Tejal Desai is the Ernest L Prien Endowed Professor and Chair of the Department of Bioengineering & Therapeutic Sciences, Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF); also, the Deborah Cowan Endowed Professor at UCSF, Professor in Residence – UC Berkeley Department of Bioengineering, Executive Committee Member of the Kavli Institute for Fundamental Neuroscience, director of the NIH training grant for the Joint Graduate Program in Bioengineering at the University of California, Berkeley (UCB) and UCSF, and founding director of the UCSF/UC Berkeley Masters Program in Translational Medicine. She is Director of the UCSF Engineering and Applied Sciences Initiative known as HIVE (Health Innovation Via Engineering).
Desai’s research spans multiple disciplines including materials engineering, cell biology, tissue engineering, and pharmacological delivery systems to address issues concerning disease and clinical translation. She has published over 200 peer-reviewed articles. Her research is at the cutting-edge in precision medicine, enabled by advancements in micro and nanotechnology, engineering, and cell biology directed to clinical challenges in disease treatment. She seeks to design new platforms to overcome existing challenges in therapeutic delivery.
Her research efforts have earned recognition including Technology Review’s “Top 100 Young Innovators,” Popular Science’s Brilliant 10, and NSF’s New Century Scholar. She is Chair of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering College of Fellows. In 2015, she was elected to the National Academy of Medicine. Desai is also a 2019 Fellow of the International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineering (IAMBE), and a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.
Desai is a vocal advocate for STEM education and outreach to underrepresented minority students. She received her B.S. from Brown University in biomedical engineering and was awarded a Ph.D. in bioengineering jointly from UCSF and UCB.