2023 NRSA Postdoctoral Fellow, Baylor College of Medicine 2016 Ph.D. Biomedical Engineering, University of Virginia2010 B.S. Biomedical Engineering, University of Virginia

"We combine experimental and computational approaches to understand what biological processes go awry in brain development in neurodevelopmental disorders and utilize our discoveries to develop therapies for these disorders."

Sameer Bajikar, Ph.D.

Sameer Bajikar, Ph.D., uses multidisciplinary techniques to study the biological processes that go awry in brain development in neurodevelopmental disorders, like autism spectrum disorders and intellectual disability. His group is developing novel human stem cell and genetically engineered mouse models to study a variety of neurodevelopmental disorders. By combining these models, high throughput molecular measurements, and computational systems biology, he hopes to identify key biological pathways that are involved in causing neurodevelopmental disorders. His lab will then use these biological pathways to engineer new treatments for this group of devastating disorders.

He received both his undergraduate and graduate degrees in the department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Virginia. His graduate work, under the mentorship of Dr. Kevin Janes, was supported by a Commonwealth Fellowship and Sture G. Olsson Fellowship from the University of Virginia and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. He then completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Molecular and Human Genetics under the mentorship of Dr. Huda Zoghbi at Baylor College Medicine. His postdoctoral fellowship was supported by an NRSA F32 fellowship from the National Institutes of Health / NICHD and a Zoghbi Scholar Award from Texas Children’s Hospital.

As a Double ‘Hoo, Dr. Bajikar is excited to establish an exciting and vibrant research program in the Departments of Cell Biology and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Virginia starting in January 2024. The Bajikar lab is supported by an Independence Award from the International Rett Syndrome Foundation to study growth factor signaling in Rett syndrome, a several childhood neurological disorder.

We are looking to recruit passionate and motivated students interested in understanding the underlying causes of neurodevelopmental disorders. Prospective trainees are encouraged to contact Dr. Bajikar at to learn about current opportunities.


  • NRSA F32 Fellowship, National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Child Health and Human Development 2019, 2020, 2021

Research Interests

  • Neurodevelopmental Disorders
  • Dosage-sensitive Genes
  • Molecular Neuroengineering
  • Personalized Medicine
  • Systems Biology
  • Computational Modeling

In the News

Selected Publications

  • MeCP2 regulates Gdf11, a dosage-sensitive gene critical for neurological function ABS SS Bajikar, AG Anderson, J Zhou, MA Durham, AJ Trostle, YW Wan, Z Liu, ... Elife 12, e83806

Featured Grants & Projects

  • Independence Award, International Rett Syndrome Foundation

    Modulation of the GDF11-SMAD3 signaling pathway to treat Rett syndrome

    Dr. Bajikar has found that MeCP2 could be regulating 2 key genes – GDF11 and Smad3. The imbalance MeCP2 causes within these genes may contribute to the development of Rett syndrome. With this project, he will dig deeper into restoring the proper function of these genes in mouse models and tests drugs that can restore this balance.