep 7:11487
Farrington, Lila; Vance, Hilary; Rek, John et al. (2017) Both inflammatory and regulatory cytokine responses to malaria are blunted with increasing age in highly exposed children. Malar J 16:499
Boyle, Michelle J; Jagannathan, Prasanna; Bowen, Katherine et al. (2017) The Development of Plasmodium falciparum-Specific IL10 CD4 T Cells and Protection from Malaria in Children in an Area of High Malaria Transmission. Front Immunol 8:1329
Prahl, Mary; Jagannathan, Prasanna; McIntyre, Tara I et al. (2016) Timing of in utero malaria exposure influences fetal CD4 T cell regulatory versus effector differentiation. Malar J 15:497
Jagannathan, Prasanna; Bowen, Katherine; Nankya, Felistas et al. (2016) Effective Antimalarial Chemoprevention in Childhood Enhances the Quality of CD4+ T Cells and Limits Their Production of Immunoregulatory Interleukin 10. J Infect Dis 214:329-38
Sullivan, Richard T; Ssewanyana, Isaac; Wamala, Samuel et al. (2016) B cell sub-types following acute malaria and associations with clinical immunity. Malar J 15:139
Odorizzi, Pamela M; Feeney, Margaret E (2016) Impact of In Utero Exposure to Malaria on Fetal T Cell Immunity. Trends Mol Med 22:877-888
Farrington, Lila A; Jagannathan, Prasanna; McIntyre, Tara I et al. (2016) Frequent Malaria Drives Progressive V?2 T-Cell Loss, Dysfunction, and CD16 Up-regulation During Early Childhood. J Infect Dis 213:1483-90

Showing the most recent 10 out of 17 publications