Vasantha Padmanabhan, MS, PhD

Professor, Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases
Professor, OB-Gyn
Professor, Molecular & Integrative Physiology

300 N. Ingalls NIB 1138
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5404


Areas of Interest

Dr. Padmanabhan's research is translational and centers on understanding the fetal origin of pubertal and adult reproductive and metabolic disorders and the impact of steroids and estrogenic environmental pollutants in programming such defects. Utilizing integrative approaches ranging from cell and molecular biology as well as in vitro systems to whole animal physiology the emphasis is to understand the fundamental processes controlling reproductive cyclicity in the female, the mechanisms by which environmental / hormonal influences in early fetal life program reproductive failures and insulin resistance such as that seen in hyperandrogenic disorders like Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and to identify prevention and treatment strategies. Research also centers on understanding the neuroendocrine mechanisms involved in the control of follicle-stimulating hormone, a key regulator of ovarian follicular development and fertility in women, its structure function relationships and the neuroendocrine and paracrine mechanisms controlling ovarian folliculogenesis, delineation of which will aid in overcoming infertility problems as well as in developing contraceptive approaches.

Selected Publications:

Sarma HN, Manikkam M, Herkimer C, Dell’Orco J, Foster DL, Padmanabhan V. 2005 Fetal programming: excess prenatal testosterone reduces postnatal LH, but not FSH responsiveness to estradiol negative feedback in the female. Endocrinology 146:4281-4291. PMID: 15976056

Savabieasfahani M, Kannan K, Astapova O, Evans NP, Padmanabhan V. 2006 Developmental programming: differential effects of prenatal exposure to bisphenol-A or methoxychlor on reproductive function. Endocrinology 147:5956-5966. PMID: 16946013

Steckler TL, Herkimer C, Dumesic DA, Padmanabhan V. 2009 Developmental Programming: excess weight gain amplifies the effects of prenatal testosterone excess on reproductive cyclicity- implication to PCOS. Endocrinology 150:1456-1465. PMID:18974266; PMCID: PMC2654744. featured in December 2008 issue of Endocrine News

Smith P, Steckler TL. Veiga-Lopez A, Padmanabhan V. 2009 Developmental programming: differential effects of prenatal testosterone and dihydrotestosterone on follicular recruitment and depletion of follicular reserve. Biol Reprod 80: 726-736. PMID: 19092114; PMCID: PMC2804827.

Veiga-Lopez A, Astapova OI, Aizenberg E, Lee JS, Padmanabhan V. 2009 Developmental programming: contribution of prenatal androgen and estrogen in organizing estradiol feedback systems and periovulatory hormonal dynamics in sheep. Biol Reprod 80:718-725. PMID: 19122183; PMCID: PMC2804826

Ortega HH, Salvetti NR, Padmanabhan V. 2009 Developmental programming: prenatal androgen excess disrupts ovarian steroid receptor balance. Reproduction 137:865-877. PMID: 19261835; PubMed - in process.

Padmanabhan V, Veiga-Lopez A, Abbott DH, Recabarren SE, Herkimer C. 2010 Developmental programming: Impact of prenatal testosterone excess and postnatal weight gain on insulin sensitivity index and transfer of traits to offspring of overweight females. Endocrinology 151:595-605. PMID: 19966179; PMCID: PMC2817622. Featured in Endocrine News

Veiga-Lopez A, Lee JS, Padmanabhan V 2010 Developmental programming: Insulin sensitizer treatment improves reproductive function in prenatal testosterone-treated female sheep. Endocrinology 151:4007-4017, PMID: 20555028; PMCID: PMC2940534.

Nada SE, Thompson RT, Padmanabhan V 2010 Developmental programming: Differential effects of prenatal testosterone excess on insulin target tissues. Endocrinology 151: 5165–5173; PMID: 20843997; PMCID: PMC2954716.

Veiga-Lopez A1, Steckler TL, Abbott DH, Welch KB, MohanKumar PS, Phillips DJ, Refsal K, Padmanabhan V 2011 Developmental programming: Impact of excess prenatal testosterone on intra-uterine fetal endocrine milieu and growth. Biol Reprod. 84:87-96 PMID: 20739662


PhD, Indian Institute of Science, India