Rhishikesh Bargaje is a scientist in the Stem Cell Translation Laboratory within the Division of Pre-Clinical Innovation at NCATS. He joined NCATS in March 2018 and specializes in studying stem cell differentiation using high-throughput, genome-wide assays and systems biology approaches. Bargaje is optimizing methods for meso-endodermal differentiation, building upon his past work analyzing early development of cardiac and hepatic cell types and translating these breakthroughs into concrete applications.
Bargaje completed his postdoctoral work in the laboratory of Leroy Hood, M.D., Ph.D., at the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle. He used single-cell gene expression analysis to identify the trajectories, gene regulatory network states, and dynamics of these state transitions during cardiac differentiation from stem cells. Bargaje earned his Ph.D. in biotechnology from the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, where he worked in the laboratory of Beena Pillai, Ph.D. There, he identified and characterized the role of miRNAs in gene expression through the generation and analysis of multi-omic datasets from human and mouse cells. Bargaje also worked in the laboratory of John Yates, Ph.D., M.S., at the Scripps Research Institute, where he studied miRNA-target interactions for miR-34a and miR-29a by using quantitative proteomics.
Bargaje aims to uncover the underlying gene regulatory networks that govern processes such as differentiation. He is interested in using this knowledge of gene regulatory networks, state-of-the-art multi-omics methods and single-cell resolution measurements, coupled with the theoretical framework of state transitions, to create high-quality cells for regenerative medicine.