Rohit began his research at Stanford Medicine in 2003 and now oversees the Stanford Biobank and leads the institute’s largest, research focused, ambulatory care group (Spectrum’s Clinical & Translational Research Unit). Notably, he's established biorepository and associated big data infrastructure for multiple large-scale biobanks, both locally and globally, while also designing innovative cost-recovery business models for clinical and lab related research services at the university.

Rohit is currently leading the strategy, design, and development for the institute-wide biobanking solution, which includes a clinical and 'omics' connected software solution, amongst the many facets of the modernized infrastructure. His vision is that an informatics-first approach to human sampling will enable a centralized, virtual ecosystem for the multiple, federated biobanks. The research community will then have a transparent mechanism to provide compliant access to their existing phenotype-rich specimen catalogs, thus improving cohort-matched, sample utilization, and fostering collaboration. Ultimately, he expects access to these tools and resources will help democratize biospecimens, thus accelerating biomarker and therapeutic discoveries in precision health.

Current Role at Stanford

Executive Director, Clinical Research Services | Spectrum | Stanford Medicine
Executive Director, Biobank | Spectrum | Stanford Medicine

Honors & Awards

  • Honorary Visiting Professor, Central South University, Changsha, China (November 2017)
  • 2014 Inspiring Change Leadership Award Recipient, Stanford School of Medicine (2014)


All Publications

  • PD-1 expression by tumour-associated macrophages inhibits phagocytosis and tumour immunity. Nature Gordon, S. R., Maute, R. L., Dulken, B. W., Hutter, G., George, B. M., McCracken, M. N., Gupta, R., Tsai, J. M., Sinha, R., Corey, D., Ring, A. M., Connolly, A. J., Weissman, I. L. 2017; 545 (7655): 495-499


    Programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) is an immune checkpoint receptor that is upregulated on activated T cells for the induction of immune tolerance. Tumour cells frequently overexpress the ligand for PD-1, programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1), facilitating their escape from the immune system. Monoclonal antibodies that block the interaction between PD-1 and PD-L1, by binding to either the ligand or receptor, have shown notable clinical efficacy in patients with a variety of cancers, including melanoma, colorectal cancer, non-small-cell lung cancer and Hodgkin's lymphoma. Although it is well established that PD-1-PD-L1 blockade activates T cells, little is known about the role that this pathway may have in tumour-associated macrophages (TAMs). Here we show that both mouse and human TAMs express PD-1. TAM PD-1 expression increases over time in mouse models of cancer and with increasing disease stage in primary human cancers. TAM PD-1 expression correlates negatively with phagocytic potency against tumour cells, and blockade of PD-1-PD-L1 in vivo increases macrophage phagocytosis, reduces tumour growth and lengthens the survival of mice in mouse models of cancer in a macrophage-dependent fashion. This suggests that PD-1-PD-L1 therapies may also function through a direct effect on macrophages, with substantial implications for the treatment of cancer with these agents.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nature22396

    View details for PubMedID 28514441

  • Isolation of PBMCs Using Vacutainer® Cellular Preparation Tubes Bio-protocol Puleo, A., Carroll, C., Maecker, H., Gupta, R. 2017; 7 (2)

    View details for DOI 10.21769/BioProtoc.2103

  • Protein microarray analysis reveals BAFF-binding autoantibodies in systemic lupus erythematosus JOURNAL OF CLINICAL INVESTIGATION Price, J. V., Haddon, D. J., Kemmer, D., Delepine, G., Mandelbaum, G., Jarrell, J. A., Gupta, R., Balboni, I., Chakravarty, E. F., Sokolove, J., Shum, A. K., Anderson, M. S., Cheng, M. H., Robinson, W. H., Browne, S. K., Holland, S. M., Baechler, E. C., Utz, P. J. 2013; 123 (12): 5135-5145


    Autoantibodies against cytokines, chemokines, and growth factors inhibit normal immunity and are implicated in inflammatory autoimmune disease and diseases of immune deficiency. In an effort to evaluate serum from autoimmune and immunodeficient patients for Abs against cytokines, chemokines, and growth factors in a high-throughput and unbiased manner, we constructed a multiplex protein microarray for detection of serum factor-binding Abs and used the microarray to detect autoantibody targets in SLE. We designed a nitrocellulose-surface microarray containing human cytokines, chemokines, and other circulating proteins and demonstrated that the array permitted specific detection of serum factor-binding probes. We used the arrays to detect previously described autoantibodies against cytokines in samples from individuals with autoimmune polyendocrine syndrome type 1 and chronic mycobacterial infection. Serum profiling from individuals with SLE revealed that among several targets, elevated IgG autoantibody reactivity to B cell-activating factor (BAFF) was associated with SLE compared with control samples. BAFF reactivity correlated with the severity of disease-associated features, including IFN-α-driven SLE pathology. Our results showed that serum factor protein microarrays facilitate detection of autoantibody reactivity to serum factors in human samples and that BAFF-reactive autoantibodies may be associated with an elevated inflammatory disease state within the spectrum of SLE.

