Pooja Kakar, MD, IBCLC is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Stanford University's Division of General Pediatrics and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, with her primary practice at Gardner Packard Children's Health Center. Dr. Kakar has established a breastfeeding medicine clinic and leads efforts to align hospital- and community-based lactation support initiatives. She also serves as the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Section on Early Career Physicians Liaison to the Section on Breastfeeding. Complementing her work in the clinical setting, Dr. Kakar is co-project investigator on two pragmatic trials to address childhood obesity and develop novel digital health applications to promote equitable access to safe outdoor spaces.

Dr. Kakar earned her BA with Honors in Cell Biology and Neuroscience at Rutgers University, followed by an MD with Distinction in Service to the Community at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. She completed her Pediatric Residency at St. Christopher’s Hospital in Philadelphia. Dr. Kakar has language proficiency in Spanish and Hindi.

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations

  • Leadership Council on Section of Breastfeeding and Section on Early Career Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics (2020 - Present)
  • Member, Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (2017 - Present)
  • Member, Academy of Lactation Policy and Practice (2018 - Present)

Professional Education

  • IBCLC, International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (2020)
  • BA with Honors, Rutgers University, Cell Biology and Neuroscience (2013)

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

As a breastfeeding medicine physician, I am passionate about advocating for mother-infant dyads and supporting their breastfeeding journeys. Additionally, I am interested studying and addressing disparities in initiation and duration of breastfeeding, particularly in lower-resourced populations, by building and advancing community partnerships.

I am also interested in the use of digital health tools to advance upstream determinants of health in community-based settings. My current funded research projects include: 1) Providing a telehealth-based, weight control program to children with obesity from lower-income, racial and ethnic minority families (Gardner GOALS) and 2) Assessing and addressing disparities in healthy behaviors in families from under-resourced settings through the use of a secure, multilingual mobile neighborhood app (Our Voice: Beyond Clinic Walls).

All Publications

  • Community-Based Approaches to Reducing Health Inequities and Fostering Environmental Justice through Global Youth-Engaged Citizen Science. International journal of environmental research and public health King, A. C., Odunitan-Wayas, F. A., Chaudhury, M., Rubio, M. A., Baiocchi, M., Kolbe-Alexander, T., Montes, F., Banchoff, A., Sarmiento, O. L., Balter, K., Hinckson, E., Chastin, S., Lambert, E. V., Gonzalez, S. A., Guerra, A. M., Gelius, P., Zha, C., Sarabu, C., Kakar, P. A., Fernes, P., Rosas, L. G., Winter, S. J., McClain, E., Gardiner, P. A., On Behalf Of The Our Voice Global Citizen Science Research Network 2021; 18 (3)


    Growing socioeconomic and structural disparities within and between nations have created unprecedented health inequities that have been felt most keenly among the world's youth. While policy approaches can help to mitigate such inequities, they are often challenging to enact in under-resourced and marginalized communities. Community-engaged participatory action research provides an alternative or complementary means for addressing the physical and social environmental contexts that can impact health inequities. The purpose of this article is to describe the application of a particular form of technology-enabled participatory action research, called the Our Voice citizen science research model, with youth. An overview of 20 Our Voice studies occurring across five continents indicates that youth and young adults from varied backgrounds and with interests in diverse issues affecting their communities can participate successfully in multiple contributory research processes, including those representing the full scientific endeavor. These activities can, in turn, lead to changes in physical and social environments of relevance to health, wellbeing, and, at times, climate stabilization. The article ends with future directions for the advancement of this type of community-engaged citizen science among young people across the socioeconomic spectrum.

    View details for DOI 10.3390/ijerph18030892

    View details for PubMedID 33494135

  • Diagnosis, Evaluation, and Treatment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. JAMA pediatrics Loe, I. M., Kakar, P. A., Sanders, L. M. 2020

    View details for DOI 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2020.2218

    View details for PubMedID 32777021