A photo of Vidya Chidambaran.

Vidya Chidambaran, MD, MS

  • Director, Perioperative Pain Management
  • Professor, UC Department of Anesthesia



My life experiences with family members needing medical care during their illnesses, and the nobility of a profession where you can make a difference in others' lives, drew me to becoming a physician.

Pediatrics was always my passion. I relate well to children and I enjoy taking care of them. My clinical specialties are pediatric anesthesia, perioperative pain and ultrasound-guided regional analgesia. In addition, anesthesia is a field that adds lifesaving skills and allows me to care for patients in times of high stress, such as when undergoing surgery. I use my skills to help manage pain, which can enable their recovery.

My research areas include personalized medicine, pharmacogenomics, epigenetics, chronic post-surgical pain and psychosocial predictors of pain. My clinical field and experience led me to believe each individual is unique. In addition, it showed me the importance of the big picture in improving perioperative outcomes, which includes understanding gene-environmental interactions. This led to my desire to combine my clinical skills with my research interests.

The goals of my research are: 1) to identify preoperative interventions for the optimization of pain management; 2) to develop genomic and epigenetic risk predictors for perioperative and chronic post-surgical pain response; and 3) to develop pharmacologic targets based on genomic studies.

I am honored to have received many awards and appointments throughout my career, including:

  • Mind Brain Behavior RIP awards (2020)
  • Charlotte Schmidlapp Women's Scholar Program (2019)
  • Member, Board of Directors, Society of Pediatric Anesthesia (2019)
  • R01 grant from the NIAMS (NIH) (2019-2024)
  • Program chair for the annual meeting of the Society of Pediatric Pain Medicine (2019)
  • Translational Scholar Career Awards in Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine (K23) from Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) (2014 - 2019)
  • Outstanding and Best Abstract awards from the Society of Pediatric Pain Medicine (2016, 2017, 2019, 2020)
  • Co-chair of the Pain and Genetics special interest group (SIG) at the American Pain Society annual meeting
  • Member of the institutional research committees; Clinical, Translational, Outcomes, and Health Services (CTOHS) and the Integrated Research Advisory Committee (IRAC) at Cincinnati Children's
  • Director of the Perioperative Pain Service (2017)
  • Center for Pediatric Genomics (2016 - 2017)
  • Shared Facility Discovery Award from Cincinnati Children's Research Fund (2016 - 2017)
  • Highest Orthopedic Patient Experience (HOPE) Award (2015)
  • Recipient of extramural funding: APSF / ASA Safety Scientist Career Development Award from the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation (2012 - 2014)
  • T1 Junior Faculty Award (2011 - 2012)
  • Young Investigator Award – First place for two consecutive years from the Society of Pediatric Anesthesia (2010, 2011)
  • My research in perioperative pain, chronic post-surgical pain, opioid safety, pharmacogenomics and epigenetics has been supported by the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Center for Clinical and Translational Science and Training (CCTST) Clinical Research Feasibility Funds (2010 - 2011)
  • Anesthesia liaison for the surgical site infection steering committee at Cincinnati Children's and the Orthopedics Microsystem lead

My mentees have similarly received research awards over the last few years. I’ve given international talks and organized symposia at national and international pain meetings, including those of the American Pain Society and the International Association for the Study of Pain.

Additional Languages

Hindi, Tamil


A step towards understanding disparities - linking race, ancestry, epigenetics and pain. Chidambaran, V; Mersha, TB. Epigenomics. 2021; 13:1791-1796.

Postoperative Pain Management of Pediatric Neurosurgical Patients. Awad, M; Narayanasamy, S; Chidambaran, V. Fundamentals of Pediatric Neuroanesthesia. 2021.

Concerns About Pediatric Opioid Prescribing Guidelines. Agarwal, R; Chidambaran, V; Hays, SR. JAMA Surgery. 2021; 156.

Methylation quantitative trait locus analysis of chronic postsurgical pain uncovers epigenetic mediators of genetic risk. Chidambaran, V; Zhang, X; Pilipenko, V; Chen, X; Wronowski, B; Geisler, K; Martin, LJ; Barski, A; Weirauch, MT; Ji, H. Epigenomics. 2021; 13:613-630.

Systems Biology Guided Gene Enrichment Approaches Improve Prediction of Chronic Post-surgical Pain After Spine Fusion. Chidambaran, V; Pilipenko, V; Jegga, AG; Geisler, K; Martin, LJ. Frontiers in Genetics. 2021; 12.

Pragmatic comparative effectiveness study of multimodal fascia iliaca nerve block and continuous lumbar epidural-based protocols for periacetabular osteotomy. Albertz, M; Whitlock, P; Yang, F; Ding, L; Uchtman, M; Mecoli, M; Olbrecht, V; Moore, D; McCarthy, J; Chidambaran, V. Journal of Hip Preservation Surgery. 2021; 7:728-739.

Postoperative Pain Management in Pediatric Spinal Fusion Surgery for Idiopathic Scoliosis. Lee, CS; Merchant, S; Chidambaran, V. Paediatric Drugs. 2020; 22:575-601.

Tertiary Pediatric Academic Institution's Experience With Intraoperative Neuromonitoring for Nonspinal Surgery in Children With Mucopolysaccharidosis, Based on a Novel Evidence-Based Care Algorithm. Kandil, AI; Pettit, CS; Berry, LN; Busso, VO; Careskey, M; Chesnut, E; Buck, DW; Leslie, ND; Tamai, J; McAuliffe, JJ; et al. Anesthesia and Analgesia. 2020; 130:1678-1684.

Systems biology-based approaches to summarize and identify novel genes and pathways associated with acute and chronic postsurgical pain. Chidambaran, V; Ashton, M; Martin, LJ; Jegga, AG. Journal of Clinical Anesthesia. 2020; 62.

Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic considerations in developing a response to the opioid epidemic. Balyan, R; Hahn, D; Huang, H; Chidambaran, V. Expert Opinion on Drug Metabolism and Toxicology. 2020; 16:125-141.

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