Skip to main content

Pia S. Pannaraj, MD, MPH


Academic Appointment
  • Professor, Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Department of Pediatrics
Clinical Areas
  • Infectious Diseases – Pediatric
  • Undergraduate: University of Chicago, 1996
  • Medical School: University of California San Diego School of Medicine, 2001
  • Residency: University of California San Diego, 2004
  • Master in Public Health: University of Texas Health Science Center School of Public Health, 2007
  • Fellowship: Baylor College of Medicine, 2007
Dr. Pannaraj’s global research focuses on maternal and infant vaccinations to optimize immunization strategies.  She leads multiple longitudinal cohort studies to better understand immune responses to natural infection and vaccinations against influenza, RSV, SARS-CoV-2 and Rotavirus. Her translational research laboratory focuses on infant immune development, responses to mucosal vaccination, and the influence of breast milk and gut microbes on immune responses.  The overall goal is to find strategies to improve vaccine effectiveness and protect vulnerable infants and children from infectious diseases worldwide.
  1. Habel JR, Chua BY, Kedzierski L, …Pannaraj PS, James F, Holmes NE, Smibert OC, Trubiano JA, Gordon CL, Chung AW, Whitehead CL, Kent SJ, Lappas M, Rowntree LC, Kedzierska K. Immune profiling of SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy reveals NK cell and γδ T cell perturbations. JCI Insight, 2023; 10;8(7):e167157. PMID: 37036008
  2. Congrave-Wilson Z*, Cheng WA*, Lee Y, Perez S, Turner L, Marentes Ruiz CJ, Mendieta S, Skura A, Jumarang J, Del Valle J, Kubale J, Gordon A, Allen EK, Thomas PG, Pannaraj PS. Twelve-month longitudinal serology in SARS-CoV-2 naïve and experienced vaccine recipients and unvaccinated COVID-19-infected individuals. Vaccines 2022;10(5):813. PMID: 35632569
  3. Pannaraj PS, Costa-Martins AG, Cerini C, Li F, Wong SS, Webby RJ, Singh Y, Urbanski AH, Gonzalez-Dias P, Yang J, Nakaya H, Aldrovandi GM. Molecular Alterations in Human Milk in Simulated Maternal Mucosal Infection with Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccination.  Mucosal Immunol 2022;15(5):1040-1047. PMID: 35739193
  4. Bender JM, Lee Y, Cheng W, Marentes Ruiz CJ, Pannaraj PS. Coronavirus disease 2019 (CoVID-19) vaccine booster effects are seen in human milk antibody response. Front Nutr. 2022; 9:898849. PMID: 35685893
  5. Perez S, Luna Centeno LD, Cheng W, Marentes Ruiz CJ, Congrave-Wilson Z, Powell R, Stellwagen L, Pannaraj PS. Human milk SARS-CoV-2 antibodies up to 6 months after vaccination. Pediatrics. Pediatrics. 2022:e2021054260.  PMID: 34981122
  6. Tanaka ML, Marentes Ruiz CJ, Malhotra S, Turner L, Peralta A, Lee Y, Jumarang J, Perez S, Dien Bard J, Gordon A, Allen EK, Thomas PG, Pannaraj PS. SARS-CoV-2 Transmission Dynamics in Households With Children, Los Angeles, California. Front Pediatr. 2022; 9:752993. PMID: 35071125
  7. Rowntree LC, Nguyen TH, Kedzierski L, … Pannaraj PS, Licciardi PV, Kent SJ, Bond KA, Williamson DA, Rossjohn J, Thomas PG, Tosif S, Crawford NW, van de Sandt CE, Kedzierska K. SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell memory with common TCRαβ motifs is established in unvaccinated children who seroconvert after infection. Immunity, 2022; 55(7):1299-1315.e4. PMID: 35750048 
  8. Sahni LC, Price AM, Olson SM, Newhams MM, Pannaraj PS, ... Randolph AG, Patel MM, Boom JA. Factors associated with COVID-19 non-vaccination in adolescents hospitalized without COVID-19. J Pediatr Infect Dis Soc. 2022 Oct 30 [Online ahead of print]. PMID: 36309873
  9. Halasa NB, Olson SM, Staat MA, Newhams MM, Price AM, Pannaraj PS, ... Campbell AP, Randolph AG, Patel MM; Overcoming Covid-19 Investigators. Maternal Vaccination and Risk of Hospitalization for Covid-19 among Infants. N Eng J Med, 2022; 387(2):109-119.  PMID: 35731908
  10. Parker R*, Le J, Doan A, Aguiyo-Hiraldo P, Pannaraj PS, O’Gorman M, Dien-Bard J, Parekh C. COVID-19 in children, adolescents and young adults with cancer. Int J Cancer. 2022; 151(11):1913-1924. PMID: 35793239
  11. Price AM, Olson SM, Newhams MM, Halasa NB, Boom JA, Sahni LC, Pannaraj PS, ... Zambrano LD, Campbell AP, Patel MM, Randolph AG; Overcoming Covid-19 Investigators. BNT162b2 Protection against the Omicron Variant in Children and Adolescents. N Engl J Med. 2022; 386(20):1899-1909.  PMID: 35353976.
