Mary Pharl
Assistant Professor
+1 415 514-0510
+1 415 476-1343

Biography

Dr. Prahl is a clinician-scientist engaged in translational research evaluating human immune responses to malaria during pregnancy and early childhood to facilitate the development of novel strategies for disease prevention in low-resource settings. This research is based on collaborations with Makerere University in Uganda. Dr. Prahl currently works in the Feeney lab at the ZSFGH Department of Experimental Medicine. Dr. Prahl’s guiding career focus is to decipher the biologic underpinnings of infectious diseases that afflict the impoverished, and to apply these findings to address global health challenges.

Dr. Prahl’s current work is aimed at understanding the immunologic consequences of in utero malaria exposure and malaria prevention on the immune system during fetal development and early childhood. Current malaria vaccines have been limited by poor immunogenicity in young children living in malaria endemic areas, and further research is needed to determine the reasons for these poor immune responses to malaria antigens in order to develop new tools to fight the malaria epidemic. Dr. Prahl’s work is aimed at evaluating potential contributing mechanisms of immune tolerance resulting from in utero malaria exposure and evaluating the effect of malaria control measures on the developing immune responses. In addition to her translational immunology work, Dr. Prahl aims to encourage and train future medical providers in global health careers.

Education and Training

Fellowship, 2016 Pediatric Infectious Disease, UCSF
Residency, 2012 Pediatrics, Northwestern/Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago
M.D., 2009 Medicine, University of Minnesota
B.S., 2004 Biochemistry, College of Saint Scholastica

Publications

Odorizzi PM, Jagannathan P, McIntyre TI, Budker R, Prahl M, Auma A, Burt TD, Nankya F, Nalubega M, Sikyomu E, Musinguzi K, Naluwu K, Kakuru A, Dorsey G, Kamya MR, Feeney ME. In utero priming of highly functional effector T cell responses to human malaria. Sci Transl Med. 2018 Oct 17; 10(463).
Jagannathan P, Kakuru A, Okiring J, Muhindo MK, Natureeba P, Nakalembe M, Opira B, Olwoch P, Nankya F, Ssewanyana I, Tetteh K, Drakeley C, Beeson J, Reiling L, Clark TD, Rodriguez-Barraquer I, Greenhouse B, Wallender E, Aweeka F, Prahl M, Charlebois ED, Feeney ME, Havlir DV, Kamya MR, Dorsey G. Dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine for intermittent preventive treatment of malaria during pregnancy and risk of malaria in early childhood: A randomized controlled trial. PLoS Med. 2018 Jul; 15(7):e1002606.
Farrington L, Vance H, Rek J, Prahl M, Jagannathan P, Katureebe A, Arinaitwe E, Kamya MR, Dorsey G, Feeney ME. Both inflammatory and regulatory cytokine responses to malaria are blunted with increasing age in highly exposed children. Malar J. 2017 12 29; 16(1):499.
Prahl M, Jagannathan P, McIntyre TI, Auma A, Wamala S, Nalubega M, Musinguzi K, Naluwu K, Sikyoma E, Budker R, Odorizzi P, Kakuru A, Havlir DV, Kamya MR, Dorsey G, Feeney ME. Sex Disparity in Cord Blood FoxP3+ CD4 T Regulatory Cells in Infants Exposed to Malaria In Utero. Open Forum Infect Dis. 2017; 4(1):ofx022.
Prahl M, Jagannathan P, McIntyre TI, Auma A, Farrington L, Wamala S, Nalubega M, Musinguzi K, Naluwu K, Sikyoma E, Budker R, Vance H, Odorizzi P, Nayebare P, Ategeka J, Kakuru A, Havlir DV, Kamya MR, Dorsey G, Feeney ME. Timing of in utero malaria exposure influences fetal CD4 T cell regulatory versus effector differentiation. Malar J. 2016 10 07; 15(1):497.
Prahl M, Dhaliwal G, Shulman ST, Doshi N, Monash B. Another spin. J Hosp Med. 2016 07; 11(7):509-12.
Prahl M, Smetana D, Porta N. Lactobezoar formation in two premature infants receiving medium-chain triglyceride formula. J Perinatol. 2014 Aug; 34(8):634-5.