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Dinesh Pillai, MD

Medical Director of:
Pulmonary Medicine
Board Certifications:
American Board of Pediatrics, American Board of Pediatrics - Pulmonology
Areas of Clinical Interest:
Severe Asthma, Aerodigestive diseases, complicated pneumonia, rare lung disease, interstitial lung disease

Fellowship: Children's National Health System (2009)
Residency: The Infants and Children’s Hospital of Brooklyn (2004)
Medical School: St. George’s University (2003)
Undergraduate: Washington University (1998)

Awards & Recognition:

NIH K12 Lung and Genomics Career Development Award
Junior Physician Investigator Award, American Federation of Medical Research
Top Doctors Recognition: Northern Virginia Magazine, Washingtonian Magazine

Clinic Locations: Fairfax

Keystone Publications:

Schroeder JC, Sharron MP, Wai K, Pillai DK, Rastogi D. Asthma as a comorbidity in COVID-19 pediatric ICU admissions in a large metropolitan children's hospital. Pediatr Pulmonol. 2023 Jan;58(1):206-212. doi: 10.1002/ppul.26184. Epub 2022 Nov 2. PubMed PMID: 36254734; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC9874824.

Dooley AA, Jackson JH, Gatti ML, Fanous H, Martinez C, Prue DC, Phull G, Richmond M, Weinstein NA, Chorvinsky E, Shukla PJ, Pillai DK. Pediatric sleep questionnaire predicts more severe sleep apnea in children with uncontrolled asthma. J Asthma. 2021 Dec;58(12):1589-1596. doi: 10.1080/02770903.2020.1818775. Epub 2020 Sep 14. PubMed PMID: 32878527; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7956147.

Martin CN, Barnawi Z, Chorvinsky E, Pillai D, Gatti M, Collins ME, Krakovsky GM, Bauman NM, Sehgal S, Pillai DK. Positive bronchoalveolar lavage pepsin assay associated with viral and fungal respiratory infections in children with chronic cough. Pediatr Pulmonol. 2021 Aug;56(8):2686-2694. doi: 10.1002/ppul.25450. Epub 2021 May 13. PubMed PMID: 33930245; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC8327477.

Dooley AA, Pillai DK. Paediatric obesity-related asthma: Disease burden and effects on pulmonary physiology. Paediatr Respir Rev. 2021 Mar;37:15-17. doi: 10.1016/j.prrv.2020.04.002. Epub 2020 Apr 9. Review. PubMed PMID: 32414555.

Naime S, Batra SK, Fiorillo C, Collins ME, Gatti M, Krakovsky GM, Sehgal S, Bauman NM, Pillai DK. Aerodigestive Approach to Chronic Cough in Children. Curr Treat Options Pediatr. 2018 Dec;4(4):467-479. doi: 10.1007/s40746-018-0145-9. Epub 2018 Nov 16. PubMed PMID: 30859056; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6407695.

Pillai DK, Sankoorikal BJ, Johnson E, Seneviratne AN, Zurko J, Brown KJ, Hathout Y, Rose MC. Directional secretomes reflect polarity-specific functions in an in vitro model of human bronchial epithelium. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2014 Feb;50(2):292-300. doi: 10.1165/rcmb.2013-0188OC. PubMed PMID: 24010916; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3930950.

Patient Reviews:
"Dr. Pillai is very thorough, he listens. He understands. He provided great feedback on what we need to do to and provided notes and faxed over the notes to his asthma allergy doctor as well. I appreciate the time with Dr. Pillai. I give him all tens. Excellent service. Excellent provider." 

"Dr. Pillai was very good at explaining everything in detail. He answered all my questions and I'm very, very satisfied. I highly recommend him, especially taking care of the kids, which is difficult and he's doing a great job. I really appreciate him." 

"Dr. Dinesh Pillai is the best doctor ever. He is very knowledgeable, very kind, and very respectful. I will recommend him to everybody!"

Where did you grow up?
I was born and raised in the west suburbs of Chicago, IL.
Why did you become a doctor and why did you choose your specialty?
I’ve always been interested in working with children since an early age. When I decided on entering the field of medicine, I knew I would focus on childhood health. I decided on pediatric pulmonary medicine because I loved the physiology of the lungs, how they interacted with the heart, the opportunity to work with children in the acute and chronic/outpatient setting long term, and the ability to perform procedures.
How long have you practiced in the Washington, DC area and what do you like most about it?
I have been practicing in the DC/VA/MD area since completing fellowship in 2009. I have enjoyed the opportunity to develop specific clinical programs, to work with, and provide services for, underserved children that are disproportionately affected by lung conditions such as asthma. I also love the cultural diversity, the variation in climate, and the ability to enjoy life in all seasons year round. Additionally, with all the great schools in the area, it is a great place to raise a family.
What do you most enjoy doing outside of your clinical practice, when you’re not working?
Travelling with my family, sports (especially following all Chicago sports teams).
Do you volunteer? If so, where?
Previously I volunteered extensively in the Indian community, and in medicine I have volunteered at health fairs and promoting asthma care/education in DC. I hope to rebuild some of these opportunities in the near future.
Describe your proudest accomplishment as a provider and/or in your personal life:
As a clinician, my most significant accomplishments have been initiating and growing the Severe Asthma Program (Asthma CARE – Comprehensive Airway and Respiratory Care – Program) as well as Aerodigestive Program at Children’s National. Personally, my greatest accomplishments are really my two kids – nothing tops them.
If you weren’t a doctor, what profession would you most likely be doing and why?
The two areas I could possibly see myself working in if I weren’t a physician is in education or construction/real estate. I think educating and developing children through education is one of the greatest opportunities in life, and I love building things – whether it be clinical programs or homes.