Director, Residency Program – IMPACT Global Health Track
Director, Pediatric Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program
Attending Physician

Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, Keck School of Medicine of USC
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Pia S. Pannaraj, MD, MPH, is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics and Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California and attending physician at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles in the Division of Infectious Diseases. Dr. Pannaraj’s research focuses strategies to improve immunization rates in the community setting with emphasis on maternal vaccination to protect infants. She also studies mucosal vaccination and immune response using influenza vaccine as a model.

Additional interests include epidemiology and pathogenesis of infectious diseases. Previously, her work included research on multiple aspects of Group B streptococcal vaccine development. Dr. Pannaraj serves as the current co-director of the Pediatric Global Health Residency Track.

She has been invited to lecture nationally and internationally on global health, tropical medicine, vaccines and vaccine-preventable diseases, neonatal health, zoonoses, and epidemiology of childhood infections. Dr. Pannaraj completed her infectious diseases fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine and Masters of Public Health at the University of Texas Health Science Center.

She finished medical school and residency training in pediatrics at University of California, San Diego. She received her undergraduate degree in Biology and Economics from the University of Chicago.

Clinical Interests

Global Health


Medical School: 

University of California, San Diego


University of California, San Diego


University of California, San Diego


Baylor College of Medicine



Pediatrics, American Board of Pediatrics; Infectious Diseases, American Board of Pediatrics; American Society of Tropical Medicine, Hygiene Certificate of Knowledge in Clinical Tropical Medicine and Traveler’s Health

Professional Memberships: 

American Academy of Pediatrics; American Medical Association; Infectious Disease Society of America: Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society: American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene: Association of Pediatric Program Directors


National Institutes of Health K23 Child Health Research Career Development Award, 2013-2018 American Academy of Pediatrics and United Nations Foundation Shot@Life Campaign Minigrant Award, 2013; Thrasher Research Fund Award, 2009-11


Pannaraj PS, Li F, Cerini C, Bender JM, Yang S, Rollie A, Adisetiyo H, Zabih S, Lincez PJ, Bittinger K, Bailey A, Bushman FD, Sleasman JW, Aldrovandi GM. Association Between Breast Milk Bacterial Communities and Establishment and Development of the Infant Gut Microbiome. JAMA Pediatr. 2017 Jul 1;171(7):647-654.

Anand V, Holmen J, Neely M, Pannaraj PS, Dien Bard J. Closing the Brief Case: Neonatal Meningitis Caused by Listeria monocytogenes Diagnosed by Multiplex Molecular Panel. J Clin Microbiol. 2016 Dec;54(12):3075.

Anand V, Holmen J, Neely M, Pannaraj PS, Dien Bard J. The Brief Case: Neonatal Meningitis Caused by Listeria monocytogenes Diagnosed by Multiplex Molecular Panel. J Clin Microbiol. 2016 Dec;54(12):2846-2849.

Wacharachaisurapol N, Bender JM, Wang L, Bliss D, Ponrartana S, Pannaraj PS. Abdominal Actinomycosis in Children: A Case Report and Literature Review. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2017 Mar;36(3):e76-e79.

Bender JM, Li F, Martelly S, Byrt E, Rouzier V, Leo M, Tobin N, Pannaraj PS, Adisetiyo H, Rollie A, Santiskulvong C, Wang S, Autran C, Bode L, Fitzgerald D, Kuhn L, Aldrovandi GM. Maternal HIV infection influences the microbiome of HIV-uninfected infants. Sci Transl Med. 2016 Jul 27;8(349):349ra100. 

Anderson EJ, Krilov LR, DeVincenzo JP, Checchia PA, Halasa N, Simões EA, Domachowske JB, Forbes ML, Pannaraj PS, McBride SJ, McLaurin KK, Kumar VR, Ambrose CS. SENTINEL1: An Observational Study of Respiratory Syncytial Virus Hospitalizations among U.S. Infants Born at 29 to 35 Weeks' Gestational Age Not Receiving Immunoprophylaxis. Am J Perinatol. 2017 Jan;34(1):51-61.

Smit MA, Wang HL, Kim E, Barragan N, Aldrovandi GM, El Amin AN, Mascola L, Pannaraj PS. Influenza Vaccine is Protective Against Laboratory-confirmed Influenza in Obese Children. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2016 Apr;35(4):440-5.

Cheung S, Wang HL, Mascola L, El Amin AN, Pannaraj PS. Parental perceptions and predictors of consent for school-located influenza vaccination in urban elementary school children in the United States. Influenza Other Respir Viruses. 2015 Sep;9(5):255-62.

Pannaraj PS, Bard JD, Cerini C, Weissman SJ. Pediatric carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae in Los Angeles, California, a high-prevalence region in the United States. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2015 Jan;34(1):11-6.

Pannaraj PS, Wang HL, Rivas H, Wiryawan H, Smit M, Green N, Aldrovandi GM, El Amin AN, Mascola L. School-located influenza vaccination decreases laboratory-confirmed influenza and improves school attendance. Clin Infect Dis. 2014 Aug 1;59(3):325-32.

Ha C, Rios LM, Pannaraj PS. Knowledge, attitudes, and practices of school personnel regarding influenza, vaccinations, and school outbreaks. J Sch Health. 2013 Aug;83(8):554-61.

Chavan RS, Pannaraj PS, Luna RA, Szabo S, Adesina A, Versalovic J, Krance RA, Kennedy-Nasser AA. Significant morbidity and mortality attributable to rothia mucilaginosa infections in children with hematological malignancies or following hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2013 Aug;30(5):445-54.

Tamma PD, Newland JG, Pannaraj PS, Metjian TA, Banerjee R, Gerber JS, Weissman SJ, Beekmann SE, Polgreen PM, Hersh AL. The Use of Intravenous Colistin among Children in the United States: Results from a Multicenter, Case-Series. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2013 Jan 32(1):17-22.

Pannaraj PS, Tam B, Akan D. Oseltamivir Treatment and Prophylaxis in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit During a 2009 H1N1 Influenza Outbreak. J Perinatol. Jul 2011 31(7):487-93.

Pannaraj PS, Edwards MS, Ewing KT, Lewis AL, Rench MA, Baker CJ. Group B streptococcal conjugate vaccine elicits functional antibodies independent of strain O-acetylation. Vaccine. Jul 2009 27(33):4452-6.

Pannaraj PS, Kelly JK, Rench MA, Madoff LC, Edwards MS, Baker CJ. Alpha C protein-specific immunity in humans with group B streptococcal colonization and invasive disease. Vaccine. Jan 2008 26(4):502-8.

Pannaraj PS, Kelly JK, Madoff LC, Rench MA, Lachenauer CS, Edwards MS, Baker CJ. Group B Streptococcus bacteremia elicits beta C protein-specific IgM and IgG in humans. J Infect Dis. Feb 2007 195(3):353-6.

Research Interests: 

Maternal Immunizations, Influenza Epidemiology, Influenza Vaccination Strategy, Herd Immunity, Neonatal Infections, Gut microbiome in the developing infant, Breast milk microbiome

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