Senbagam Virudachalam, MD, MSHP

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

Senbagam Virudachalam is a faculty member at PolicyLab and the Division of General Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at both CHOP and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on understanding and improving home food environments and home food preparation practices among families with young children. More broadly, Dr. Virudachalam is interested in understanding how best to promote positive health behaviors starting from early childhood, both in community and home-based settings. Her current projects include Home Plate, a randomized controlled trial to evaluate a peer-mentored intervention focused on improving food preparation practices among parents of toddlers, and a discrete choice experiment to assess barriers to participation in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs and farm stands among members of the West Philadelphia community. Through her work, she aims to inform dialogue, practice, and policy to help ensure that all children have access to a stable home food environment, enabling them to grow into healthy adults.

Dr. Virudachalam holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley, where she graduated with Honors in Molecular and Cell Biology and Distinction in General Scholarship. She earned her medical degree from the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine and completed her pediatric residency at Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland. She then entered the Academic General Pediatrics fellowship at CHOP and earned a Master of Science in Health Policy Research from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Virudachalam is a recipient of the Academic Pediatric Association Bright Futures Young Investigator Award, supported by the Maternal Child Health Bureau and the American Academy of Pediatrics. In addition to research, she is actively involved in medical student and resident education and works clinically as a general pediatrics teaching attending in both primary care and inpatient settings at CHOP.