    View details for DOI 10.1172/JCI70231

    View details for Web of Science ID 000327826100020

    View details for PubMedID 24270423

  • Vitamin D, Pregnancy, Breastfeeding, and Postpartum Multiple Sclerosis Relapses ARCHIVES OF NEUROLOGY Langer-Gould, A., Huang, S., Van Den Eeden, S. K., Gupta, R., Leimpeter, A. D., Albers, K. B., Horst, R., Hollis, B., Steinman, L., Nelson, L. M. 2011; 68 (3): 310-313


    To determine whether low levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) contribute to the increased risk of postpartum multiple sclerosis (MS) relapses.Prospective cohort study.Outpatients identified through membership records of Kaiser Permanente Northern California or Stanford University outpatient neurology clinics.Twenty-eight pregnant women with MS.We prospectively followed up patients through the postpartum year and assessed exposures and symptoms through structured interviews. Total serum 25(OH)D levels were measured using the DiaSorin Liaison Assay during the third trimester and 2, 4, and 6 months after giving birth. The data were analyzed using longitudinal multivariable methods.Levels of 25(OH)D and relapse rate.Fourteen (50%) women breastfed exclusively, and 12 women (43%) relapsed within 6 months after giving birth. During pregnancy, the average 25(OH)D levels were 25.4 ng/mL (range, 13.7-42.6) and were affected only by season (P=.009). In contrast, in the postpartum period, 25(OH)D levels were significantly affected by breastfeeding and relapse status. Levels of 25(OH)D remained low in the exclusive breastfeeding group, yet rose significantly in the nonexclusive breastfeeding group regardless of season (P=.007, unadjusted; P=.02, adjusted for season). By 4 and 6 months after childbirth, 25(OH)D levels were, on average, 5 ng/mL lower in the women who breastfed exclusively compared with the nonbreastfeeding group (P=.001).Pregnancy and exclusive breastfeeding are strongly associated with low 25(OH)D levels in women with MS. However, these lower vitamin D levels were not associated with an increased risk of postpartum MS relapses. These data suggest that low vitamin D in isolation is not an important risk factor for postpartum MS relapses.

    View details for DOI 10.1001/archneurol.2010.291

    View details for Web of Science ID 000288409400006

    View details for PubMedID 21059988

  • Interferon-gamma-Producing T Cells, Pregnancy, and Postpartum Relapses of Multiple Sclerosis ARCHIVES OF NEUROLOGY Langer-Gould, A., Gupta, R., Huang, S., Hagan, A., Atkuri, K., Leimpeter, A. D., Albers, K. B., Greenwood, E., Van Den Eeden, S. K., Steinman, L., Nelson, L. M. 2010; 67 (1): 51-57


    To determine whether fluctuations in functional T-cell subsets can explain why multiple sclerosis (MS) relapses decline during pregnancy and increase in the postpartum period.Case-control study.Kaiser Permanente Northern California and Stanford University.Twenty-six pregnant women with MS and 24 age-matched, pregnant controls. Intervention We prospectively followed up the pregnant women with MS and the age-matched, pregnant controls; conducted structured interviews; and collected peripheral blood mononuclear cells during each trimester and 2, 4, 6, 9, and 12 months post partum.Sixteen functional cell types, including interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma)- and tumor necrosis factor-producing T-cell subsets, were measured using multicolor flow cytometry. Since these cell types may also fluctuate with pregnancy, lactational amenorrhea, or MS treatment, the data were analyzed taking into account these factors.Fifteen women with MS (58%) had relapses during the postpartum year. CD4(+)IFN-gamma-producing cells fluctuated with MS relapses, declining during pregnancy in women with MS (P < .001) and continuing to decline after parturition in women with relapses (P = .001), yet rising or remaining stable in women with nonrelapsing MS or healthy pregnant women. Lactational amenorrhea was associated with a rise in CD4(+)IFN-gamma-producing cells in women with MS (P = .009). In contrast, CD4(+) tumor necrosis factor-producing cells decreased during lactational amenorrhea in all groups of women and, once this was taken into account, obscured any relationship to MS relapses. CD8(+)IFN-gamma-producing cells were elevated in women with MS throughout the study (P < .001) but did not fluctuate with relapses.Our findings suggest that a decline in circulating CD4(+)IFN-gamma-producing cells leads to postpartum MS relapses. Our findings also suggest that the decline in these cells may begin during late pregnancy and that lactational amenorrhea induced by exclusive breastfeeding may be able to interrupt this process.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000273535700007

    View details for PubMedID 20065129

  • Exclusive Breastfeeding and the Risk of Postpartum Relapses in Women With Multiple Sclerosis ARCHIVES OF NEUROLOGY Langer-Gould, A., Huang, S. M., Gupta, R., Leimpeter, A. D., Greenwood, E., Albers, K. B., Van Den Eeden, S. K., Nelson, L. M. 2009; 66 (8): 958-963


