University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
Aditi Bhargava, PhD

Aditi Bhargava, PhD

Associate Professor, Ob-Gyn, Reproductive Sciences, UCSF

Cancer Center Program Memberships

Affiliate Member

Research Summary

My long-term aim is to delineate sex-specific cellular and molecular pathways in stress-related pathophysiologies. I have a long-standing interest in understanding the regulation and action of neuropeptides during stress and inflammation, both in the central nervous system, and in the periphery. Activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and involvement of the corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) system is pivotal step in stress response. CRF and urocortins are involved in mediating immune responses, but the molecular mechanisms involved and cellular pathways activated are unknown. A body of work from my laboratory has established how CRF receptor and their four different ligands that locally produced are sufficient to mediate signaling during stress and acute inflammatory stress using state-of-the-art techniques such as RNAi, electron & confocal microscopy, and mass spectrometry. In 2014, I was appointed as the Director of laboratory research at the Osher Center for Integrative medicine providing me with a unique opportunity to work closely with clinicians to translate research and with access to patient samples from different clinical trials. Using a combination of molecular (RNA-seq & mass spectrometry) and genetic techniques (knockouts), we recently showed that components of the CRF system are produced in the periphery and that locally produced neuropeptides and receptors are sufficient to mediate stress and inflammatory responses in diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease and pancreatitis. My laboratory has active collaborations with faculties both within and outside of UCSF.


University of Rajasthan, India, B.S., 1986, Zoology (Honors)
University of Poona, India, M.S., 1988, Molecular Biology
University of Poona, India, Ph.D., 1995, Mol. & Dev. Biol.
New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY. Postdoc, 1995-1996, Mol. Biol.
University of California, San Francisco, CA, Postdoc, 1996-1999, Neuroendo. & Mol. Biol.

Professional Experience

  • 1988-1990
    Junior Research Fellow, Microbiology, All India Inst. of Medical Sciences, New Delhi
  • 2000-2003
    Post Graduate Researcher, Medicine and Physiology, UCSF
  • 2003-2004
    Assistant Research Physiologist, Surgery, UCSF
  • 2004-2010
    Assistant Professor, Surgery, UCSF
  • 2010-2015
    Associate Professor, Surgery, UCSF
  • 2014-present
    Director of Laboratory Research, The Osher Center for Integrative Research, UCSF
  • 2015-present
    Associate Professor, Ob-Gyn, UCSF

Honors & Awards

  • 1986 Certificate of Merit, University of Rajasthan, India. Awarded to top 5% BS (Honors) students
  • 1988 Graduate Research Fellowship. The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), India, awarded to top 2% of the students nationwide
  • 1992 UNESCO/TWAS Human Genome Fellowship Awarded to select candidates for obtaining specialized training at the University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
  • 1994 Senior Research Fellowship, Department of Biotechnology, Government of India
  • 2003 Quest Diagnostic Young Investigator Award, Endocrine Society
  • 2004 Young Investigator Travel Award, GIRI, Montreal Canada
  • 2006 Bavaria California Technology Award (BaCaTe)
  • 2010 New Investigator Award, American Physiological Society (Gastrointestinal
    & Liver Physiology section), Experimental Biology, April 24-28, 2010
  • 2010 FASEB MARC Travel Award, June 19-22, Endo 2010, San Diego
  • 2012 Fellow, American Gastroenterological Association (AGAF)
  • 2013 Nominated for the “2014 Ernest Oppenheimer Laureate Award”
  • 2014 Nominated for the “2015 Weitzman Award”, The Endocrine Society

