Mary Ellen Vajravelu, MD, MSHP

Dr. Vajravelu's research focuses on pediatric obesity and type 2 diabetes. She studies best practices for using mobile health to improve patient care and health outcomes. Additionally, Dr. Vajravelu combines her training in epidemiology, biostatistics, qualitative research, and quality improvement to study and improve clinical effectiveness of therapies for children with endocrine-related diseases.

Motivated by the challenges of translating interventions into practice, Dr. Vajravelu completed a Master of Science in Health Policy Research degree with a concentration in Healthcare Quality Improvement and Patient Safety at the University of Pennsylvania. During fellowship, under the mentorship of Dr. Diva De Leon-Crutchlow, she investigated the use of novel and widely used therapies for congenital hyperinsulinism and received an Endocrine Fellows Foundation grant to investigate the impact of pancreatectomy and intragastric dextrose on the gut microbiome in infants with congenital hyperinsulinism.

Dr. Vajravelu’s clinical experience caring for youth with obesity and prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, as well as her interest in health services research, led her to shift her research focus to addressing youth-onset type 2 diabetes, a disease with lifelong consequences and an increasingly large societal burden. At the end of fellowship, she assembled a large retrospective cohort of youth followed in the CHOP Primary Care Network who were at risk for type 2 diabetes to explore factors associated with appropriate diabetes screening, as well as the impact of hemoglobin A1c test results on body mass index trajectory.

She is also a co-investigator on the NIDDK-funded TODAY (Treatment Options for type 2 Diabetes in Adolescents and Youth) study and has been a mentor for the NIDDK Medical Student Research Program in Diabetes.

In addition to her research efforts, Dr. Vajravelu has led her Division’s quality improvement work since 2017.

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