Karthik Shekhar

Karthik Shekhar

Assistant Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Member, Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute

Contact Info



Research Interests

Cellular and systems biology, statistical inference, single-cell genomics

We are broadly interested in a molecular description of cellular diversity in complex tissues, its developmental and evolutionary origins, and its biological consequences for tissue function and degeneration. We use high-throughput single-cell genomic measurements to understand cellular diversity in the mouse retina and other systems, and explore their conservation in other vertebrates, including humans and non-human primates. A major focus is to develop computational approaches rooted in machine learning to make precise biological inferences that can not only guide experiments, but also reveal general mechanistic principles underlying cellular organization and molecular networks.


  • Education
    • 2008, B.S., Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay
    • 2008, M. S., Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay
    • 2015, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    • 2015-2019, Postdoctoral Fellow, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
  • Awards
    • 2017-2022 NIH Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00)
    • 2022 Society of Hellmann Fellows
    • 2022 Rita Allen Foundation Scholar (Finalist)
    • 2022 Teaching Award, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering 
    • 2022 Member, Catalyst for a Cure 4, Glaucoma Research Foundation