Selected Publications

  1. Strumwasser A, Bhargava A, Victorino GP. Attenuation of Endothelial Phosphatidylserine Exposure Decreases Ischemia-reperfusion INDUCED Changes in Microvascular Permeability. J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2018 Mar 12.
    View on PubMed
  2. Hasdemir B, Mahajan S, Oses-Prieto J, Chand S, Woolley M, Burlingame A, Grammatopoulos DK, Bhargava A. Actin cytoskeleton-dependent regulation of corticotropin-releasing factor receptor heteromers. Mol Biol Cell. 2017 Sep 01; 28(18):2386-2399.
    View on PubMed
  3. Gurfein BT, Hasdemir B, Milush JM, Touma C, Palme R, Nixon DF, Darcel N, Hecht FM, Bhargava A. Enriched environment and stress exposure influence splenic B lymphocyte composition. PLoS One. 2017; 12(7):e0180771.
    View on PubMed
  4. Gao MH, Giamouridis D, Lai NC, Walenta E, Paschoal VA, Kim YC, Miyanohara A, Guo T, Liao M, Liu L, Tan Z, Ciaraldi TP, Schenk S, Bhargava A, Oh DY, Hammond HK. One-time injection of AAV8 encoding urocortin 2 provides long-term resolution of insulin resistance. JCI Insight. 2016 Sep 22; 1(15):e88322.
    View on PubMed
  5. Hasdemir B, Mhaske P, Paruthiyil S, Garnett EA, Heyman MB, Matloubian M, Bhargava A. Sex- and corticotropin-releasing factor receptor 2- dependent actions of urocortin 1 during inflammation. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2016 06 01; 310(11):R1244-57.
    View on PubMed
  6. Gong K, Bhargava A, Jasmin L. GluN2B N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor and excitatory amino acid transporter 3 are upregulated in primary sensory neurons after 7 days of morphine administration in rats: implication for opiate-induced hyperalgesia. Pain. 2016 Jan; 157(1):147-58.
    View on PubMed
  7. Kido-Nakahara M, Buddenkotte J, Kempkes C, Ikoma A, Cevikbas F, Akiyama T, Nunes F, Seeliger S, Hasdemir B, Mess C, Buhl T, Sulk M, Müller FU, Metze D, Bunnett NW, Bhargava A, Carstens E, Furue M, Steinhoff M. Neural peptidase endothelin-converting enzyme 1 regulates endothelin 1-induced pruritus. J Clin Invest. 2014 Jun; 124(6):2683-95.
    View on PubMed
  8. Gong K, Kung LH, Magni G, Bhargava A, Jasmin L. Increased response to glutamate in small diameter dorsal root ganglion neurons after sciatic nerve injury. PLoS One. 2014; 9(4):e95491.
    View on PubMed
  9. Mahajan S, Liao M, Barkan P, Takahashi K, Bhargava A. Urocortin 3 expression at baseline and during inflammation in the colon: corticotropin releasing factor receptors cross-talk. Peptides. 2014 Apr; 54:58-66.
    View on PubMed
  10. Kubat E, Mahajan S, Liao M, Ackerman L, Ohara PT, Grady EF, Bhargava A. Corticotropin-releasing factor receptor 2 mediates sex-specific cellular stress responses. Mol Med. 2013 Jul 24; 19:212-22.
    View on PubMed
  11. Kung LH, Gong K, Adedoyin M, Ng J, Bhargava A, Ohara PT, Jasmin L. Evidence for glutamate as a neuroglial transmitter within sensory ganglia. PLoS One. 2013; 8(7):e68312.
    View on PubMed
  12. Bhargava A, Clifton MS, Mhaske P, Mhsake P, Liao M, Pothoulakis C, Leeman SE, Grady EF. Local injection of dsRNA targeting calcitonin receptor-like receptor (CLR) ameliorates Clostridium difficile toxin A-induced ileitis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Jan 08; 110(2):731-6.
    View on PubMed
  13. Kim HJ, Prasad V, Hyung SW, Lee ZH, Lee SW, Bhargava A, Pearce D, Lee Y, Kim HH. Plasma membrane calcium ATPase regulates bone mass by fine-tuning osteoclast differentiation and survival. J Cell Biol. 2012 Dec 24; 199(7):1145-58.
    View on PubMed
  14. Cottrell GS, Alemi F, Kirkland JG, Grady EF, Corvera CU, Bhargava A. Localization of calcitonin receptor-like receptor (CLR) and receptor activity-modifying protein 1 (RAMP1) in human gastrointestinal tract. Peptides. 2012 Jun; 35(2):202-11.
    View on PubMed
  15. Hasdemir B, Mahajan S, Bunnett NW, Liao M, Bhargava A. Endothelin-converting enzyme-1 actions determine differential trafficking and signaling of corticotropin-releasing factor receptor 1 at high agonist concentrations. Mol Endocrinol. 2012 Apr; 26(4):681-95.
    View on PubMed
  16. Liu L, Li Q, Sapolsky R, Liao M, Mehta K, Bhargava A, Pasricha PJ. Transient gastric irritation in the neonatal rats leads to changes in hypothalamic CRF expression, depression- and anxiety-like behavior as adults. PLoS One. 2011 May 12; 6(5):e19498.
    View on PubMed
  17. Bhargava A. CRF and urocortins: a challenging interaction between family members. Gastroenterology. 2011 May; 140(5):1391-4.
    View on PubMed
  18. Chang J, Adams MR, Clifton MS, Liao M, Brooks JH, Hasdemir B, Bhargava A. Urocortin 1 modulates immunosignaling in a rat model of colitis via corticotropin-releasing factor receptor 2. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2011 May; 300(5):G884-94.
    View on PubMed
  19. Aggarwal S, Suzuki T, Taylor WL, Bhargava A, Rao RK. Contrasting effects of ERK on tight junction integrity in differentiated and under-differentiated Caco-2 cell monolayers. Biochem J. 2011 Jan 01; 433(1):51-63.
    View on PubMed
  20. Pao AC, Bhargava A, Di Sole F, Quigley R, Shao X, Wang J, Thomas S, Zhang J, Shi M, Funder JW, Moe OW, Pearce D. Expression and role of serum and glucocorticoid-regulated kinase 2 in the regulation of Na+/H+ exchanger 3 in the mammalian kidney. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2010 Dec; 299(6):F1496-506.
    View on PubMed

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