I'm Hersh, a scientist with a background in quantitative biology and computer science.

I apply computational and synthetic biology to reprogram human cells to create living therapies for cancer and other complex diseases.

Currently, I'm a Ph.D. candidate in Biophysics at the UCSF Cell Design Institute in the labs of Wendell Lim and Hana El-Samad.

I'm also co-founder of Skolay and H2 Micro.

Here are some recent highlights.

Original Research | Cell Therapies

Exploring the rules of chimeric antigen receptor phenotypic output using combinatorial signaling motif libraries and machine learning

2022 | BioRxiv | Daniels, K.G., Wang, S., Simic, M.S., Bhargava H.K., Capponi, S., Tonai, Y., Yu, W., Bianco, S., Lim, W.A.

To explore if non-natural combinations of signaling motifs could drive novel cell fates of interest, we constructed a library of CARs containing ∼2,300 synthetic costimulatory domains, built from combinations of 13 peptide signaling motifs. The library produced CARs driving diverse fate outputs, which were sensitive to motif combinations and configurations. Neural networks trained to decode the combinatorial grammar of CAR signaling motifs allowed extraction of key design rules.

BioRxiv Preprint

Original Research | AI Driven Medicine

Computationally derived image signature of stromal morphology is prognostic of prostate cancer recurrence following prostatectomy in African American patients.

2020 | Clinical Cancer Research | Bhargava H.K., Leo, P., Elliott, R., Janowcyzk, A., Whitney, J., Gupta, S., Fu, P., Yamoah, K., Rebbeck, T., Feldman, D., Lal, P., Madabhushi, A.

We developed computer vision and machine learning to predict prostate cancer recurrence risk based on quantitative measurements of the intratumoral stroma computed from digitized H&E images.

PDF Journal Website

New Venture | Beta

Skolay

Skolay helps thoughtful people with an audience (like authors, podcasters, Substackers, journalists) have casual 1:1 office-hours-like conversations without the need to give out personal info, send emails, reconcile schedules, or independently solicit payment.

Skolay Website We're Hiring!

H2 Micro Project | Healthcare | Beta

Medical Crosscheck

Crosscheck allows medical professionals to create, share, and use checklists in all aspects of their clinical practice and research. Checklists have been demonstrated time and again to improve safety and reliability in medicine, and we are bringing them to your fingertips.

Crosscheck Website

About me and my vision.

My goal is to apply an ever-improving understanding of how human biology works to building technologies for treating disease and improving quality of life. I believe the application of quantitative computational methods is essential to formalize our understanding of biology and to develop tools for rational engineering.


In my doctoral research at the UCSF Cell Design Institute, I am elucidating the programming language of human immune cells and applying that knowledge to synthetically equip them with powerful therapeutic functions. My Ph.D. is funded by a Department of Defense NDSEG fellowship.


Previously I have conducted to scientific research in experimental biophysics at Berkeley, protein engineering at HHMI Janelia, and machine learning + precision medicine at Case Western and Penn. In addition, I have co-founded two technology companies: Skolay and H2 Micro.


I was born and raised in Maine, and enjoy playing the violin, rock climbing, and drinking coffee. I graduated in 2019 from Berkeley, and now live in San Francisco.

Get in touch.

Feel free to reach out at hello@hershbhargava.com!