COVID-19 Updates

Visit UC San Diego's Coronavirus portal for the latest information for the campus community.


Distinguished Professor  
Department of Medicine
Department of Cellular & Molecular Medicine

Executive Co-Director
UCSD/Salk Center for Academic Research & Training in Anthropogeny (CARTA)

Adjunct Professor
Salk Institute for Biological Studies

Founding Director
Glycobiology Research & Training Center


How to Contact

Administrative Assistant
Amanda Cuervo

Lab Manager
Andrea Verhagen

UC San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive
MC 0687
La Jolla, CA 92093-0687

Ajit Varki received basic training in physiology, medicine, biology, and biochemistry at the Christian Medical College, Vellore, The University of Nebraska, Omaha, and Washington University, St. Louis. Dr. Varki has formal training and certification in internal medicine, hematology, and oncology and is currently a Distinguished Professor in both the Departments of Medicine and of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). He is one of the Founding Directors of the Glycobiology Research & Training Center, an organized research unit located in the School of Medicine at UCSD and is still currently the Executive Editor of the textbook, Essentials of Glycobiology. Dr. Varki is also the Executive Co-Director for the UCSD/Salk Center for Academic Research and Training in Anthropogeny, as well as an Adjunct Professor at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. He is proud to be an elected member of; American Academy of Arts & Sciences, National Academy of Medicine, American Society for Clinical InvestigationAssociation of American Physicians, and of Sigma Xi.

Dr. Varki was a recipient of a MERIT award from the NIH, the American Cancer Society Faculty Research Award, as well as three of the highest honors in the field: the Karl Meyer Award (2005), the International Glycoconjugate Organization Award (2007), and the Rosalind Kornfeld Award for Lifetime Achievement in Glycobiology (2020). He is also recognized for creating the first major open access research journal, The Journal of Clinical Investigation, JCI (1996), as well as the first major open access textbook Essentials of Glycobiology (2008). He is a Specialist Advisor to the Human Gene Nomenclature Committee and to the Vertebrate Gene Nomenclature Committee. He was honored with the Old Cottonian of Eminence Award at the 150th Anniversary of Bishop Cotton Boy's School in Bangalore, India (2015) and he was also honored with the Annual Research Day Distinguished Faculty Medal and Oration at his medical school alma mater, the Christian Medical College, Vellore, India.

Significant past appointments include:

Dr. Varki's interests in human evolution also led him to propose a novel mind over reality transition theory about human origins, in the book, DENIAL.

Google Scholar Profile