Tejal Ashwin Desai, class of 1994

Tejal Ashwin Desai was born in Huntington Beach, California in 1972 to Indian parents and spent most of her early life in Santa Barbara.  She attended Brown University where she received her bachelor of science in biomedical engineering in 1994. In 1998, she graduated with a Ph.D. from the joint University of California – San Francisco and University of California – Berkeley Bioengineering department. Desai held professorships at University of Illinois – Chicago and Boston University. In 2005, she relocated to University of California – San Francisco where she became a tenured professor in the department of physiology while she built a bioengineering department. In 2009, she joined the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, a department that she currently chairs. During this time, Desai married, had three children, and concurrently volunteered her time to advancing minority students and women in science. Desai’s research applies microscale and nanoscale technologies to create new and improved ways to deliver medicine to target sites in the body and to enable the body to heal itself.