Desai on Embracing Curiosity and Change in the Oncology Field


In the first episode of Emerging Experts, Aakash Desai, MD, MPH, discusses his journey through the oncology field by reminiscing on the encouraging guidance of his mentors, personal research goals, and his experiences thus far as an oncologist.

Welcome to our first episode of Emerging Experts, a podcast brought to you by Targeted OncologyTM. In this episode, Emerging Experts host, Jordyn Sava is joined by Aakash Desai, MD, MPH, thoracic and phase 1 medical oncologist and assistant professor at the O’Neal Cancer Center at the University of Alabama, Birmingham.

Desai found his passion for medicine at a young age and began his education where he was born in India. From an early point in his career, he took a liking to public health, which led him to move to the United States to pursue a Masters in Public Health at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health.

Conveniently located near one of the top cancer centers in the nation, Desai’s first job in the United States was as a research assistant at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in the department of lymphoma. Here, his interest in oncology was sparked.

Desai has been living in the United States since 2015. He has completed residency, medical school, and continues to pursue his career in oncology at the O’Neal Cancer Center.

During this episode, Desai discusses his journey by reminiscing about the encouraging guidance of mentors, personal research goals, and his experiences thus far as an oncologist. He also provides some advice to those just starting their career in oncology and highlights the importance of keeping your mind and options open when starting in any training or fellowship programs.

“Coming into a training program with an open mind is something that I would advise, because there are so many things that are changing on a day-to-day basis. We see the standards of care change and new therapies come in, and you might find something more interesting than what you thought that you were going to be when you started. I think that would be the number 1 thing: coming in with an open mind and curiosity to learn, and to get all the things you can from any fellowship program that you join.” says Desai.


Thank you for listening to this first episode of Emerging Experts.

For more updates on the latest news and trends in oncology, be sure to visit and sign up for our e-newsletters. You can also find us across social media platforms. Follow us on X, formerly known as Twitter, @targetedonc, and on Instagram, Threads, Facebook, and Linkedin @targetedoncology.

Related Content