Remembering Malavika Subramanyam by IITGN Community 


This is an homage to Prof. Malavika Subramanyam, a Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Gandhinagar, our faculty colleague who left us on April 22, 2022.

Malavika was a beloved teacher and all her courses which she taught at IIT were very popular, especially the ‘When you cannot experiment: Social Science Methods’ course.  She was the Member-Secretary of the Institute Ethics Committee since its inception. During the COVID crisis in 2020, she conducted regular Quarantine Baat-Cheet Sessions for the students. She was a crucial member of the Student Well-Being Faculty Team. She had also been a member of the Institute Medical Advisory Committee since its inception and had been involved in the recruitment of all OPD personnel of the Institute and initial planning of operational procedure of the OPD, not only for her prominent medical background, but also for her profound concern for health issues of the greater IIT community.

Malavika had met the former institute director, Professor Sudhir Jain during one of his US tours to facilitate faculty recruitment. She would often say that the evening she spent with Profs. Jaison Manjaly and Sharmita Lahiri of the Humanities and Social Science discipline at Mangaldas ni Haveli, where she was taken for dinner when she came to give her job talk, was so magical that it made her want to be a part of IIT Gandhinagar.

Whenever one needed her, whether as a colleague to step into something— be it the Writing Course, a student’s committee, or grading a literature research question in a QE, or as a friend to share thoughts and listen, she was always there. So giving was she by nature that in a bid to do so, she was ready to go beyond her comfort zone. In the days after her joining, she had infused life into many Institute gatherings— whether it involved students or faculty colleagues, with her signature dance numbers.

One of her best qualities was her joie de vivre. This was a rare quality that forced people to smile and become lighthearted in her company. She was also kind and did not hesitate to reach out to people who were distressed for various reasons.  One did not have to think twice about calling her for information or a query. Ego was something that never came in the way of her interactions with her colleagues or with students. She was eminently approachable and one could always be comfortable in her company.

Malavika, a thorough professional with great expertise in her research field, was ceaselessly committed to her students who loved her back with all they had, and stayed with her until the end. She was gone too soon, with so much left to give and get from life.  Her death will be forever mourned just as we shall always cherish our fond memories of the time spent with her.



Research Interests: The influence of socioeconomic context (at multiple levels and in multiple domains), neighborhood of residence, as well as macroeconomic factors on undernutrition, obesity, insulin resistance and diabetes.



MBBS: Kuvempu University, 1996

MD: Manipal University, 2000

MPH: University of Northern Colorado, 2003

DSc: Harvard University, 2009


Selected Publications:

Sharma, A.J. and Subramanyam, M.A., 2020. Psychological wellbeing of middle-aged and older queer men in India: A mixed-methods approach. PloS One, 15(3), p.e0229893

Gundi, M. and Subramanyam, M.A., 2019. Menstrual health communication among Indian adolescents: A mixed-methods study. PloS One, 14(10)

Jain, S., Cohen, A.K., Paglisotti, T., M.A Subramanyam , Chopel, A. and Miller, E., 2018. School climate and physical adolescent relationship abuse: Differences by sex, socioeconomic status, and bullying. Journal of adolescence, 66, pp.71-82

Sebastian Vollmer, Kenneth Harttgen, Malavika A Subramanyam, Jocelyn Finlay, Stephan Klasen, S V Subramanian, Association between economic growth and early childhood undernutrition: evidence from 121 Demographic and Health Surveys from 36 low-income and middle-income countries, The Lancet Global Health, Volume 2, Issue 4, 2014, Pages e225-e234

S.V. Subramanian*, M.A. Subramanyam, D.J. Corsi, G. Davey Smith, 2013. Rejoinder: Need for a Data-driven Discussion on the Socioeconomic Patterning of Cardiovascular Health in India. International Journal of Epidemiology, 42(5):1438-43

M.A. Subramanyam, S.A. James, A.V. Diez-Roux, D.A. Hickson, D. Sarpong, M. Sims, H.A. Taylor Jr, S.B. Wyatt, 2013. Socioeconomic Status, John Henryism and Blood Pressure among African-Americans in the Jackson Heart Study. Social Science & Medicine, 93: 139-146


Work Experience:

Assistant Professor, Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar (2012 to 2022)

Lecturer and post-doctoral research fellow, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor MI, USA (Aug 2009 to 2022)

Research and teaching assistant, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston MA, USA (Jun 2004 – Jun 2009)

Graduate assistant, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley CO, USA (Aug 2001 – July 2003)

Assistant Professor, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal University, Manipal Karnataka (July 2000 – Jul 2001)