Senbagam Virudachalam MD, MSHP
Senbagam Virudachalam is a faculty member at PolicyLab at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and an Instructor 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 preparation practices in families with young children. More broadly, Dr. Virudachalam is interested in understanding how best to promote positive health behaviors, both in community and home-based settings. Her current projects include qualitative work to better understand home food preparation practices in families with toddlers; a discrete choice experiment to ascertain parental preferences regarding an intervention to improve home food preparation practices; and partnering with Early Head Start in West Philadelphia to implement and evaluate a peer-mentored intervention focused on cooking. 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 2012 Bright Futures Academic Pediatric Association Young Investigator Award. 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.