Rohit Bhargava received his B.Tech. degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, India, and Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University, USA. Today, he is Founder Professor of Engineering and serves as the Director of the Cancer Center at the University of Illinois. His primary appointment is in the Department of Bioengineering with joint appointments in chemistry and several engineering departments as well as in the Carle Illinois College of Medicine.
Bhargava is the worldwide leader in infrared (IR) micro-spectroscopy and imaging. Bhargava and collaborators have enabled the development of a complete theory for IR microscopy and nanoscopy over the last decade, forming the theoretical foundation of IR imaging. He has also been able to translate fundamental scientific understanding to practical spectrometers by working with industry. This work has resulted in “high definition” (HD) imaging, now adopted by all IR microscopy manufacturers. Bhargava, additionally, has opened the field of using high performance IR imaging for pathology, with studies that show how conventional pathology can be made all-digital and highly accurate.
He has received wide recognition for his work, including the Gordon F. Kirkbright Bursary Award, FACSS Innovation Award, the Craver Award, the Agilent Thought Leader Award, and the Beckman Vision and Spirit Award. He is a Fellow of the Society for Applied Spectroscopy and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. In 2021, he received OSA's Ellis R. Lippincott award "for contributions to the fundamental physics and instrument engineering of mid-IR microscopy and its applications to medical imaging."