Meet the Team
Dr. Prasanna Jagannathan | Principal Investigator
Assistant Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases) and of Microbiology and Immunology
Prasanna Jagannathan, MD, joined the faculty at Stanford University in 2017. Dr. Jagannathan is an infectious disease specialist with a research program in human immunology and infectious diseases.
Following his undergraduate degree in Religious Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, Dr. Jagannathan taught high school science in Los Angeles through Teach for America. He then went to Harvard Medical School to earn his MD, before completing internal medicine residency and infectious diseases fellowship at UCSF. He was a post-doc and junior faculty member in the laboratory of Dr. Margaret Feeney at UCSF prior to joining the faculty at Stanford in 2017.
Dr. Jagannathan's current research program focuses on understanding correlates and mechanisms of naturally acquired immunity to malaria through field-based studies, and to better understand the immunologic consequences of malaria control interventions. His group is also evaluating novel therapeutic strategies for patients with mild to moderate COVID-19.
Life Science Research Professional
- B.A. Molecular & Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley
- B.A. Labor Studies, University of California, Los Angeles
- Research Area: Development of Antimalarial Immunity With or Without Chemoprevention (Dihydroartemisinin-Piperaquine)
A Labor Studies Graduate from UCLA, Julio’s research interest lies within the field of immunology. Recently, Julio received a diagnosis of a rare autoimmune disease. Julio has found empowerment in gaining a deeper understanding of his condition by delving into immune-related published research. This prompted his developing passion for immunology and infectious diseases research. Julio is an ACES (Adverse Childhood Experiences) Council Youth Leader and Stanford REACH Postbaccalaureate Scholar. His ultimate goal is to become an advocate for marginalized communities. Currently, he enjoys working with parasites and learning about immune responses towards chemopreventive treatments.
- B.Sc. Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Yale University
- Ph.D. Biological Sciences in Public Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
- Research Area: γδ T cells, immune memory, epigenetics
Kassie Press is a postdoctoral fellow investigating the role of γδ T cell function and innate immune memory in the development of anti-malarial immunity. Ever since a summer undergraduate project in Ghana, she has been passionate about pursuing research questions with relevance for malaria vaccine development. She received a B.S. from Yale University and a Ph.D. from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, where she was a Herchel Smith Fellow and received the Edgar Haber Award. She has worked abroad in numerous contexts- most recently over 5 months with our team in Tororo, Uganda - and hopes to continue building interdisciplinary and cross-cultural collaborations in the future. She also enjoys chairing the Compassion & Justice Board at her church and making birthday cakes to celebrate lab members’ birthdays.
- B.Sc. and M.Sc. Biomedical Sciences, University of Leiden
- Ph.D. Immunology, University of Cambridge
- Research Area: SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell responses, cytokine production, functional assays, activation induced markers (AIM) assay, single cell RNA sequencing, NK cells
Kattria joined the Jagannathan lab as a postdoc in the fall of 2020. She investigated the SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell response in COVID-19 outpatients (Lambda cohort) and is now interested in investigating the impact of co-infections, like malaria, in the response to SARS-CoV-2 infections in the Ugandan population. During her PhD at University of Cambridge in the UK and her previous postdoc at MSKCC in New York she spent most of her time on investigating and understanding NK cell biology in the setting of CMV infection and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. When she is not in the lab, she spends time organizing events for Stanford postdoc families, hiking and exploring California’s stunning nature.
- B.Sc.H. Virology, University of Glasgow
- M.Res. Hosts, Pathogens and Global Health, University of Edinburgh
- Ph.D. Immunology, University of Edinburgh
- Research Area: T Cells, Determinants of Disease Severity, Infant Immune Development, Systems Immunology
During his PhD with Phil Spence in Edinburgh, Florian studied both falciparum and vivax malaria using controlled human (re)infection models, collaborating closely with the groups of Simon Draper, Angela Minassian and Giorgio Napolitani in Oxford. As a hybrid bioinformatician and experimentalist, Florian loves systems immunology for answering complex questions about human health. In the Jagannathan lab, he studies how the human immune response to malaria evolves in infants as they become reinfected and age. He also is interested in how early-life infections, malaria and beyond, may affect vaccine responses and immune development later in life. Florian addresses this question by making use of a longitudinal study cohort of infants receiving monthly chemoprevention in Eastern Uganda, together with our collaborators at UC San Francisco and IDRC Uganda.
