Padmaja Subbarao

MD MSc (Epid)

Research Interests
Asthma, epidemiology, intervention studies, infant pulmonary function, respiratory medicine

Associate Chief, Clinical Research
Co-Lead, Precision Child Health
CRC Tier 1, Pediatric Asthma and Lung Health
Senior Scientist & Professor
Hospital for Sick Children
University of Toronto and McMaster University

Dr. Subbarao is a Clinician-Scientist and holds a CRC Tier 1 Chair in Pediatric Asthma and Lung Health at the University of Toronto. Trained in both Epidemiology and infant and preschool lung function, she is a Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics, Physiology and Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto & The Hospital for Sick Children.

Dr. Subbarao’s research program focuses on disentangling preschool wheeze heterogeneity to precisely predict who will develop each type of asthma, monitor its progression and discover the risk factors, exposures and underlying biology associated with each asthma subtype.  She is the Director of the CHILD study (, one of the largest, most intensively characterized asthma birth cohorts in the world.  This world-leading study enabled the discovery of the importance of the gut microbiome for the protection against asthma5 (cited >500).  She also established the first infant lung function laboratory in Canada.  Her research in early life lung function as a biomarker and risk factors in asthma have enabled the earlier, precise prediction of asthma and monitoring of its progression, thus advancing the diagnosis and treatment of children with asthma.  

Dr. Subbarao has over $20 million in peer-reviewed funding and over 178 peer reviewed journal articles.  She is an international leader in lung function, co-authoring clinical practice guidelines and position statements for its use to monitor lung disease.  She serves as an Advisor to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to review of other asthma cohort studies.