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Parijat Bhatnagar

Program Director, Cell-based Medicine; Center for Chemical Biology

Parijat Bhatnagar, Ph.D., has expertise in cell engineering, microfabrication, nanotechnology, and bio-instrumentation.

Bhatnagar’s multidisciplinary interests derive from his career trajectory that spans across semiconductor manufacturing, industrial engineering, and biotechnology within the context of immune cell engineering, materials design, surface chemistry, and instrumentation.

He has utilized his experience in translational research and physical sciences to conceptualize innovative solutions for addressing unmet clinical needs. In 2016, he received a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director’s New Innovator Award. This award, part of the NIH “High-Risk, High-Reward Research” program, is designed to support scientific investigators with exceptional creativity who are conducting high-impact research.

Bhatnagar’s primary research focus is on the development of platform vector therapeutics based on T cells that can actively seek disease microenvironments, assess the disease burden, and produce a therapeutic response. To accomplish this goal he is engineering cells for specific therapeutic functions and developing bioreactors for clinical cell manufacturing. He is also directing his efforts to engineer cells to be sensors for use in companion diagnostics and early detection. His competency in translating technologies from laboratory to the factory floor has been instrumental for him to develop teams with experts from across SRI and beyond.

Bhatnagar has a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, and completed postdoctoral training in imaging of adoptively transferred cells in a joint position with MD Anderson Cancer Center and Houston Methodist Research Institute, Houston, TX.

Join the laboratory for Cell-based Medicine

Positions at all levels (BS/MS/PhD) are generally available. We welcome applications from self-starting enthusiastic candidates who may be interested in exploring the next frontier in T-cell engineering. Interested candidates from immunology and engineering or related backgrounds are encouraged to contact Dr. Bhatnagar at


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