Mary Ellen Vajravelu, MD, MSHP

  • Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

Mary Ellen Vajravelu, MD, MSHP, is an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology. She is a practicing pediatric endocrinologist at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh with clinical and research interests in pediatric insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and obesity, and she is an investigator within the Center for Pediatric Research in Obesity and Metabolism.

Vajravelu earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University and completed medical school at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, where she was a member of Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. She completed residency in pediatrics and fellowship in pediatric endocrinology at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Motivated by the challenges of translating interventions into practice, 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. She was the recipient of the Endocrine Society’s Early Investigator Award and NIH Loan Repayment Award. Prior to joining Pitt Pediatrics, Vajravelu was an instructor and assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine and served as the Quality Improvement Director for the Division of Endocrinology & Diabetes at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Vajravelu’s research focuses on pediatric obesity and type 2 diabetes as well as the use of mobile health (mHealth) to improve patient care and health outcomes. With the support of an NIH NIDDK K23 Mentored Career Development Award, she is evaluating the impact of an mHealth-based physical activity intervention for adolescents and young adults with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. Vajravelu also has expertise in the use of large datasets for assessing health outcomes. She enjoys mentoring trainees and collaborating with researchers across disciplines.

Professional and Scientific Society Memberships

  • Pediatric Endocrine Society, 2015-Present
    • Quality Improvement Committee, 2016-Present
  • The Endocrine Society, 2015-Present
  • Society for Pediatric Research, Junior Section, 2019-Present
  • Eastern Society of Pediatric Research, 2017-2021

Education & Training

  • BS, Biomedical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, 2008
  • MD, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, 2012
  • Residency in General Pediatrics, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, 2012-2015
  • Fellowship in Pediatric Endocrinology, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, 2015-2018
  • Fellowship in Healthcare Quality Improvement and Patient Safety, Center for Healthcare Improvement and Patient Safety, University of Pennsylvania and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, 2018-2018
  • MSHP, University of Pennsylvania, 2018

Selected Publications

Academic and Research Interests

  • Pediatric endocrinology
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Health services research
  • Obesity
  • Prediabetes
  • mHealth
  • Physical activity
  • Optum
  • Behavioral economics
  • Quality improvement
  • Implementation science