Senbagam Virudachalam, MD, MSHP is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania and a primary care pediatrician at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). She is also a faculty member in the Division of General Pediatrics, PolicyLab, and the Center for Pediatric Clinical Effectiveness at CHOP. Dr. Virudachalam’s research focuses on food justice, advancing equity in diet quality, and health outcomes for all children. She studies cross-sector approaches to ensure that all children have stable access to healthy food environments at home and in their communities, enabling them to grow into healthy adults. Dr. Virudachalam has extensive experience conducting community-engaged research, especially with regard to the evaluation of Home Plate, a food literacy and cooking skills intervention for low-income parents that she developed in close partnership with Early Head Start. Dr. Virudachalam serves as the scientific director of Culinary Medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine and as the director of sustainable community health partnerships at the Community Health and Literacy Center in South Philadelphia.
Dr. Virudachalam holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley, where she graduated with honors in Molecular and Cell Biology and with distinction in general scholarship. She earned her medical degree from the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine and completed her pediatric residency at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland. She then completed an academic general pediatrics fellowship at CHOP and earned a Master of Science in Health Policy Research from the University of Pennsylvania.