Faculty Feature Arpita Vyas

Arpita Kalla Vyas, MD, was born in India, and at a very young age, her parents relocated to Costa Rica. The schools and community in San Jose, Costa Rica, provided her and her family a sense of belonging. She spent most of her childhood and adolescence there. She completed her medical training at the University of Sheffield in the UK. The moves she made early on across continents allowed for a better understanding of different cultures and led her to learn life skills required to embrace diversity and inclusivity.

The inception of considering a career in pediatrics started while serving in an orphanage in San Jose as part of the Duke of Edinburgh’s course, spanning two years. Her passion for a career in pediatrics further strengthened during medical school, rotating through various pediatric subspecialties at Sheffield Children’s Hospital. After completing her medical education in 2001, she trained at Britain’s premier institutes, including Sheffield and Birmingham Children’s Hospitals. She worked for the National Health Services in the UK until 2005 before moving to the U.S.

St. Louis holds a special place in Vyas’ heart as it was her first home in the U.S. She learned to drive on the “wrong side of the road” in St. Louis and was introduced to the American healthcare system while training at St. Louis Children’s Hospital in pediatric endocrinology. She completed her pediatric residency at Rainbow Babies and Children Hospital in Cleveland while simultaneously completing the “international health track” residency. She feels fortunate to have trained in various healthcare systems and embraces the best of both healthcare systems in her practice.

Apart from clinical training, Vyas also had the opportunity to train in basic science research under the mentorship of Paul Hruz, MD, PhD, studying the mechanism underlying the perturbed cardiac insulin signaling. The academic environment and research training at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis were the building blocks for her future research endeavors. She received a NIH K12 BIRCWH award during her tenure at Michigan State University in Lansing, investigating the role of androgens in developmental programming. She gained expertise in utilizing a large animal model (ovine) under the mentorship of Vasantha Padmanabhan, MD, PhD, at the University of Michigan. This formed the basis for her currently funded NIH R01 addressing the mechanisms underlying the adverse cardiovascular function from gestational hyperandrogenism. She aspires to expand her research portfolio in the field of maternal-fetal medicine and long-term offspring outcomes from adverse in-utero insults.

Vyas was recently recruited back to St. Louis by Ana María Arbeláez, MD, MSCI to join the Division of Pediatric Endocrinology in October 2022 and is very excited to be back in St. Louis and at WashU. She is looking forward to contributing meaningfully to the institution through collaborative science and patient care.

She has two children, Anoushka (13) and Adi (9), who keep her busy when she is not working. Anoushka is working towards becoming the next Supreme Court chief justice, while Adi wants to become a pediatrician, just like his mother. They are both looking forward to joining the St. Louis community next summer and plan on spending a lot of time at Six Flags!

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