Bharat Thyagarajan, MD, PhD, MPH

Professor, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology

Bharat Thyagarajan

Contact Info

Office Phone 612-624-1257

Fax 612-624-8950

Mailing Address:
MMC 609 Mayo
420 Delaware
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Grant Medical College, Mumbai, India, 1998

University of Minnesota (Clinical Pathology), 2004-2007

University of Minnesota (Molecular and Genetic Pathology), 2006-2007

PhD, University of Minnesota (Epidemiology), 2004

MPH, University of Minnesota, 2000


Research Summary/Interests

Dr. Thyagarajan is director of the Division of Molecular Pathology and Genomics and director of the Advanced Research and Diagnostic Laboratory (ARDL). The MDL processes some 25,000 specimens annually related to inherited and infectious diseases, bone marrow engraftment, and blood and solid tumor malignancies.  Thyagarajan and his MDL colleagues are implementing next-generation DNA sequencing (NGS) for diagnosing genetic disease.

The MDL has the capacity to test some 5,000 genes implicated in monogenic disorders with the goal of testing all the genes in the human genome (>20,000) and has implemented DNA sequence-based tumor diagnostics.  MDL clinicians have issued hundreds of patient molecular pathology reports based on individual genetic tests and expect that pace of reporting to increase as NGS technology is mainstreamed into clinical medicine. Thyagarajan’s team collaborates in this effort with the University of Minnesota Genomics Center, which produces the raw sequence from DNA extracted from clinical samples, and the bioinformatics group at the Minnesota Supercomputing Center, which puts the raw sequence data in a readable format from which clinicians can interpret the diagnostic and prognostic value of genetic variants.

At ARDL, Dr. Thyagarajan is principal laboratory investigator for the Hispanic Community Health Study, an NIH-funded multicenter epidemiologic study of Hispanic/Latino populations, and the NIH-funded Long Life Family Study, an international collaborative study of the genetics and familial components of exceptional survival, longevity, and healthy aging. Thyagarajan’s personal research program focuses on the role of mitochondria in breast and colorectal cancer.


