Facebook Pixel Code
About Sickkids
About SickKids

Padmaja Subbarao, MD, MSc, FRCP (C)

The Hospital for Sick Children
Staff Respirologist
Respiratory Medicine

Research Institute
Translational Medicine

University of Toronto
Assistant Professor
Dept. of Paediatrics

Phone: 416-813-6167
Fax: 416-813-6246
Email: padmaja.subbarao@sickkids.ca

Research Interests

  • asthma
  • epidemiology
  • intervention studies
  • infant pulmonary function
  • respiratory medicine

Research Activities

Currently asthma and cystic fibrosis are the most common causes for hospitalization in children. Unfortunately little is known about how these diseases are initiated, although, we do agree that the symptoms and pathology start in infancy. Despite this we have no way of detecting airway disease in infants other than x-ray and clinical symptoms. There is increasing evidence, at least in CF, that there is significant disease in the airways prior to the development of clinical symptoms. In older children, we can detect some of this airway pathology by using lung function tests. These tests help us diagnose and assess response to treatment in children. Until the last five years, however, it has been impossible to use lung function tests in infants.

However, the technology is now available to perform a range of lung function tests in infants. With the advent of this technology, we may now be able to earlier diagnose and more effectively manage early airway disease associated with asthma and cystic fibrosis. In so doing, we may effectively, reduce the burden of disease in these children.

My primary research interest is in the early determinants and development of asthma. I am specifically studying changes in infant lung function biomarkers of inflammation in this understudied group to elucidate the effect of environment and specifically viruses on the development of early disease.

External Funding

2005-06. AllerGen NCE Inc.
Project # FP-2005-10 - Development of Objective Measurement of Airway Inflammation and Lung Function in Infants.


2003-04: Canadian Institutes of Health Research Fellowship - Infant Pulmonary Function Training Fellowship

2000-2001: Canadian Lung Association Research Fellowship - Asthma Research Fellowship


Subbarao P, Hulskamp G, Stocks J. Limitations of electronic compensation for measuring plethysmorgraphic airway resistances in infants. Pediatr Pulmonol, 2005; 40(1):45-52. (PA)

Subbarao P, Dorman SC, Rerecich T, Watson RM, Gauvreau GM, O'Byrne PM. Protection by budesonide and fluticasone on allergen-induced airway responses following discontinuation of therapy. J Allergy Clin Immunol , 2005; 115: 745-750.

Subbarao P, Lebecque P, Corey M, Coates AL. Comparison of spirometric reference equations. Pediatr Pulmonol 2004; 37:515-522.

Hancock TJ, Subbarao P, Kamada D, Watson RM, Hargreave FE, Inman MD. Beta2-agonist tolerance and exercise-induced bronchoconstriction. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2002; 165(8): 1068-70

Subbarao P, Brannan JD, Ho B, Anderson SD, Coates AL. Inhaled mannitol identifies methacholine responsive children with current asthma. Pediatr Pulmonol. 2000; 29:291-298.