- B.Sc. Microbiology & Immunology, University of Nevada
- Research Area: Naturally Acquired T Cell Immunity against Placental Malaria
Adam Kirosingh (CURE-Oh-Sing) is working to uncover the immune mechanisms behind maternal immunity to malaria through successive pregnancies. By generating large datasets from patient samples to inform hypothesis-driven experiments he will guide vaccination efforts to protect pregnant mothers and their children.
- B.Sc. Microbiology, University of California, San Diego
- Research Area: disease tolerance, innate immune memory, Tr1 cells, computational immunology
- B.Sc. Chemical Engineering, Stanford University
- M.Sc. Biomedical Informatics, Stanford University
- Research Area: Malaria in Pregnancy, Placental Malaria
- B.Sc. Biology, Brown University
- Research Area: innate immunity, malaria
Savannah Lewis (she/her/hers) is a graduate student interested in the innate immune response to malaria. She received a B.S. from Brown University, where she completed an honors thesis in the lab of Dr. Jeffrey Bailey studying the spatial and temporal distribution of antimalarial drug resistance in Tanzania and Rwanda. Currently, she is using our pregnancy cohort studies to investigate the factors mediating enhanced placental malaria immunity in multigravid mothers. Long term, she looks forward to working with our teams abroad and redefining NK cell biology in the context of malaria.
- B.A. Molecular & Cellular Biology, University of California, Berkeley
- Research Area: Malaria, Therapeutics
Chloe is a graduate student in the Translational Research and Applied Medicine master's program and received a B.A. from UC Berkeley. She is passionate about tackling global health issues and making medicines more accessible. Currently, she is exploring potential therapeutics and better intervention methods in malaria-endemic settings. Prior to joining the Jagannathan lab, she worked in Dr. Michael Wilson's lab at UCSF, researching the role of B cells in various autoimmune diseases.
- Research Area: innate immune responses to malaria, CD123+ myeloid cells, emergency myelopoiesis, trained immunity.
Nora is an undergraduate studying Human Biology. She is fascinated by immunological approaches to understanding human health and disease. She is currently working on her honors thesis in the Jagannathan lab with Jason Nideffer studying a novel population of CD123+ myeloid cells in innate immune responses to malaria infection. More broadly, she is interested in exploring how evolving global environments and social systems interact with human and pathogen physiology to influence human health and wellbeing. In her free time, she enjoys backpacking, yoga, and knitting.
- M.Sc. Molecular biology, Makerere University
- Ph.D. Immunology and molecular biology, Makerere University
- Research area: NK cells, KIR, HLA, malaria drug and diagnostic resistance
Stephen Tukwasibwe is a Junior investigator at IDRC interested in studying NK cells and immunity to malaria as well as malaria drug and diagnostic resistance. Over the past 10 years, Stephen has been involved in both training and research focusing on malaria. He is a lecturer in the Department of Biochemistry, School of medicine, Uganda Christian University (UCU). Stephen has won several awards and fellowships including; the Junior Investigator Award at the MU-UCSF-LSHTM-IDRC Junior Investigators Research Symposium for a high ranking MSc project, thrasher early career award to study malaria drug and diagnostic resistance in refugees entering Uganda. Stephen is currently leading a project titled, “the role of antimalarial antibodies in functional modulation of natural killer cell response to malaria” under the mentorship of Dr. Prasanna Jagannathan, Stanford University, USA and Prof. Philip Rosenthal, University of California, San Francisco, USA. Stephen is passionate about malaria research and hopes to develop a malaria research group at UCU.
- B.Sc. Biomedical Laboratory Technology, Makerere University
- M.Sc. Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Makerere University
- Research Area: understanding the development of T follicular helper cells and B cell subsets in children
Felistas is the laboratory manager of the field-based immunology laboratory in Tororo, Uganda. She oversees laboratory activities such as performing immunological assays, supplies inventory, processing cord and peripheral blood mononuclear cells and other sample types for various projects in the lab. Her research focus is studying the development of T follicular helper cells and B cell subsets in children.
