About Us
Our Team

Dr. Jogin Desai

Founder & Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Desai brings more than 15 years of experience in growing and nurturing businesses to his newest venture. Prior to Eyestem, he was part of the global leadership team at Quintiles and headed up their cardiac safety business from 2001 to 2007. More recently, he was the CEO of Cenduit, the world’s largest standalone randomization company with offices in Bangalore, Basel , Philadelphia and North Carolina and a joint venture of and ThermoFisher Scientific.

Dr. Rajani Battu

Co-founder & Chief Medical Officer

Dr Rajani Battu is a senior consultant in the department of Ophthalmology at Aster CMI Hospital, Bangalore. Following her MBBS from Bangalore Medical College, she did her Master’s at St. John’s Medical College, Bangalore. She obtained her fellowship from the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh. She underwent fellowship training in vitreo-retinal surgery at Sankara Nethralaya, Chennai. Rajani was awarded an International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO) fellowship with Prof Anthony Moore of Moorfields Eye Hospital, London, UK in ‘Inherited Retinal Dystrophies’. She was recently awarded a PhD from Maastricht University, the Netherlands for her work on “Inherited Retinal Diseases”.

Dr. Rajarshi Pal

Co-founder & Chief Scientist

Dr. Rajarshi Pal brings a unique blend of 15 years experience in the industry and academia on stem cells and regenerative medicine. From 2011-2017, he served as Assistant Professor, Manipal Institute of Regenerative Medicine (MIRM), MAHE, Bangalore. Prior to that (2003-2010) he worked at the National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi; Reliance Life Sciences, Navi Mumbai and Stempeutics Research, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. In 2014 he did a stint with Prof. Kapil Bharti at the NEI-NIH, Bethesda under the IUSSTF program and in 2013 he was the recipient of ICMR Young Biomedical Scientist award.He is also engaged as Visiting Scientist & Adjunct Professor for The University of Trans-Disciplinary Health Sciences and Technology (TDU), Bangalore. So far, Dr. Pal has 55 international peer-reviewed publications, 7 patents and 9 book chapters to his credit.

Dr. Dhruv Sareen

Co-founder & Science Officer

Dhruv Sareen, PhD, is the founding director of the Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell (iPSC) Core at the Cedars-Sinai BOG-RMI. Dr. Sareen’s lab at Cedars-Sinai is currently developing personalized stem cell disease models for patients with neurodegenerative and metabolic diseases. Dr. Sareen received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where he discovered novel pathways to eliminate cancer cells using the natural red wine product (resveratrol) and participated in its pre-clinical drug-development. He collaborates with many laboratories interested in applying stem cells that his lab generates to repair and regenerate the cornea and retina to treat many vision disorders.

Harshini Surendran

Senior Research Associate

Harshini completed B.Tech (Biotechnology) from Anna University. She then started her research career with Prof. Prabha Sampath at Institute of Medical Biology (IMB), ASTAR, Singapore in the area of translation control of disease. Upon return she joined the School of Regenerative Medicine, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Bangalore as Research Fellow to work on pluripotent stem cells based modelling of lung and nervous system disorders. Currently at Eyestem, she takes care of the ongoing work on de novo generation, characterization, and enrichment of retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells targeted for Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD).

Mamatha Jayagopal

Manager - Finance and Administration

Mamatha did her Masters in Finance from Annamalai University. Prior to Eyestem, she worked at the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), Bangalore as a Project Assistant, Finance and Accounts. Currently at Eyestem, Mamatha takes care of financial transactions and systems, maintains all accounting and legal records as well as conducts administrative tasks.

Dr. Lalitha Soundarajan

Research Scientist

Lalitha completed her graduation and post-graduation in Biotechnology from Bharathiar University, Tamil Nadu. She obtained her Ph.D from Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, Trivandrum where she worked on the role of Pax6 during retinal development and axon guidance. At Eyestem, she is involved in generating Retinal Pigment Epithelium (RPE) cells from human iPSCs and characterizing them to treat Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD).

Rashmi Prabhu

Senior Research Fellow

Rashmi completed her Masters from Manipal Institute of Regenerative Medicine. She started her career in biotechnology by gaining experience with Mesenchymal Stem Cells from various adult tissues. In 2019, she joined “The Accelerator program for Discovery in Brain disorders using Stem cells” (ADBS), NCBS to generate patient-specific iPSCs from various mental illnesses. At Eyestem she is working to develop iPSC – derived neural progenitor cells and their derivatives as a potential treatment of Parkinson’s Disease.

Swathi Narasimhaiah

Senior Research Fellow

Swathi completed her Masters in Stem Cell Technology and Regenerative Biology from Manipal Academy of Higher Education where she worked on developing an in vitro model for Epilepsy. Currently at Eyestem, she is working on developing human iPSC- derived lung airway and alveolar epithelial cells for disease modelling CoVID-19 and the treatment of pulmonary fibrosis.

Janavi Subramani

Technology Associate (C-CAMP)

Janavi did her Masters in Microbiology from St. Joseph’s College (Autonomous), Bengaluru with a semester at Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad working on Nanog gene modifications in mouse ESC. She then worked as a Project Assistant at InStem/IISc, Bengaluru studying oral cancer. In collaboration with C-CAMP, at Eyestem, she is modelling Oculocutaneous Albinism Type 1A for drug screening using patient specific iPSC lines.

Prijesh John

Research Associate

Prijesh completed his Bachelor’s in Zoology and Master’s in Applied Zoology from Kannur University, Kannur (Kerala). He then enrolled for a Ph.D program at the Center for Neuroscience (CNS), Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore where he investigated the role of neuroprotective reactive like astrocytes in mammalian brain aging under the supervision of Dr. Deepak Nair and Dr. Naren Ramanan. At Eyestem, he is working to develop CRISPR/Cas9 mediated gene correction-based solutions for inherited retinal disorders and beyond.

Ashwin KM

Quality Assurance (QA) Manager

Ashwin, masters in Microbiology, having 19 years of industrial experience of which majority in quality and regulatory in the field of regenerative medicine. He served a couple of organizations who are into stem cell and cell based products, including Stempeutics and LV Prasad Eye Institute. At Eyestem, he is a bridge between research and regulation with respect to fulfilling the requirements of quality and regulatory to transition stem cell and cell based product from bench to bedside.

Niharika Patlolla

Senior Research Fellow

Niharika pursued Masters in genetics of human diseases at the Centre for Human Genetics, Bengaluru where she worked on elucidating the role of epigenetics in chemotherapy resistance as a dissertation student and later as a Project Assistant. She then joined the Stem Cell Core at inStem, Bengaluru where she standardized various iPSC-derived organoid protocols. At Eyestem, she is working on gene augmentation strategies towards correcting inherited retinal disorders.