Pramila researches human monoclonal antibody response to influenza and ebola viruses at the MRC Human Immunology Unit at the MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Oxford under the mentoring of Professor Alain Townsend.
She also works on the analysis of antigenic drift of seasonal influenza virus by the use of human monoclonal antibodies. She finished her DPhil under the supervision of Professor Alain Townsend at the University of Oxford in 2017.
During her DPhil, along with colleagues and collaborators in Taiwan and China, she studied the antigenic drift of H1N1 virus in 2013-2014, and the immune response to H7N9 infected people in Taiwan and China. The first study revealed how the focused immune response in some humans can promote the antigenic drift of influenza virus. The second paper reported the neutralisation breadth and structural-epitope of H7N9 antibodies. They found that elderly elicited H7 HA-specific antibodies, whereas young donors majorly elicited cross-reactive antibodies carrying a higher number of somatic mutations.
Recently, she studied the human monoclonal antibodies obtained from people vaccinated with the Ebola vaccine. The combination of well-characterised antibodies was found to treat Ebola virus-infected guinea pigs. This collaborative project with the Jenner Institute and the UCB Pharma, showed that the therapeutic antibodies can be obtained from human clinical trials, which have implications for dealing with emerging infections.
Her current research interests also include human antibodies to influenza neuraminidases (NA). Neuraminidase is an important antigen and the antibodies to NA can be protective. However, the field lacks in-depth research on the breadth of NA response and the vulnerable sites on NA protein. This project is sponsored by the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences - Oxford Institute.