Vikram Rao, MD, PhD

Title(s)Associate Professor, Neurology
SchoolSchool of Medicine
Address513 Parnassus Avenue, MSB, #672G
San Francisco CA 94143
Phone415-353-2437
Pronounshe/him/his
ORCID ORCID Icon0000-0002-6389-2638 Additional info
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    Other Positions
    Title(s)UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences


    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse Education and Training
    University of California, BerkeleyA.B.05/1999Molecular/Cell Biology (Neurobiology)
    University of California, San FranciscoM.D.2008 Medicine
    University of California, San FranciscoPh.D.2006 Graduate Division
    Massachusetts General Hospital06/2012Neurology residency
    Brigham & Women's Hospital06/2012Neurology residency
    University of California, San Francisco06/2014Epilepsy fellowship
    Collapse Awards and Honors
    University of California, San Francisco2018'Redefining Possible' Award
    Ernest Gallo Foundation2018Distinguished Professorship in Neurology
    American Academy of Neurology2020Dreifuss-Penry Epilepsy Award

    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse Overview
    Dr. Vikram Rao is a neurologist who specializes in treating patients with epilepsy. He takes a holistic approach to helping patients deal with the challenges of their seizures and works at multiple levels to improve their quality of life. He has a particular interest in utilizing medications, surgery and implanted neurostimulation devices to care for patients with complex epilepsy.

    Rao's research involves using direct brain electrical recordings and implanted devices – such as the NeuroPace RNS System for responsive neurostimulation – to better understand how abnormal patterns of brain electrical activity give rise to seizures. He also uses these tools to explore the cognitive dysfunction and mood disorders, such as anxiety and depression, that are common in epilepsy patients.

    Rao earned his medical degree from UCSF, completed his residency at Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women's hospitals, and returned to UCSF for a fellowship in neurology. He served as chief resident in neurology in 2011 and received the Senior Resident Teacher of the Year award in 2012.

    Rao is a member of the American Epilepsy Society, American Academy of Neurology and San Francisco Medical Society.

