Throughout my scientific training, I have focused on building an interdisciplinary background in molecular parasitology, biochemistry, immunology, and public health to provide me with the skills needed to pursue development of a successful malaria vaccine. My PhD research at Harvard centered on understanding immune responses to the developing transmission stages of malaria. By providing the first evidence for natural immunity to immature transmission stages, this work supports interrupting development and maturation of these parasites as a novel approach to transmission-blocking vaccine design. During my postdoctoral fellowship and in the future, I hope to continue researching host-pathogen interactions with applications to malaria vaccine development, while also being involved in global health work in the field. Currently my work focuses on understanding mechanisms of natural immunity to malaria and immune tolerance, particularly in the context of gamma delta T cell and monocyte responses.

Honors & Awards

  • ASTMH Centennial Travel Award, American Society of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (2021-2022)
  • A.P. Giannini Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, A.P. Giannini Foundation (2020-2023)
  • Stanford Maternal & Child Health Institute Postdoctoral Support Award, Stanford Maternal & Child Health Institute (2019-2021)
  • Thrasher Research Fund Early Career Award, Thrasher Research Fund Early Career Award (2018-2021)
  • T32 Postdoctoral Fellowship, Stanford Immunology Department (2017-2018)
  • Edgar Haber Award, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (May 2017)
  • Harvard Global Health International Travel Fellowship, Harvard Global Health Institute (May 2012)
  • Herchel Smith Graduate Fellowship, Harvard University (April 2011)
  • Henry Hart Rice Foreign Residence Fellowship, Yale University (February 2010)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations

  • Global Health Postdoctoral Affiliate, Stanford Center for Innovation in Global Health (CIGH) (2022 - Present)
  • Member, American Society of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (2016 - Present)

Professional Education

  • Bachelor of Science, Yale University (2010)
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Harvard University (2017)

All Publications

  • Emerging role of gammadelta T cells in vaccine-mediated protection from infectious diseases. Clinical & translational immunology Dantzler, K. W., de la Parte, L., Jagannathan, P. 2019; 8 (8): e1072


    gammadelta T cells are fascinating cells that bridge the innate and adaptive immune systems. They have long been known to proliferate rapidly following infection; however, the identity of the specific gammadelta T cell subsets proliferating and the role of this expansion in protection from disease have only been explored more recently. Several recent studies have investigated gammadelta T-cell responses to vaccines targeting infections such as Mycobacterium, Plasmodium and influenza, and studies in animal models have provided further insight into the association of these responses with improved clinical outcomes. In this review, we examine the evidence for a role for gammadelta T cells in vaccine-induced protection against various bacterial, protozoan and viral infections. We further discuss results suggesting potential mechanisms for protection, including cytokine-mediated direct and indirect killing of infected cells, and highlight remaining open questions in the field. Finally, building on current efforts to integrate strategies targeting gammadelta T cells into immunotherapies for cancer, we discuss potential approaches to improve vaccines for infectious diseases by inducing gammadelta T-cell activation and cytotoxicity.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/cti2.1072

    View details for PubMedID 31485329

  • MECHANISMS DRIVING ALTERED V Delta 2+Gamma Delta T CELL FUNCTION DURING RECURRENT MALARIA INFECTION Dantzler, K. W., Klemm, S., Polidoro, R., Rao, A., Junquiera, C., Dvorak, M., Rek, J., Kamya, M., Cheung, P., Kuo, A., Dorsey, G., Feeney, M., Lieberman, J., Khatri, P., Greenleaf, W., Jagannathan, P. AMER SOC TROP MED & HYGIENE. 2019: 111
  • γδ T Cells in Antimalarial Immunity: New Insights Into Their Diverse Functions in Protection and Tolerance. Frontiers in immunology Dantzler, K. W., Jagannathan, P. 2018; 9: 2445


    Uniquely expressing diverse innate-like and adaptive-like functions, γδ T cells exist as specialized subsets, but are also able to adapt in response to environmental cues. These cells have long been known to rapidly proliferate following primary malaria infection in humans and mice, but exciting new work is shedding light into their diverse functions in protection and following repeated malaria infection. In this review, we examine the current knowledge of functional specialization of γδ T cells in malaria, and the mechanisms dictating recognition of malaria parasites and resulting proliferation. We discuss γδ T cell plasticity, including changing interactions with other immune cells during recurrent infection and potential for immunological memory in response to repeated stimulation. Building on recent insights from human and murine experimental studies and vaccine trials, we propose areas for future research, as well as applications for therapeutic development.

    View details for DOI 10.3389/fimmu.2018.02445

    View details for PubMedID 30405634

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6206268

  • gamma delta T Cells in Antimalarial Immunity: New Insights Into Their Diverse Functions in Protection and Tolerance FRONTIERS IN IMMUNOLOGY Dantzler, K. W., Jagannathan, P. 2018; 9
  • IMPACT OF RECURRENT MALARIA ON V Delta 2 Gamma Delta T CELL <it>IN VITRO</it> ANTI-PARASITIC ACTIVITY Dantzler, K., Polidoro, R., Rek, J., Kamya, M., Dorsey, G., Feeney, M., Lieberman, J., Jagannathan, P. AMER SOC TROP MED & HYGIENE. 2018: 112