Rahul Desikan, a neuroscientist at the University of California, San Francisco, died July 14 at age 41 from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
He was known for developing a widely used method of automatically labeling regions of the human cortex based on MRI data, called the Desikan atlas, and for identifying genetic variants related to a number of neurodegenerative diseases. In recent years, he had written about living with ALS, a disease he also happened to study.
“I went into medicine to take care of patients with brain diseases. Now, I have one of the diseases that I study,” Desikan said in a press release earlier this year. “Even with this lethal disease, I continue to find neurology fascinating and beautiful.”
Desikan was born in India in 1978 and grew up in New York City. He studied neuroscience at Boston University for his undergraduate and PhD and attended medical school there as well. During this time, he and his colleagues developed the Desikan atlas, which labels 34 regions of each hemisphere of the human cortex automatically using data from MRI scans.
Interesting story: https://www.bu.edu/articles/2019/rahul-desikan-als-research/