    To determine if exclusive breastfeeding protects against postpartum relapses of multiple sclerosis (MS) and, if so, whether this protection is related to prolonged lactational amenorrhea.We conducted structured interviews to assess clinical, menstrual, and breastfeeding history during each trimester and 2, 4, 6, 9, and 12 months postpartum and collected neurological examination findings from the treating physicians of women with MS. Hazards ratios (HRs) were adjusted for measures of disease severity and age.Kaiser Permanente Northern California and Stanford University.We prospectively enrolled 32 pregnant women with MS and 29 age-matched, pregnant controls. Main Outcome Measure Postpartum relapse.Of the 52% of women with MS who did not breastfeed or began regular supplemental feedings within 2 months postpartum, 87% had a postpartum relapse, compared with 36% of the women with MS who breastfed exclusively for at least 2 months postpartum (unadjusted HR, 5.0; 95% confidence interval, 1.7-14.2; P = .003; adjusted HR, 7.1; 95% confidence interval, 2.1-24.3; P = .002). Sixty percent reported that the primary reason for foregoing exclusive breastfeeding was to resume MS therapies. Women who breastfed exclusively had a later return of menses (P = .001) than women who did not, and lactational amenorrhea was associated with a reduced risk of postpartum relapses (P = .01).Our findings suggest that exclusive breastfeeding and concomitant suppression of menses significantly reduce the risk of postpartum relapses in MS. Our findings call into question the benefit of foregoing breastfeeding to start MS therapies and should be confirmed in a larger study.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000268848100005

    View details for PubMedID 19506118

  • Treatment of autoimmune neuroinflammation with a synthetic tryptophan metabolite SCIENCE Platten, M., Ho, P. P., Youssef, S., Fontoura, P., Garren, H., Hur, E. M., Gupta, R., Lee, L. Y., Kidd, B. A., Robinson, W. H., Sobel, R. A., Selley, M. L., Steinman, L. 2005; 310 (5749): 850-855


    Local catabolism of the amino acid tryptophan (Trp) by indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) is considered an important mechanism of regulating T cell immunity. We show that IDO transcription was increased when myelin-specific T cells were stimulated with tolerogenic altered self-peptides. Catabolites of Trp suppressed proliferation of myelin-specific T cells and inhibited production of proinflammatory T helper-1 (T(H)1) cytokines. N-(3,4,-Dimethoxycinnamoyl) anthranilic acid (3,4-DAA), an orally active synthetic derivative of the Trp metabolite anthranilic acid, reversed paralysis in mice with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, a model of multiple sclerosis (MS). Trp catabolites and their derivatives offer a new strategy for treating T(H)1-mediated autoimmune diseases such as MS.

    View details for DOI 10.1126/science.1117634

    View details for Web of Science ID 000233121800045

    View details for PubMedID 16272121

  • A suppressive oligodeoxynucleotide enhances the efficacy of myelin cocktail/IL-4-tolerizing DNA vaccination and treats autoimmune disease JOURNAL OF IMMUNOLOGY Ho, P. P., Fontoura, P., Platten, M., Sobel, R. A., DeVoss, J. J., Lee, L. Y., Kidd, B. A., Tomooka, B. H., Capers, J., Agrawal, A., Gupta, R., Zernik, J., Yee, M. K., Lee, B. J., Garren, H., Robinson, W. H., Steinman, L. 2005; 175 (9): 6226-6234


    Targeting pathogenic T cells with Ag-specific tolerizing DNA vaccines encoding autoantigens is a powerful and feasible therapeutic strategy for Th1-mediated autoimmune diseases. However, plasmid DNA contains abundant unmethylated CpG motifs, which induce a strong Th1 immune response. We describe here a novel approach to counteract this undesired side effect of plasmid DNA used for vaccination in Th1-mediated autoimmune diseases. In chronic relapsing experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), combining a myelin cocktail plus IL-4-tolerizing DNA vaccine with a suppressive GpG oligodeoxynucleotide (GpG-ODN) induced a shift of the autoreactive T cell response toward a protective Th2 cytokine pattern. Myelin microarrays demonstrate that tolerizing DNA vaccination plus GpG-ODN further decreased anti-myelin autoantibody epitope spreading and shifted the autoreactive B cell response to a protective IgG1 isotype. Moreover, the addition of GpG-ODN to tolerizing DNA vaccination therapy effectively reduced overall mean disease severity in both the chronic relapsing EAE and chronic progressive EAE mouse models. In conclusion, suppressive GpG-ODN effectively counteracted the undesired CpG-induced inflammatory effect of a tolerizing DNA vaccine in a Th1-mediated autoimmune disease by skewing both the autoaggressive T cell and B cell responses toward a protective Th2 phenotype. These results demonstrate that suppressive GpG-ODN is a simple and highly effective novel therapeutic adjuvant that will boost the efficacy of Ag-specific tolerizing DNA vaccines used for treating Th1-mediated autoimmune diseases.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000232786300083

    View details for PubMedID 16237121