Mala Maini is a Professor of Viral Immunology in the Division of Infection and Immunity at UCL, London and also works as a Consultant Physician in the viral hepatitis clinic. She completed her specialist medical accreditation in 1995 and a PhD in Immunology in 1998. In 2002 she was awarded an MRC Fellowship to start up her own lab researching HBV pathogenesis. Mala was promoted to a Personal Chair at UCL in 2009 and awarded Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Awards in 2013 and 2019. Her lab is at the forefront internationally of research on liver immunity and immunotherapy for hepatitis B and liver cancer, recognised by her election to the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2016 and her H-index of 48. The Maini lab focuses on the influences of the liver and tumour environment on adaptive immunity, particularly the cellular and metabolic constraints and the adaptations of tissue-resident lymphocytes. The aim of their work is to identify tractable targets for the immunotherapy of hepatitis B and hepatocellular carcinoma.
Mala is an elected member of the Wellcome Trust Clinical Fellowship panel, the Academy of Medical Sciences selection committee, the editorial board of Journal of Hepatology and the HBV Forum. She has supervised a number of successful PhD students and clinical fellows, and mentors many junior female scientists beyond her own group. During the pandemic Mala has switched part of her lab to work on the immunology of COVID-19 and is one of 5 Theme Leads coordinating the research efforts of 17 UK institutions through the UK-Coronavirus Immunology Consortium.
The Maini lab currently receives funding from the Wellcome Trust, Cancer Research UK, Medical Research Council, National Institute for Health Research, EU Horizon 2020 and Gilead Sciences.