Happy Hour Send-off for Rajees Varghese

The Division of Nephrology bids a fond farewell to research technician Rajees Varghese, who will be entering the Master’s Program in Medical Physiology at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH, this fall.

“I’m excited to join the program and begin a new chapter in my life as I make my way towards medical school,” says Rajees.  “I’m grateful that I was able to work here at Washington University, and I especially would like to thank my PI, Dr. Feng Chen, for giving me this opportunity. I learned much during my time here and I was able to meet and work alongside many great people.”

Pictured left to right are Feng Chen, Preet Lal, Rajees Varghese, Clara Oh, Yanyan Zhao, Xiaolu Yang, and Di Liu.

Rajees says that the two years he spent in the Chen laboratory taught him how to think on his feet, which served him well, for example, on projects that involved growing stem cells into kidney organoids or dissociating renal cell carcinomas into single cells for single-cell sequencing.

He was also happy to pass on what he had learned to new co-workers in the lab. “They are such a smart, hardworking group. I look forward to seeing all the publications that will be coming out of our lab!”

Dr. Chen fondly notes, “Rajees has the sweetest personality I have ever seen. His smile is infectious and perpetual. It seems like he never had a bad day when working here. He was an integral part of our lab, as evidenced by our struggles to fill all the holes left open by his departure. We will miss him!”

Nephrology research colleagues said farewell to Rajees with a great game of Jeopardy, food and fun.

It was fitting that a happy hour get-together served as a farewell celebration for Rajees. He was the originator of the division’s monthly Research Science Happy Hour, which debuted in September 2017 with the purpose of bringing everyone together for a relaxing time to socialize and meet new people.

Virginia Kelly, our division’s Office Coordinator and “unofficial” resident photographer who took pictures at the happy hour, says, “Celia Dehn [our Sr. Dept. Accounting Assistant] and I will miss Rajees. He was always genuine and sincere. Rajees is smart and dedicated, and I fully expect to see ‘Dr.’ before his last name in the next few years.”

We all wish Rajees a bright, rewarding future.