Sesh A. Sundararaman, MD, PhD

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Sesh A. Sundararaman, MD, PhD, is an attending physician with the Division of Infectious Diseases at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. 

Locations: Main Hospital
Appointments and Referrals: 1-800-TRY-CHOP (1-800-879-2467)


Sesh A. Sundararaman, MD, PhD is an attending physician in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. His interests in global health are focused in two related areas: 1) Studying the molecular and cell biology of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, with a focus on leveraging host-parasite interactions to guide the design of new antimalarial therapies; and 2) improving the care of children and families traveling abroad to visit friends and relatives, especially in the prevention of malaria and other travel-related illnesses.

Education and Training

Medical School

MD - Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA


Pediatrics - Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA


Pediatric Infectious Diseases - Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA

Board Certification

Pediatrics – American Board of Pediatrics

Graduate Degree

PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology - Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Titles and Academic Titles

Attending Physician, Division of Infectious Diseases

Departments and Services




Loy DE, Plenderleith LF, Sundararaman SA, Liu W, Gruszyczyk J, Chen YJ, Trimboli S, Learn GH, MacLean OA, Morgan ALK, Li Y, Avitto AN, Giles J, Calvignac-Spencer S, Sachse A, Leendertz FH, Speede S, Ayouba A, Peeters M, Rayner JC, Tham WH, Sharp PM, Hahn BH. Proc Natl Acad Sci, 2018 Sep 4;115(36):E8450-E8459. PMID:30127015

Plenderleith LJ, Liu W, MacLean OA, Li Y, Loy DE, Sundararaman SA, Bibbolet-Ruche F, Learn GH, Hahn BH, Sharp PM. Adaptive Evolution of RH5 in Ape Plasmodium species of the Laverania Subgenus. MBio, 2018 Jan 23; 9(1). PMID: 29362238


Liu W, Sherrill-Mix S, Learn GH, Scully EJ, Li Y, Avitto AN, Loy DE< Lauder AP, Sundararaman SA, Plenderleith LJ, Ndjango JN, Georgiev AV, Ahuka-Mundeke S, Peeters M, Bertolani P, Dupain J, Garai C, Hart JA, Hart TB, Shaw GM, Sharp PM, Hahn BH. Wild bonobos host geographically restricted malaria parasites including a putative new Laverania species. Nat Commun, 2017 Nov 21;8(1):1635. PMID: 29158512

*Clarke E, *Sundararaman SA, Seifert SN, Bushman FD, Hahn BH, Brisson D. swga: a primer design toolkit for selective whole genome amplification. Bioinformatics, 2017 Jul 15; 33(14):2071-2077. PMID: 28334194

Cowell AN, Loy DE, Sundararaman SA, Valdivia H, Fisch K, Lescano A, Baldeviano GC, Durand S, Gerbasi RV, Sutherland C, Nolder D, Hahn BH, Winzeler EA, Vinetz JM. Selective whole genome amplification of Plasmodium vivax from unprocessed blood samples and dried blood spots for scalable whole genome sequencing. Genome Biology (submitted).


Guggisberg AM, Sundararaman SA, Lanaspa M, Moraleda C, González R, Mayor A, Cisteró P, Hutchinson D, Kremsner PG, Hahn BH, Bassat Q, Odom AR. Whole genome sequencing to evaluate the resistance landscape following antimalarial treatment failure with fosmidomycin-clindamycin. J Infect Dis, 2016 Jul 20; jiw304. PMID: 2744361

Loy DE, Liu W, Li Y, Learn GH, Plenderleith LJ, Sundararaman SA, Sharp PM, Hahn BH. Out of Africa: Origins and evolution of the human malaria parasites Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax. Int J Parasitol, 2016 Jul 2; S0020-7519(16):30122-9. PMID: 27381764

Liu W, Sundararaman SA, Loy DE, Learn GH, Yingying L, Plenderleith LJ, Ndjango J, Speede S, Atencia R, Debby C, Shaw GM, Ayouba A, Peeters M, Rayner JC, Hahn BH, Sharp PM. Multigenomic delineation of Plasmodium species of the Laverania subgenus infecting wild-living Chimpanzees and Gorillas. Genome Biol Evol, 2016 Jul 2; 8(6):1929-39. PMID: 27289102

