Dr. Feeney is a Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases and Global Health at UCSF. She is the Principal Investigator of several NIH-funded projects focused on the immune response to malaria and CMV in infants and children. Dr. Feeney is board certified in Pediatric Infectious Diseases and provides clinical care for children with complex infections at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, where she also teaches students and housestaff. She holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Medicine (Division of Experimental Medicine) where her laboratory is based. She is active in mentoring programs for medical students, residents, and junior faculty, and is the recipient of an NIH K24 Mentoring Award entitled “Mentoring Translational Researchers for Careers in Pediatric Global Health”.
Dr. Feeney’s research interests encompass the host response to infection and age-based differences in the immune response during early life. Her laboratory conducted key studies of the infant antiviral immune response following mother-to-child transmission of HIV, in collaboration with pediatric clinicians South Africa and Jamaica. More recently, her lab has focused on understanding natural immunity to malaria, identifying correlates of protective antimalarial immunity to guide vaccine design, and investigating the impact of in utero antigen exposure on the fetal immune response to malaria and other perinatal pathogens. A major current emphasis in the lab is the role of gamma delta T cells (gdT), a unique population of semi-innate cells that play a major role in immunity in the fetus and infant. Gamma delta T cells have been shown to play a role in protective immunity to both P. falciparum and CMV.
Dr. Feeney is a member of the NIH IDEaL (Immune Development in Early Life) consortium and leads an ImmunoX Co-Project. Dr. Feeney was elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation in 2016 and has received several research awards including the Elizabeth Glaser Scientist Award from the Pediatric AIDS Foundation and the William F. Friedman Pediatric Research Award. She holds the Edward B. Shaw Chair in Pediatrics.