  • Figueiredo JC, Hirsch FR, Kushi LH, Nembhard WN, Crawford JM, Mantis N, Finster L, Merin NM, Merchant A, Reckamp KL, Melmed GY, Braun J, McGovern D, Parekh S, Corley DA, Zohoori N, Amick BC, Du R, Gregersen PK, Diamond B, Taioli E, Sariol C, Espino A, Weiskopf D, Gifoni A, Brien J, Hanege W, Lipsitch M, Zidar DA, Scheck McAlearney A, Wajnberg A, LaBaer J, Yvonne Lewis E, Binder RA, Moormann AM, Forconi C, Forrester S, Batista J, Schieffelin J, Kim D, Biancon G, VanOudenhove J, Halene S, Fan R, Barouch DH, Alter G, Pinninti S, Boppana SB, Pati SK, Latting M, Karaba AH, Roback J, Sekaly R, Neish A, Brincks AM, Granger DA, Karger AB, Thyagarajan B, Thomas SN, Klein SL, Cox AL, Lucas T, Furr-Holden D, Key K, Jones N, Wrammerr J, Suthar M, Yu Wong S, Bowman NM, Simon V, Richardson LD, McBride R, Krammer F, Rana M, Kennedy J, Boehme K, Forrest C, Granger SW, Heaney CD, Knight Lapinski M, Wallet S, Baric RS, Schifanella L, Lopez M, Fernández S, Kenah E, Panchal AR, Britt WJ, Sanz I, Dhodapkar M, Ahmed R, Bartelt LA, Markmann AJ, Lin JT, Hagan RS, Wolfgang MC, Skarbinski J. Mission, organization, and future direction of the Serological Sciences Network for COVID-19 (SeroNet) epidemiologic cohort studies. Open Forum Infect Dis. 2022 Apr 27;9(6):ofac171. doi: 10.1093/ofid/ofac171.
  • Karger AB, Brien JD, Christen JM, Dhakal S, Kemp TJ, Klein SL, Pinto LA, Premkumar L, Roback JD, Binder RA, Boehme KW, Boppana S, Cordon-Cardo C, Crawford JM, Daiss JL, Dupuis AP 2nd, Espino AM, Firpo-Betancourt A, Forconi C, Forrest JC, Girardin RC, Granger DA, Granger SW, Haddad NS, Heaney CD, Hunt DT, Kennedy JL, King CL, Krammer F, Kruczynski K, LaBaer J, Lee FE, Lee WT, Liu SL, Lozanski G, Lucas T, Mendu DR, Moormann AM, Murugan V, Okoye NC, Pantoja P, Payne AF, Park J, Pinninti S, Pinto AK, Pisanic N, Qiu J, Sariol CA, Simon V, Song L, Steffen TL, Stone ET, Styer LM, Suthar MS, Thomas SN, Thyagarajan B, Wajnberg A, Yates JL, Sobhani K. The Serological Sciences Network (SeroNet) for COVID-19: Depth and breadth of serology assays and plans for assay harmonization. mSphere. 2022 Jun 15:e0019322. doi: 10.1128/msphere.00193-22.
  • Thomas SN, Karger AB, Altawallbeh G, Nelson KM, Jacobs DR Jr, Gorlin J, Barcelo H, Thyagarajan B. Ultrasensitive detection of salivary SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies in individuals with natural and COVID-19 vaccine-induced immunity.  Sci Rep. 2022 May 25;12(1):8890. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-12869-z. 
  • Mroz P, Michel S, Allen JD, Meyer T, McGonagle EJ, Carpentier R, Vecchia A, Schlichte A, Bishop JR, Dunnenberger HM, Yohe S, Thyagarajan B, Jacobson PA, Johnson SG. Development and implementation of in-house pharmacogenomic testing program at a major academic health system. Front Genet. 2021 Oct 20;12:712602. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2021.712602.
  • Martinez RJ, Pankratz N, Schomaker M, Daniel J, Beckman K, Karger AB, Thyagarajan B, Ferreri P, Yohe SL, Nelson AC. Prediction of false positive SARS-CoV-2 molecular results in a high-throughput open platform system. J Mol Diagn. 2021 Jun 8:S1525-1578(21)00166-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jmoldx.2021.05.015
  • Ryan J. Martinez, Qing Kang, Davis Nennig, Nathanael G. Bailey, Noah A. Brown, Bryan L. Betz, Muneesh Tewari, Bharat Thyagarajan, Veronika Bachanova, Pawel Mroz. One-Step Multiplexed Droplet Digital Polymerase Chain Reaction for Quantification of p190 BCR-ABL1 Fusion Transcript in B-Lymphoblastic Leukemia.  Arch Pathol Lab Med2021; doi:
  • Thomas SN, Altawallbeh G, Zaun CP, Pape KA, Peters JM, Titcombe PJ, Dileepan T, Rapp MJ, Bold TD, Schacker TW, Arbefeville S, Ferrieri P, Thyagarajan B, Jenkins MK, Karger AB. Initial determination of COVID-19 seroprevalence among outpatients and healthcare workers in Minnesota using a novel SARS-CoV-2 total antibody ELISA. Clin Biochem. 2021 Feb 1:S0009-9120(21)00027-8. doi: 10.1016/j.clinbiochem.2021.01.010.