  12. Cheng WA, Turner L, Marentes Ruiz CJ, Tanaka ML, Congrave-Wilson Z, Lee Y, Jumarang J, Perez S, Peralta A, Pannaraj PS. Clinical manifestations of COVID-19 differ by age and obesity status. Influenza Other Respir Viruses. 2021 Oct 19. Online ahead of print. PMID: 34668322.
  13. Congrave-Wilson Z, Lee Y, Jumarang J, Perez S, Bender J, Dien Bard J, Pannaraj PS. Change in Saliva RT-PCR Sensitivity over the Course of SARS-CoV-2 Infection. JAMA 2021 Sep 21;326(11):1065-1067. PMID 34387653.
  14. Clemente S, Kaplan SL, Barson WJ, Lin PL, Romero JR, Bradley JS, Tan TQ, Pannaraj PS, Givner LB, and Hultén KG. Decrease in pediatric invasive pneumococcal disease during the COVID-19 pandemic. J Pediatr Dis Soc. 2022 Jun 22  [online ahead of print].
  15. Truong T, Ryutov A, Pandey U, Yee R, Goldberg L, Bhojwani D, Aguayo-Hiraldo P, Pinsky B, Pekosz A, Shen L, Boyd SD, Wirz OF, Roltgen K, Bootwalla M, Maglinte DR, Ostrow D, Ruble D, Han JH, Biegel JA, Li M, Huang CH, Sahoo MK, Pannaraj PS, O’Gorman M, Judkins AR, Gai X, Dien Bard J. Persistent SARS-CoV-2 infection and increasing viral variants in children and young adults with impaired humoral immunity. EBioMedicine 2021.
  16. Fernandez L, Pannaraj PS, Rautava S, Rodriguez J. The Microbiotia of the Human Mammary Ecosystem. Frontiers Cell Infect Microbiol. 2020 Nov 20. PMID: 33330129
  17. Kordy K, Gaufin T, Mwangi M, Li F, Cerini C, Lee DJ, Adisetiyo H, Woodward C, Pannaraj PS, Tobin NH, Aldrovandi GM. Contributions to human breast milk microbiome and enteromammary transfer of Bifidobacterium breve. PLOS One PLoS One. 2020;15(1):e0219633. PMID: 31990909
  18. Thatrimontrichai A, Pannaraj PS, Janjindamai W, Dissaneevate S, Maneenil G, Apisarnthanarak A. Intervention to reduce carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii in a neonatal intensive care unit. Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, 2020. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 32131902
  19. Anderson EJ, DeVincenzo JP, Simoes EAF, Krilov LR, Forbes ML, Pannaraj PS, Espinosa CM, Williver RC, Wolkoff LI, Yogev R, Checchia PA, Domachowske JB, Halasa N, McBride SJ, Kumar VR, McLaurin KK, Rizzo CP, Ambrose CS. SENTINEL1: Two-Season Study of Respiratory Syncytial Virus Hospitalizations among U.S. Infants Born at 29 to 35 Weeks’ Gestational Age Not Receiving Immunoprophylaxis. Am J Perinatol. 2020 Mar;37(4):421-429. PMID: 30991438
  20. Pokrzywinski RM, Swett LL, Pannaraj PS, Yi J, Pavilack MS, Kumar VR, McLaurin KK, Leidy NK. Impact of RSV-Confirmed Hospitalizations on Caregivers of US Preterm Infants. Clin Pediatrics 2019 Jul;58(8):837-850. PMID: 31007050
  21. Bender JM, Li F, Purswani H, Capretz T, Cerini C, Zabih S, Hung L, Francis N, Chin S,  Pannaraj PS & Aldrovandi GM. Early exposure to antibiotics in the neonatal intensive care unit alters the taxonomic and functional infant gut microbiome, J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med 2019.  PMID: 27464748
  22. Chaudhari PP, Monuteaux MC, Pannaraj PS, Khemani RG, Bachur RG. Age-Stratified Risk of Critical Illness in Young Children Presenting to the Emergency Department with Influenza. J Pediatr 2019 Dec;215:132-138.e2. PMID: 31561954
  23. Ho N, Li F, Lee-Sarwar K, Tun H, Brown B, Pannaraj P, Bender J, Azad M, Thompson A, Weiss S, Azcarate-Peril MA, Litonjua A, Kozyrskyj A, Jaspan H, Aldrovandi G, Kuhn L. Meta-analysis of effects of exclusive breastfeeding on infant gut microbiota across populations. Nature Communications. 2018; 9(1):4169. PMID: 30301893
  24. Pannaraj PS, Ly M, Cerini C, Saavedra M, Aldrovandi GM, Saboory A, Johnson K, Pride DT. Shared and distinct features of human milk and infant stool viromes. Frontiers Microbiol. 2018; 9:1162. PMID: 29910789
  25. Pannaraj, PS, Li F, Cerini C, Bender J, Yang S, Rollie A, Adisetiyo H, Zabih S, Lincez PJ, Bittinger K, Bailey A, Bushman FD, Sleasman DJ, Aldrovandi GM. Association Between Breast Milk Bacterial Communities and Establishment and Development of the Infant Gut Microbiome. JAMA Pediatr. 2017; 171(7):647-654. PMID: 28492938