Tejal Ashwin Desai (born June 3, 1972) is a Professor in Physiology, Division of Bioengineering at University of California, San Francisco and head of the Therapeutic Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory.[3] She was formerly an associate professor at Boston University (2002–06) and an assistant professor at University of Illinois at Chicago (1998–2001).[5] She is a regarded researcher in the area of therapeutic micro and nanotechnology and has authored and edited at least one book on the subject [6] and another on biomaterials.[7]


Dr. Desai attended Brown University where she received a Sc. B. in Biomedical Engineering in 1994. In 1998 she graduated with a Ph.D. from the joint UCSF/UC Berkeley Bioengineering department , advised by Mauro Ferrari.[8]

Dr. Desai has always been interested in science and outreach, in particular to minority students and women.[10][12]

Awards and recognition

Dr. Desai has received many honors for her work in micro and nanostructured materials for tissue engineering and drug delivery:
1999 Crain's Chicago Business "40 under 40" Award: For leadership and innovation [13]
1999 MIT's TR100 Award: Technology Review Magazine's Top 100 Young Innovators[14]
2000 National Science Foundation CAREER Award [3]
2002 McGowan Institute Award for Contributions to Regenerative Medicine [3]
2002 Johnson and Johnson[3] Focused Giving Award
2003 EURAND Grand Prize Award for Outstanding Research in Oral Drug Delivery
2003 Globus Indus Technovator Award (presented by MIT)
2003 Popular Science's "Brilliant 10" Top Scientists in the Nation [3]
2004 INDIA New England Woman of the Year [3]
2006 EURAND Grand Prize Award for Innovative Approaches to Drug Delivery
2006 Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award from UC Berkeley [3]
2007 IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society Early Career Award [3]