She enjoys singing at church, and cooking.
Kenneth Musinguzi is an immunology laboratory technician working with the infectious diseases research collaboration (IDRC). He is interested in understanding how immunity to malaria develops. He's been with IDRC for 6 years. Kenneth possesses a master's degree in biomedical laboratory sciences and management. He has tremendously contributed research efforts towards IDRC's projects which seek to understand the immunology of malaria infection in pregnant women and children below 5 years. Kenneth has so far co-authored 4 peer reviewed publications during his time in IDRC.
Previously, Kenneth worked as an immunology laboratory technologist at Uganda Virus Research Institute where he gained expertise in the immunology of HIV/AIDS infection. His research efforts led to 3 peer reviewed papers.
- B.Sc. Biomedical Laboratory Technology, Makerere University
I am a laboratory technologist working at IDRC in the Immunology laboratory in Tororo funded by Dr. Prasanna Jagannathan. I am working on isolation of PBMCs, TLR experiments, and CD3 experiments all on malaria studies. Ever since college, I've had a passion for research and worked in many research centers across Uganda to mention but a few; Joint Clinical Research Centre (JCRC) research on HIV/AIDS, MRC/UVRI on worms in adolescents. I received an honors degree in Biomedical Laboratory Technology at Makerere University, and I am currently pursuing a post graduate Diploma in Project Planning and Management at Uganda Management Institute. Aside from my day to day lab activities, I organise biweekly CME presentations as well as team building activities. I hope to pursue further studies in the USA, such as Masters and PhD.
- B.Sc. Biochemistry & Chemistry, Makerere University
- Research Area: Antibody dependent Natural Killer cell Immunity in malaria
Yoweri Taremwa is a graduate trainee under Dr. Stephen Tukwasibwe, a Post-doctoral fellow at Infectious Diseases Research Collaboration. He obtained a B.S in Biochemistry and Chemistry from Makerere University in 2021 and shortly worked as a teaching assistant in the department of Biochemistry at Kampala International University in Western Uganda before joining Dr. Stephen. He is currently involved in the study of the role of antimalarial antibodies in the functional modulation of Natural Killer cells in response to malaria. Yoweri is passionate about scientific research and hopes to pursue further studies in bioinformatics and systems biology.
Besides running experiments, he loves watching documentaries and chatting with fellow lab members.
Chamai is a graduate of Molecular Biology (Makerere University) with initial degree in Bio-Medical Laboratory Technology (Makerere University). He is an alumnus of the Swiss Tropical Public Health Institute for an intensive training in malaria conducted at Ifakara Health Institute in Tanzania. He won a graduate research fellowship under the Cystic Echinococcosis sub-Saharan Africa Research Initiative at Makerere University in pathogen genomics. He was recently awarded another distance learning training fellowship in Bioinformatics by the Pan African Bioinformatics Network (University of Cape Town, South Africa). Chamai has over 10 years of experience in clinical laboratory and bio-medical research in infectious diseases. He is currently specialized in malaria. He is passionate about research in malaria-specific immunity and genomics. His hobbies include: playing football, gymnasium and rock climbing. He is a devout Christian, though non-denominational.
Karen Blake Jacobson
Current Position: Research Scientist at Vaccine Study Center - Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research
Jordan John Lee
Current Position: Epidemiology Analyst with the LA County Department of Public Health
Diego Martinez Mori
Current Position: MD/MS Student in the UCSF/UC Berkeley MD-Masters of Public Health Program
Current Position: Medical Student, Stanford University
Current Position: Research Coordinator, UCSF Juvenile Justice Behavioral Team
Current Position: Analyst, DeciBio Consulting
Current Position: Medical Student, Stanford University
Nahome Gebremariam Hagos
Current Position: Undergraduate Student, Stanford University
Current Position: Laboratory Leadership Services Fellow, US Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
Lauren de la Parte
Current Position: Medical Student, University of Miami