Faculty Profile

Vasantha Padmanabhan

Vasantha Padmanabhan, MS, PhD

  • Professor emerita (In service), Pediatrics
  • Professor emerita (In service), Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Professor emerita (In service), Molecular and Integrative physiology

Vasantha Padmanabhan's research is translational and centers towards understanding the fetal origin of pubertal and adult reproductive and metabolic disorders. Using a precocial large animal model of human translational relevance, her laboratory focuses on studying the impact of maternal exposure to native steroids (testosterone, estradiol) and environmental pollutants such as bisphenol-A in altering the developmental trajectory of fetus and programming adult reproductive and metabolic diseases such as that seen in hyperandrogenic disorders like Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and metabolic syndrome and identifying prevention and treatment strategies. More recently she is investigating the mechanisms by which a mother's exposure to a real-life cocktail of chemicals present in biosolids during pregnancy can affect the long-term reproductive and metabolic health of her offspring and that of subsequent generations. In parallel with these animal studies that address causal mechanisms, she is using the Michigan Mother Infant Pregnancy (MMIP) longitudinal cohort that she developed to understand the impact of maternal and infant exposures on the maternal and infant milieu (metabolome, steroid profile, oxidative stress, inflammasome, epigenome and pregnancy/birth outcomes. She has published over 240 peer-reviewed manuscripts and 66 chapters/reviews, an invited speaker in several national and international meetings, and member of several NIH study sections. She also is professor emerita (in service) of Environmental Health Sciences and Nutritional Sciences. She serves as an Associate Editor or editorial Board member of several top tier journals.

  • PhD, Indian Institute of Science, India
  • MS, Bangalore University, India
  • BS, Mysore University, India

Research Interests:
Developmental origin of diseases, reproductive disorders, metabolic dysfunctions, Environmental chemical mixtures, obesity, polycystic ovary syndrome, pregnancy, birth outcomes

Research Projects:
NIH/NIDDK T32DK071212. Developmental origin of metabolic disorders. MPI: Vazquez/Olson/Padmanabhan. period of support 7/15-6/26, Role: PI.

NIH/NIEHS UG3OD02325/UH3OD02325 Prenatal exposures and child health outcomes: a statewide study (PI: Barone, Copeland, Elliott, Paneth, Ruden, Karver). 09/01/16-08/31/23, Role: co-investigator.

R21 HD095501: Assessment of placental blood volume flow and function in IUGR using transfer function model (PI: Rubin). 01/19-01/23, Role: Co-investigator.

R01 HD098233. Reproductive consequences of testosterone administration for female-to-male gender transition. (PI: Moravek). 04/01/2019 03/31/2024, Role: co-investigator.

R01 ES 030374 Transgenerational consequences of pre-conceptional and in utero exposure to real-life chemical mixtures on fertility and metabolic health. (MPI: Padmanabhan/Evans/Sinclair). 08/01/19-08/31/24, Role: Contact PI.

NIH R01 HD099096 Multigenerational Effects of Prenatal Androgen Excess (MPI; Padmanabhan/Cardosa), 06/01/2020-05/31/2025.
Administrative supplement: R01HD099096-02S1,9/2021-5/2022, Role; Contact PI.

R01 HD099402. A microphysiological engineered 3D system to the rescue of ovarian follicles. (PI:Shikanov). 09/01/2020-07/31/2023, Role: co-investigator.

R01 HL 139639 Gestational Hyperandrogenism in Cardiovascular Programming (MPI: Vyas/Padmanabhan) .09/01/2020-08/31/2024. Role: PI.

R01DK124862. Maternal metabolic and molecular changes induced by preconception weight loss and their effects on birth outcomes (MPI:Burant/Dolinoy/Padmanabhan/Rothberg) 09/01/2020-08/31/2024, Role: PI.

R01 HD104173. Engineering an immuno-isolating hydrogel for restoring ovarian endocrine function (PI:Shikanov). 06/01/2021-02/28/2026, Role: co-investigator.

NIDDK128205. Glycemic reduction approaches in polycystic ovary syndrome: a comparative effectiveness study (PI: Saslow). 12/15/2021- 11/30/2026, Role: co-investigator.

NIEHS P30 ES017885-10. Michigan Center on Lifestage Environmental Exposures and Disease (M-LEEaD) (PI: Dolinoy) 04/01/2022-03/31/2027, Role: co-investigator, Associate Director, Leader-Research Program.

Dou J, Puttabyatappa M, Padmanabhan V, Bakulski KM 2020 Developmental programming: Transcriptional regulation of visceral and subcutaneous adipose by prenatal bisphenol-A in female sheep. Chemosphere 255:127000

Banker M, Puttabyatappa M, O'Day P, Goodrich JM, Kelley A, Domino SE, Smith Y, Dolinoy DC, Song PXK, Auchus RJ, Padmanabhan V. 2021 Association of maternal / neonatal steroids with early pregnancy endocrine disrupting chemicals and pregnancy outcomes. Clin Endocrinol Metab 106(3):665-687.

Padmanabhan V, Song W, Puttabyatappa M 2021 Praegnatio Perturbatio - Impact of endocrine disrupting chemicals. Endocr Rev 42 (3), 295-353.

Saadat N, Puttabyatappa M, Elangovan VR, Dou J, Thompson RC, Bakulski KM, Padmanabhan V 2022 Developmental programming: prenatal testosterone excess on liver and muscle coding and non-coding RNA in female sheep. Endocrinology 163(1): 1-27.

Puttabyatappa M, Saadat N, Elangovan VR, Dou J, Bakulski K, Padmanabhan V Developmental programming: impact of prenatal bisphenol-A exposure on liver and muscle transcriptome of female sheep. Toxicology and applied Pharmacology 451:116161.

Elcombe CS, Monteiro A, Elcombe MR, Ghasemzadeh-Hasankolaei M, Sinclair KD, Richard Lea R, Padmanabhan V, Evans NP, Bellingham M. Developmental exposure to real-life environmental chemical mixture programs a Testicular Dysgenesis Syndrome-like phenotype in prepubertal lambs. Environ. Toxicol. Pharmacol. 94 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.etap.2022.103913 

Email: vasantha@umich.edu 
Office: 734-647-0276
Fax: 734-615-5441

Mailing Address:
1150 W. Medical Center Dr.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Office Address:
7641A, Med Sci II
Ann Arbor, MI 4810