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.