Sunlight streams through the windows of Rahul Desikan’s living room. Atop a bookshelf is a photo of a strapping six-foot-one Rahul hiking with his wife, Maya Vijayaraghavan (MED’06), in Alaska’s snow-capped mountains. Another photo shows Desikan beaming, his four-year-old son—the older of his two children—on his shoulders.
In addition to being a clinician and assistant professor of neuroradiology at the University of California, San Francisco, Desikan (CAS’99, MED’09) is a pioneering neuroscientist with collaborators all over the world. He and his team are combining imaging, biostatistics, and mountains of genetic and health data in their quest to understand the causes behind the most devastating degenerative brain diseases known to mankind, from Alzheimer’s to ALS to frontotemporal dementia.