Mary Prahl, MD

Assistant Professor

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
2019 - Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Champion Training, University of California
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
Honors and Awards
  • LRP Award, NIH, 2017-2021
  • Melvin M. Grumbach Award for Excellence in Research, UCSF, 2017
  • Merle A. Sande/Pfizer Fellowship Award in International Infectious Diseases, IDSA Foundation, 2014
  • Research Scholars Day Judges' Award, Northwestern University, 2012
  • Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, Northwestern University, 2011
  • Resident Teaching Award, Children's Memorial Hospital/Northwestern University, 2009
  • Summa Cum Laude, College of Saint Scholastica, 2004
Websites
Publications
  1. Chakraborty S, Gonzalez JC, Sievers BL, Mallajosyula V, Chakraborty S, Dubey M, Ashraf U, Cheng BY, Kathale N, Tran KQT, Scallan C, Sinnott A, Cassidy A, Chen ST, Gelbart T, Gao F, Golan Y, Ji X, Kim-Schulze S, Prahl M, Gaw SL, Gnjatic S, Marron TU, Merad M, Arunachalam PS, Boyd SD, Davis MM, Holubar M, Khosla C, Maecker HT, Maldonado Y, Mellins ED, Nadeau KC, Pulendran B, Singh U, Subramanian A, Utz PJ, Sherwood R, Zhang S, Jagannathan P, Tan GS, Wang TT. Early non-neutralizing, afucosylated antibody responses are associated with COVID-19 severity. 2022. PMID: 35040666


  2. Sievers BL, Chakraborty S, Xue Y, Gelbart T, Gonzalez JC, Cassidy AG, Golan Y, Prahl M, Gaw SL, Arunachalam PS, Blish CA, Boyd SD, Davis MM, Jagannathan P, Nadeau KC, Pulendran B, Singh U, Scheuermann RH, Frieman MB, Vashee S, Wang TT, Tan GS. Antibodies elicited by SARS-CoV-2 infection or mRNA vaccines have reduced neutralizing activity against Beta and Omicron pseudoviruses. 2022. PMID: 35025672


  3. Chakraborty S, Gonzalez JC, Sievers BL, Mallajosyula V, Dubey M, Cheng BY, Thi Tran KQ, Chakraborty S, Cassidy A, Chen ST, Sinnott A, Gelbart T, Golan Y, Prahl M, Singh U, Kim-Schulze S, Sherwood R, Zhang S, Marron TU, Gnjatic S, Gaw SL, Nadeau KC, Merad M, Jagannathan P, Tan GS, Wang TT. Divergent early antibody responses define COVID-19 disease trajectories. 2021. PMID: 34075376


  4. Prahl M, Golan Y, Cassidy A, Matsui Y, Li L, Alvarenga B, Chen H, Jigmeddagva U, Lin C, Gonzalez V, Chidboy M, Warrier L, Buarpung S, Murtha A, Flaherman V, Greene W, Wu A, Lynch K, Rajan J, Gaw S. Evaluation of transplacental transfer of mRNA vaccine products and functional antibodies during pregnancy and early infancy. 2021. PMID: 34931183


  5. Simon N, Shallat J, Houck J, Jagannathan P, Prahl M, Muhindo MK, Kakuru A, Olwoch P, Feeney ME, Harrington WE. Peripheral Plasmodium falciparum infection in early pregnancy is associated with increased maternal microchimerism in the offspring. 2021. PMID: 34010401


  6. Prahl M, Golan Y, Cassidy AG, Matsui Y, Li L, Alvarenga B, Chen H, Jigmeddagva U, Lin CY, Gonzalez VJ, Chidboy MA, Warrier L, Buarpung S, Murtha AP, Flaherman VJ, Greene WC, Wu AHB, Lynch KL, Rajan J, Gaw SL. Evaluation of transplacental transfer of mRNA vaccine products and functional antibodies during pregnancy and early infancy. 2021. PMID: 34931197


