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Tufts Public Health

Ramnath Subbaraman

Assistant Professor of Public Health and Community Medicine
Programs: Public Health

Ramnath Subbaraman

Assistant Professor of Public Health and Community Medicine
Programs: Public Health

Phone ​617-636-7000
Campus: Boston


Dr. Subbaraman is an infectious diseases physician and epidemiologist who conducts implementation science research on strategies to improve delivery of tuberculosis (TB) care, and he also investigates social determinants of health in urban slums. Over the last 15 years, Dr. Subbaraman has engaged in public health research and advocacy on a variety of issues in India including housing rights (as an intern at SPARC and the National Slum Dwellers’ Federation in Mumbai), HIV/AIDS (as a student researcher at the YRG CARE in Chennai), and health in urban slums (as a research lead at PUKAR in Mumbai). He has also received clinical training, provided clinical care to patients, and taught medical students in South Africa, Uganda, and India as a medical student and resident physician.

In addition to conducting research, Dr. Subbaraman teaches courses focused on global health in the Tufts MD/MPH program, and he serves as an attending physician on the infectious diseases consultation service at Tufts Medical Center. He has a secondary clinical appointment in the Division of Geographic Medicine and Infectious Diseases at Tufts Medical Center and is Associate Director of the Tufts Center for Global Public Health.


  • MSc, Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
  • Infectious Diseases Fellowship, Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital
  • Internal Medicine Residency, University of California San Francisco
  • MD, Yale University School of Medicine
  • BA, Social Anthropology and Biology, University of Chicago

Research synopsis

Dr. Subbaraman's field research in India focuses on identifying deficiencies across multiple points in the TB cascade of care to facilitate the development of patient-centered interventions. He is currently contributing to an evaluation of novel digital adherence technologies that have the potential to improve medication adherence in TB patients; this work is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He is also investigating approaches for improving the outcomes and yield of active case-finding strategies for early detection of individuals with TB, with the support of a Doris Duke Clinical Scientist Development Award.

Since 2012, Dr. Subbaraman has also contributed to research on social and environmental determinants of health in urban slums in India, in collaboration with colleagues at PUKAR, an innovative research collective based in Mumbai. PUKAR uses community-based participatory research approaches to engage youth living in marginalized populations to study their communities and advocate for social change. PUKAR’s health-related field research has illuminated the adverse impacts of legal exclusion on health outcomes in non-notified slums in India through studies of nutrition, child immunization, mental health, and water access, among other issues. Dr. Subbaraman is currently a co-principal investigator on a grant from the Sociology Program at the National Science Foundation exploring how public policies impact the experience of health in Mumbai's slum communities.


Subbaraman R, Chaguturu SK, Mayer KH, Flanigan TP, Kumarasamy N. Adverse effects of highly active antiretroviral therapy in developing countries. Clinical Infectious Diseases 2007; 45(8):1093-1101.

Subbaraman R, O'Brien J, Shitole T, Shitole S, Sawant K, Bloom DE, Patil-Deshmukh A. Off the map: the health and social implications of being a non-notified slum in India. Environment and Urbanization 2012; 24(2):643-663.

Subbaraman R, Shitole S, Shitole T, Sawant K, O'Brien J, Bloom DE, Patil-Deshmukh A. The social ecology of water in a Mumbai slum: failures in water quality, quantity, and reliability. BMC Public Health 2013; 13(1):173.

Subbaraman R, Nolan L, Shitole T, Sawant K, Shitole S, Sood K, Nanarkar M, Ghannam J, Betancourt TS, Bloom DE, Patil-Deshmukh A. The psychological toll of slum living in Mumbai, India: a mixed methods study. Social Science and Medicine 2014; 119:155-169.

Satyanarayana S, Subbaraman R, Shete P, Gore G, Das J, Cattamanchi, Mayer KH, Menzies D, Harries AD, Hopewell P, Pai M. Quality of tuberculosis care in India: a systematic review. International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease 2015; 19(7):751-763.

Subbaraman R, Nolan L, Sawant K, Shitole S, Shitole T, Nanarkar M, Patil-Deshmukh A, Bloom DE. Multidimensional measurement of household water poverty in a Mumbai slum: looking beyond water quality. PLOS One 2015; 10:e0133241.

Das J, Kwan A, Daniels B, Satyanarayana S, Subbaraman R, Bergkvist S, Das R, Das V, Pai M. Use of standardized patients to assess quality of tuberculosis care: a pilot, cross-sectional study. Lancet Infectious Diseases 2015; 15(11):1305-13.

Subbaraman R, Murthy S. The right to water in the slums of Mumbai, India. Bulletin of the World Health Organization 2015; 93(11):815-6.

Satyanarayana S, Kwan A, Daniels B, Subbaraman R, McDowell A, Bergkvist S, Das RK, Das V, Das J, Pai M. Use of standardised patients to assess antibiotic dispensing for tuberculosis by pharmacies in urban India: a cross-sectional study. Lancet Infectious Diseases 2016; 16(11):1261-1268.

Subbaraman R, Nathavitharana RR, Satyanarayana S, Pai M, Thomas BE, Chadha VK, Rade K, Swaminathan S, Mayer KH. The Tuberculosis Cascade of Care in India's Public Sector: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. PLOS Medicine 2016; 13(10):e1002149.

Subbaraman R, Thomas BE, Sellappan S, Suresh C, Jayabal L, Lincy S, Raja AL, McFall A, Solomon SS, Mayer KH, Swaminathan S. Tuberculosis Patients in an Indian Mega-city: Where Do They Live and Where Are They Diagnosed? PLOS One 2017; 12(8):e0183240.

Drain PK, Subbaraman R, Heimburger DC. Preserving the Fogarty International Center – Benefits for Americans and the World. New England Journal of Medicine 2017; 377(1):9-11.

Thomas B, Subbaraman R, Sellappan S, Suresh C, Lavanya J, Lincy S, Raja AL, Kokila S, Javeed B, Arumugam S, Swaminathan S, Mayer KH. Pretreatment loss to follow-up of tuberculosis patients in Chennai, India: a cohort study with implications for health systems strengthening. BMC Infectious Diseases 2018;18(1):142.

Nolan LB, Bloom DE, Subbaraman R. Legal status and deprivation in India's urban slums: an analysis of two decades of National Sample Survey data. Economic and Political Weekly 2018;53(15):47-55.

Kwan A, Daniels B, Saria V, Satyanarayana S, Subbaraman R, McDowell A, Bergkvist S, Das RK, Das V, Das J, Pai M. Variations in the quality of tuberculosis care in urban India: A cross-sectional, standardized patient study in two cities. PLOS Medicine 2018;15(9):e1002653.

Bloom DE, Khoury A, Subbaraman R. The promise and peril of universal health care. Science 2018; 361(6404):eaat9644.

Subbaraman R, de Mondesert L, Musiimenta A, Pai M, Mayer KH, Thomas BE, Haberer J. Digital adherence technologies for the management of tuberculosis therapy: mapping the landscape and research priorities. BMJ Global Health 2018; 3(5):e001018.

Daniels B, Kwan A, Satyanarayana S, Subbaraman R, Das RK, Das V, Das J, Pai M. Use of standardised patients to assess gender differences in quality of tuberculosis care in urban India: a two-city, cross-sectional study. Lancet Global Health 2019; 7:e633-e643.

Subbaraman R, Nathavitharana RR, Mayer KH, Satyanarayana S, Chadha VK, Arinaminpathy N, Pai M. Constructing care cascades for active tuberculosis: a strategy for program monitoring and identifying gaps in quality of care. PLOS Medicine 2019; 16(2):e1002754.