CHILD Director awarded prestigious Tier 1 Canada Research Chair

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CHILD Cohort Study Director Dr. Padmaja Subbarao is among 156 accomplished scholars whose new or renewed Canada Research Chair funding was announced today by the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.

Dr. Subbarao was awarded a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Pediatric Asthma and Lung Health, on June 15, 2021. The award constitutes a significant recognition of her research accomplishments to date.

Canada Research Chairs are world-class scientists and scholars from diverse backgrounds who are working on new discoveries and innovations that help our environment, health, communities and economy thrive.

Tier 1 Chairs are awarded to “outstanding researchers acknowledged by their peers as world leaders in their fields.”

“I am proud and excited about this award as it supports research that will help us generate a risk score to identify young children at risk for subtypes of asthma and develop targeted interventions and precision health-based strategies to address this chronic childhood condition,” comments Dr. Subbarao.

Dr. Subbarao’s research program focuses on improving our understanding of the developmental origins of asthma and lung health. She has developed and evaluated the use of novel early life lung function tools as objective measures of the onset of lung disease, and she established the first infant lung function laboratory in Canada. Her evaluation of multiple breath washout (MBW) as a clinical research tool for monitoring disease onset and progression in infants and preschoolers with cystic fibrosis (CF), in part, led to its accepted use as an outcome measure for early-life CF clinical trials.

As Director of the CHILD Cohort Study, Dr. Subbarao oversees a national birth cohort study involving nearly 3,500 children and their families, and 40 researchers across the country. CHILD has enabled significant discoveries about the early-life factors influencing child health and wellbeing, including the development of childhood asthma, allergies, obesity, among other conditions. 

Dr. Subbarao is Associate Professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at The University of Toronto; Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Medicine at McMaster University; and a clinician-scientist and co-lead of the new Precision Child Health initiative at The Hospital for Sick Children.