  7. Golan Y, Prahl M, Cassidy AG, Gay C, Wu AHB, Jigmeddagva U, Lin CY, Gonzalez VJ, Basilio E, Chidboy MA, Warrier L, Buarpung S, Li L, Murtha AP, Asiodu IV, Ahituv N, Flaherman VJ, Gaw SL. COVID-19 mRNA Vaccination in Lactation: Assessment of Adverse Events and Vaccine Related Antibodies in Mother-Infant Dyads. 2021. PMID: 34804068


  8. Flaherman VJ, Afshar Y, Boscardin J, Keller RL, Mardy A, Prahl MK, Phillips C, Asiodu IV, Berghella WV, Chambers BD, Crear-Perry J, Jamieson DJ, Jacoby VL, Gaw SL. Infant Outcomes Following Maternal Infection with SARS-CoV-2: First Report from the PRIORITY Study. 2020. PMID: 32947612


  9. Golan Y, Prahl M, Cassidy A, Lin CY, Ahituv N, Flaherman VJ, Gaw SL. Evaluation of Messenger RNA From COVID-19 BTN162b2 and mRNA-1273 Vaccines in Human Milk. 2021. PMID: 34228115


  10. Golan Y, Prahl M, Cassidy AG, Gay C, Wu AHB, Jigmeddagva U, Lin CY, Gonzalez VJ, Basilio E, Warrier L, Buarpung S, Li L, Asiodu IV, Ahituv N, Flaherman VJ, Gaw SL. COVID-19 mRNA Vaccination in Lactation: Assessment of adverse effects and transfer of anti-SARS-CoV2 antibodies from mother to child. 2021. PMID: 34373861


  11. Song D, Prahl M, Gaw SL, Narasimhan SR, Rai DS, Huang A, Flores CV, Lin CY, Jigmeddagva U, Wu A, Warrier L, Levan J, Nguyen CBT, Callaway P, Farrington L, Acevedo GR, Gonzalez VJ, Vaaben A, Nguyen P, Atmosfera E, Marleau C, Anderson C, Misra S, Stemmle M, Cortes M, McAuley J, Metz N, Patel R, Nudelman M, Abraham S, Byrne J, Jegatheesan P. Passive and active immunity in infants born to mothers with SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy: prospective cohort study. 2021. PMID: 34234001


  12. Song D, Prahl M, Gaw SL, Narasimhan S, Rai D, Huang A, Flores C, Lin CY, Jigmeddagva U, Wu AHB, Warrier L, Levan J, Nguyen CBT, Callaway P, Farrington L, Acevedo GR, Gonzalez VJ, Vaaben A, Nguyen P, Atmosfera E, Marleau C, Anderson C, Misra S, Stemmle M, Cortes M, McAuley J, Metz N, Patel R, Nudelman M, Abraham S, Byrne J, Jegatheesan P. Passive and active immunity in infants born to mothers with SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy: Prospective cohort study. 2021. PMID: 33972953


  13. Prahl M, Odorizzi P, Gingrich D, Muhindo M, McIntyre T, Budker R, Jagannathan P, Farrington L, Nalubega M, Nankya F, Sikyomu E, Musinguzi K, Naluwu K, Auma A, Kakuru A, Kamya MR, Dorsey G, Aweeka F, Feeney ME. Exposure to pesticides in utero impacts the fetal immune system and response to vaccination in infancy. 2021. PMID: 33420104


  14. Blauvelt CA, Chiu C, Donovan AL, Prahl M, Shimotake TK, George RB, Schwartz BS, Farooqi NA, Ali SS, Cassidy A, Gonzalez JM, Gaw SL. Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome in a Preterm Pregnant Patient With Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). 2020. PMID: 32384385


  15. 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. 2018. PMID: 30333241


  16. 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. 2018. PMID: 30016328


  17. 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. 2017. PMID: 29284469


  18. 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. 2017. PMID: 28480292


  19. 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. 2016. PMID: 27717402


  20. Prahl M, Dhaliwal G, Shulman ST, Doshi N, Monash B. Another spin. 2016. PMID: 27018991