Sundararaman SA, Plenderleith LJ, Liu W, Loy DE, Learn GH, Li Y, Shaw KS, Ayouba A, Peeters M, Speede S, Shaw GM, Bushman FD, Brisson D, Rayner JC, Sharp PM, Hahn BH. Genomes of cryptic chimpanzee Plasmodium species reveal key evolutionary events leading to human malaria. Nat Commun, 2016 Mar 22; 7:11078. PMID: 27002652


Larremore DB, Sundararaman SA, Liu W, Proto WR, Clauset A, Loy DE, Speede S, Plenderleith LJ, Sharp PM, Hahn BH, Rayner JC, Buckee CO. Ape parasite origins of human malaria virulence genes. Nat Commun, 2015 Oct 12; 6:8368. PMID: 26456841


Liu W, Li Y, Shaw KS, Learn GH, Plenderleith LJ, Malenke JA, Sundararaman SA, Ramirez MA, Crystal PA, Smith AG, Bibollet-Ruche F, Ayouba A, Locatelli S, Esteban A, Mouacha F, Guichet E, Butel C, Ahuka-Mundeke S, Inogwabini BI, Ndjango JB, Speede S, Sanz CM, Morgan DB, Gonder MK, Kranzusch PJ, Walsh PD, Georgiev AV, Muller MN, Piel AK, Stewart FA, Wilson ML, Pusey AE, Cui L, Wang Z, Färnert A, Sutherland CJ, Nolder D, Hart JA, Hart TB, Bertolani P, Gillis A, LeBreton M, Tafon B, Kiyang J, Djoko CF, Schneider BS, Wolfe ND, Mpoudi-Ngole E, Delaporte E, Carter R, Culleton RL, Shaw GM, Rayner JC, Peeters M, Hahn BH, Sharp PM. African origin of the malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax. Nat Commun, 2014 Feb 24; 5:3346. PMID: 24557500

Ocwieja KE, Fernando AN, Sherrill-Mix S, Sundararaman SA, Tennekoon RN, Tippalagama R, Krishnananthasivam S, Premawansa G, Premawansa S, De Silva AD. Phylogeography and molecular epidemiology of an epidemic strain of dengue virus type 1 in Sri Lanka. Am J Trop Med Hyg, 2014 Aug 6; 91(2):225-34. PMID: 24799375


Sundararaman SA, Liu W, Keele BF, Learn GH, Bittinger K, Mouacha F, Ahuka-Mundeke S, Manske M, Sherrill-Mix S, Li Y, Malenke JA, Delaporte E, Laurent C, Mpoudi Ngole E, Kwiatkowski DP, Shaw GM, Rayner JC, Peeters M, Sharp PM, Bushman FD, Hahn BH. Plasmodium falciparum-like parasites infecting wild apes in southern Cameroon are not a recurrent source of human malaria. Proc Nat Acad Sci USA, 2013 Apr 23; 110(17):7020-5. PMID: 23569255


Ting CS, Hsieh C, Sundararaman S, Manella C, Marko M. Cryo-electron tomography reveals the comparative three-dimensional architecture of Prochlorococcus, a globally important marine cyanobacterium. J Bacteriol, 2007; 189(12):4485-93.

Posters and Presentations


Sundararaman SA, Daniels A, John AO, Characterizing the Plasmodium falciparum esterase repertoire to advance design of serum stable antimalarial prodrugs, Pediatrician Scientist Development Program Annual Meeting, March 2022.

Invited Lectures


“Leveraging the Plasmodium falciparum esterase repertoire to design parasite-specific prodrugs”, Oral Presentation, PAraCon, College Station, PA. July 2023.

“Characterizing the Plasmodium falciparum esterase repertoire to advance design of serum stable antimalarial prodrugs”, Oral Presentation, AMSPDC-PSDP Annual Meeting, Clearwater, FL. Mar 2023.


"Characterizing the Plasmodium falciparum esterase repertoire to advance design of serum stable antimalarial prodrugs", Oral Presentation, Molecular Parasitology Meeting, Woods Hole, MA. Sept 2022.

Awards and Honors

2021, Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society – St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Fellowship Award in Basic and Translational Research
2017, Michael S Brown, MD Award, Perelman School of Medicine
2016, Richard K. Root Prize for Infectious Disease Research, Perelman School of Medicine
2015, Poster Award, Molecular Parasitology Meeting XXVI
2008, Magna Cum Laude, Williams College
2005, American Society of Plant Biologists Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship
2004-2008, Dean’s List, Williams College

Leadership and Memberships

Memberships in Professional Organizations

2020-present, Infectious Diseases Society of America
2020-present, Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society
2017-present, American Academy of Pediatrics