Kumaravel Rajakumar, MBBS, MS

  • Professor of Pediatrics

Kumaravel Rajakumar, MBBS, MS is an experienced pediatrician as well as an accomplished clinical researcher and medical educator. He joined the division of General Academic Pediatrics in 2000 and currently serves as a Professor of Pediatrics. Prior to coming to Pitt, Rajakumar served as Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the West Virginia University School of Medicine in Morgantown, WV from 1995-2000. 

Rajakumar graduated from Madras Medical College of the University of Madras in India with a MD (MBBS) degree in 1982 and a Diploma in Child Health in 1987. He has completed additional post-graduate pediatric training in the UK (1987-1992), Canada (1992-1993), and the US (1993-1995). He has been board-certified by the American Board of Pediatrics in General Pediatrics since 1994. Additionally, Rajakumar completed a Master of Science (MS) in Clinical Research from the University of Pittsburgh in 2010. 

Rajakumar’s research is focused on vitamin D nutrition in children with an emphasis on minority health and health disparities. With funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), he has characterized the impact of race, season, and diet on vitamin D status in children. He has conducted clinical trials examining the vascular and metabolic health benefits of vitamin D in obese and overweight children; he has also investigated the racial differences of the impact of vitamin D in the bone health of black and white children. He is nationally recognized for his vitamin D research efforts and serves as a reviewer for several peer-reviewed medical journals.

Professional and Scientific Society Memberships

  • American Academy of Pediatrics, Fellow, 1994-Present
  • Academic Pediatric Association, 1996-2014 
  • American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, 2002-2014 
  • American Society for Nutrition, 2007-Present
  • Society for Pediatric Research, 2010-Present
  • Endocrine Society, 2011-2017 

Education & Training

  • MBBS, University of Madras, 1982
  • Rotating House Officer, Madras Medical College, 1984-1985
  • DCH Post Graduate, Madras Medical College, 1987
  • Pediatric Senior House Officer, Victoria Hospital, 1987-1988
  • Senior House Officer, Hope Hospital, 1988
  • Pediatric Senior House Officer, East Birmingham Hospital, 1988-1989
  • Regional Rotating Registrar, Doncaster Royal Infirmary, 1990-1992
  • Fellowship in Neonatology, University of Manitoba, 1992-1993
  • Residency in Pediatrics, West Virginia University, 1993-1994
  • Fellowship in General Academic Pediatrics, West Virginia University, 1994-1995
  • MS, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Institute for Clinical Research Education, 2008-2010

Selected Publications

Rajakumar K, Moore CG, Khalid AT, Vallejo AN, Virji MA, Holick MF, Greenspan SL, Arslanian S, Reis SE. Effect of vitamin D3 supplementation on vascular and metabolic health of vitamin D-deficient overweight and obese children: a randomized clinical trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2020;111(4):757-768. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/nqz340. 

Rajakumar K, Yan Q, Khalid AT, Feingold E, Vallejo AN, Demirci FY, Kamboh MI. Gene Expression and Cardiometabolic Phenotypes of Vitamin D-Deficient Overweight and Obese Black Children. Nutrients. 2019;11(9). doi: 10.3390/nu11092016.  

Daniels SR, Pratt CA, Hollister EB, Labarthe D, Cohen DA, Walker JR, Beech BM, Balagopal PB, Beebe DW, Gillman MW, Goodrich JM, Jaquish C, Kit B, Miller AL, Olds D, Oken E, Rajakumar K, Sherwood NE, Spruijt-Metz D, Steinberger J, Suglia SF, Teitelbaum SL, Urbina EM, Van Horn L, Ward D, Young ME. Promoting Cardiovascular Health in Early Childhood and Transitions in Childhood through Adolescence: A Workshop Report. J Pediatr. 2019;209:240-251.e1.  

Khalid AT, Moore CG, Hall C, Olabopo F, Rozario NL, Holick MF, Greenspan SL, Rajakumar K. Utility of Sun-reactive Skin Typing and Melanin Index for Discerning Vitamin D Deficiency. Pediatr Res 2017;82:445-451 

Rajakumar K, Moore CG, Yabes J, Olabopo F, Haralam MA, Comer D, Holick, MF, Greenspan SL. Estimations of dietary vitamin D requirements in black and white children. Pediatr Res 2016;80:14-20 

Rajakumar K, Moore CG, Yabes J, Olabopo F, Haralam MA, Comer D, Bogusz J, Nucci A, Sereika S, Dunbar-Jacob J, Holick MF, Greenspan SL. Effect of vitamin D3 supplementation in black and in white children: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2015;100:3183-92 

Michel H, Olabopo F, Wang L, Nucci A, Greenspan SL, Rajakumar K. Determinants of 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Concentrations in Infants and Toddlers. Current Nutrition & Food Science 2015;11:124-130 

Rajakumar K, Holick MF, Moore CG, Cohen E, Olabopo F, Haralam MA, Bogusz J, Nucci A, Greenspan SL. Impact of Seasonal Flux in 25-hydroxyvitamin D on Bone Turnover in Pre- and Early Pubertal Youth. Pediatr Int 2014;56:35-42 

de las Heras J, Rajakumar K, Lee S, Bacha F, Holick MF, Arslanian SA. 25-hydroxyvitamin D in obese youth across the spectrum of glucose tolerance from normal to prediabetes to type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care 2013;36:2048-53 

Nucci AM, Russell C, Luo R, Ganji V, Olabopo F, Hopkins B, Holick MF, Rajakumar K. The effectiveness of a short food frequency questionnaire in determining vitamin D intake in children. Dermato-Endocrinology 2013;5:205-210 

Full Publication List via NIH PubMed »

Research Grants

1R01HL112985-01A1, Vitamin D and Vascular Function in Obese Children, (PI, 50% effort), 2013-2020, NIH/NHLBI/ODS, $3,480,923 

3 R01 HL112985-04S1, Vitamin D and Vascular Function in Obese Children (Administrative Supplement for research on dietary supplements), 2016-2020, NIH/ODS, $100,000