  • Christine Henzler, Matthew Schomaker, Rendong Yang, Aaron P. Lambert, Rebecca LaRue, Robyn Kincaid, Kenneth Beckman, Teresa Kemmer, Jon Wilson, Sophia Yohe, Bharat Thyagarajan, Andrew C. Nelson. Optimization of a microfluidics-based next generation sequencing assay for clinical oncology diagnostics. Annals of Translational Medicine, 2018; 6 (9).
    Sebastiani P, Thyagarajan B, Sun F, Honig LS, Schupf N, Cosentino S, Feitosa MF, Wojczynski M, Newman AB, Montano M, Perls TT. Age and Sex Distributions of Age-Related Biomarker Values in Healthy Older Adults from the Long Life Family Study. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2016 Oct 26. doi: 10.1111/jgs.14522. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Onsongo G, Baughn LB, Bower M, Henzler C, Schomaker M, Silverstein KA, Thyagarajan B. CNV-RF Is a Random Forest-Based Copy Number Variation Detection Method Using Next-Generation Sequencing. J Mol Diagn. 2016 Nov;18(6):872-881. doi: 10.1016/j.jmoldx.2016.07.001.
  • Thyagarajan B, Howard AG, Durazo-Arvizu R, Eckfeldt JH, Gellman MD, Kim RS, Liu K, Mendez AJ, Penedo FJ, Talavera GA, Youngblood ME, Zhao L, Sotres-Alvarez D. Analytical and biological variability in biomarker measurement in the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos. Clin Chim Acta. 2016 Oct 15. pii: S0009-8981(16)30424-7. doi: 10.1016/j.cca.2016.10.019. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Kuniholm MH, Jung M, Del Amo J, Talavera GA, Thyagarajan B, Hershow RC, Damas OM, Kaplan RC. Awareness of Hepatitis C Virus Seropositivity and Chronic Infection in the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL). J Immigr Minor Health. 2016 Dec;18(6):1257-1265.
  • Arora M, Lee SJ, Spellman SR, Weisdorf DJ, Guan W, Haagenson M, Wang T, Horowitz MH, Verneris MR, Fleischhauer K, Hsu K,Thyagarajan B. Validation Study Failed to Confirm an Association between Genetic Variants in the Base Excision Repair Pathway and Transplant-Related Mortality and Relapse after Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2016 Aug;22(8):1531-2. doi: 10.1016/j.bbmt.2016.04.020.
  • Jung M, Kuniholm MH, Ho GY, Cotler S, Strickler HD,Thyagarajan B, Youngblood M, Kaplan RC, Del Amo J. The distribution of hepatitis B virus exposure and infection in a population-based sample of U.S. Hispanic adults. Hepatology. 2016 Feb;63(2):445-52. doi: 10.1002/hep.28328.
  • Nelson AC, Bower M, Baughn LB, Henzler C, Onsongo G, Silverstein KAT, Schomaker M, Deshpande A, Beckman KB, Yohe S, and Thyagrajan B. Criteria for Clinical Reporting of Variants from a Broad Target Capture NGS Assay without Sanger Verification. JSM Biomar. 2015;2(1): 1005.
  • Thyagarajan B, Wang R, Barcelo H, Koh WP, Yuan JM. Mitochondrial copy number is associated with colorectal cancer risk. Cancer Epi Biomarker Prev. 21(9):1574-81, 2012 (PMID: 22787200).
  • Thyagarajan B, Wang R, Nelson H, Barcelo H, Koh WP, Yuan JM.Mitochondrial DNA copy number is associated with breast cancer risk. PLoS One. 2013 Jun 12;8(6) e65968.
  • Yohe S, Bower M, Onsongo G, Silverstein K, Hauge A, Schomaker M, Zhou Y, Wilson J, Spears M, Bunjer K, Kemmer T, Erdmann J, Beckman B, Thyagarajan B. Clinical validation of targeted next generation sequencing for inherited disorders. Archives of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology 2015 Feb;139(2):204-10.
  • Thyagarajan B, Wojczynski M, Minster RL, Sanders J, Barral S, Christiansen L, Barr RG, Newman A; CHARGE consortium, SpiroMeta consortium. Genetic variants associated with lung function: the long life family study. Respir Res. 2014 Nov 1;15:134.


Board Certifications

Clinical Pathology