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    Collapse Publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help. to make corrections and additions.
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    Altmetrics Details PMC Citations indicate the number of times the publication was cited by articles in PubMed Central, and the Altmetric score represents citations in news articles and social media. (Note that publications are often cited in additional ways that are not shown here.) Fields are based on how the National Library of Medicine (NLM) classifies the publication's journal and might not represent the specific topic of the publication. Translation tags are based on the publication type and the MeSH terms NLM assigns to the publication. Some publications (especially newer ones and publications not in PubMed) might not yet be assigned Field or Translation tags.) Click a Field or Translation tag to filter the publications.
    1. Unearthing the mechanisms of responsive neurostimulation for epilepsy. Commun Med (Lond). 2023 Nov 16; 3(1):166. Rao VR, Rolston JD. PMID: 37974025; PMCID: PMC10654422.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:
    2. Closed-Loop Neurostimulation for Biomarker-Driven, Personalized Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder. J Vis Exp. 2023 07 07; (197). Sellers KK, Khambhati AN, Stapper N, Fan JM, Rao VR, Scangos KW, Chang EF, Krystal AD. PMID: 37486114.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
    3. Intracranial electrical stimulation of corticolimbic sites modulates arousal in humans. Brain Stimul. 2023 Jul-Aug; 16(4):1072-1082. Fan JM, Lee AM, Sellers KK, Woodworth K, Makhoul GS, Liu TX, Henderson C, Astudillo Maya DA, Martinez R, Zamanian H, Speidel BA, Khambhati AN, Rao VR, Sugrue LP, Scangos KW, Chang EF, Krystal AD. PMID: 37385540; PMCID: PMC10634663.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimals
    4. Epileptiform discharges triggered with direct electrical stimulation for treatment-resistant depression: Factors that modulate risk and treatment considerations. Brain Stimul. 2023 Mar-Apr; 16(2):462-465. Fan JM, Khambhati AN, Sellers KK, Stapper N, Maya DA, Kunwar E, Henderson C, Sugrue LP, Scangos KW, Chang EF, Rao VR, Krystal AD. PMID: 36773780; PMCID: PMC10627048.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    5. Changes in intracranial neurophysiology associated with acute COVID-19 infection. Clin Neurophysiol. 2023 04; 148:29-31. Sellers KK, Stapper N, Astudillo Maya DA, Henderson C, Khambhati AN, Fan JM, Rao VR, Scangos KW, Chang EF, Krystal AD. PMID: 36791656; PMCID: PMC9896881.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    6. Development of a core outcome set for quality of life for adults with drug-resistant epilepsy: A multistakeholder Delphi consensus study. Epilepsia. 2023 01; 64(1):170-183. Chiang S, Moss R, Stern JM, Hughes I, Josephson SA, Pearce JR, Kopald BE, Patel AD, Rao VR. PMID: 36347817.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    7. Intact speech perception after resection of dominant hemisphere primary auditory cortex for the treatment of medically refractory epilepsy: illustrative case. J Neurosurg Case Lessons. 2022 Nov 28; 4(22). Hullett PW, Kandahari N, Shih TT, Kleen JK, Knowlton RC, Rao VR, Chang EF. PMID: 36443954; PMCID: PMC9705521.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:
    8. Choosing the Best Antiseizure Medication-Can Artificial Intelligence Help? JAMA Neurol. 2022 10 01; 79(10):970-972. Chiang S, Rao VR. PMID: 36036914.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    9. Network connectivity predicts effectiveness of responsive neurostimulation in focal epilepsy. Brain Commun. 2022; 4(3):fcac104. Fan JM, Lee AT, Kudo K, Ranasinghe KG, Morise H, Findlay AM, Kirsch HE, Chang EF, Nagarajan SS, Rao VR. PMID: 35611310; PMCID: PMC9123848.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 7  
    10. Editorial: Seizure Forecasting and Detection: Computational Models, Machine Learning, and Translation Into Devices. Front Neurol. 2022; 13:874070. Chiang S, Baud MO, Worrell GA, Rao VR. PMID: 35370904; PMCID: PMC8966607.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:
    11. Chronic electroencephalography in epilepsy with a responsive neurostimulation device: current status and future prospects. Expert Rev Med Devices. 2021 Nov; 18(11):1093-1105. Rao VR. PMID: 34696676.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 8     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    12. Bilateral temporal lobe epilepsy: How many seizures are required in chronic ambulatory electrocorticography to estimate the laterality ratio? Epilepsia. 2022 01; 63(1):199-208. Chiang S, Fan JM, Rao VR. PMID: 34723396; PMCID: PMC9056258.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 3     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    13. Closed-loop neuromodulation in an individual with treatment-resistant depression. Nat Med. 2021 10; 27(10):1696-1700. Scangos KW, Khambhati AN, Daly PM, Makhoul GS, Sugrue LP, Zamanian H, Liu TX, Rao VR, Sellers KK, Dawes HE, Starr PA, Krystal AD, Chang EF. PMID: 34608328.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 93     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    14. Impact of intellectual and developmental disability on quality-of-life priorities in adults with epilepsy. Epilepsy Behav. 2021 10; 123:108282. Chiang S, Moss R, Meskis MA, Vogel-Farley V, Sullivan JE, Patel AD, Rao VR. PMID: 34509036.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    15. Long-term brain network reorganization predicts responsive neurostimulation outcomes for focal epilepsy. Sci Transl Med. 2021 08 25; 13(608). Khambhati AN, Shafi A, Rao VR, Chang EF. PMID: 34433640.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 34     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    16. Guidelines for Conducting Ethical Artificial Intelligence Research in Neurology: A Systematic Approach for Clinicians and Researchers. Neurology. 2021 09 28; 97(13):632-640. Chiang S, Picard RW, Chiong W, Moss R, Worrell GA, Rao VR, Goldenholz DM. PMID: 34315785; PMCID: PMC8480407.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 6     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    17. Effects of anterior thalamic nuclei stimulation on hippocampal activity: Chronic recording in a patient with drug-resistant focal epilepsy. Epilepsy Behav Rep. 2021; 16:100467. Silva AB, Khambhati AN, Speidel BA, Chang EF, Rao VR. PMID: 34458713; PMCID: PMC8379668.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 6  
    18. New Ethical and Clinical Challenges in "Closed-Loop" Neuromodulation. Neurology. 2021 04 27; 96(17):799-804. Hegde M, Chiong W, Rao VR. PMID: 33727407; PMCID: PMC8166428.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 3     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    19. Accuracy of omni-planar and surface casting of epileptiform activity for intracranial seizure localization. Epilepsia. 2021 04; 62(4):947-959. Kleen JK, Speidel BA, Baud MO, Rao VR, Ammanuel SG, Hamilton LS, Chang EF, Knowlton RC. PMID: 33634855; PMCID: PMC8276628.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 3     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    20. Evidence of state-dependence in the effectiveness of responsive neurostimulation for seizure modulation. Brain Stimul. 2021 Mar-Apr; 14(2):366-375. Chiang S, Khambhati AN, Wang ET, Vannucci M, Chang EF, Rao VR. PMID: 33556620; PMCID: PMC8083819.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 10     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    21. Operative Technique and Lessons Learned From Surgical Implantation of the NeuroPace Responsive Neurostimulation® System in 57 Consecutive Patients. Oper Neurosurg (Hagerstown). 2021 01 13; 20(2):E98-E109. Krucoff MO, Wozny TA, Lee AT, Rao VR, Chang EF. PMID: 33074294.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 9     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    22. Evidence for long memory in focal seizure duration. Epilepsia Open. 2021 03; 6(1):140-148. Fan JM, Chiang S, Rao VR. PMID: 33681657; PMCID: PMC7918332.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 2     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    23. Cues for seizure timing. Epilepsia. 2021 02; 62 Suppl 1:S15-S31. Rao VR, G Leguia M, Tcheng TK, Baud MO. PMID: 32738157.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 20     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    24. Individualizing the definition of seizure clusters based on temporal clustering analysis. Epilepsy Res. 2020 07; 163:106330. Chiang S, Haut SR, Ferastraoaru V, Rao VR, Baud MO, Theodore WH, Moss R, Goldenholz DM. PMID: 32305858.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 8     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    25. Seizure detection devices and health-related quality of life: A patient- and caregiver-centered evaluation. Epilepsy Behav. 2020 04; 105:106963. Chiang S, Moss R, Patel AD, Rao VR. PMID: 32092459.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 5     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    26. Sleep disruption is not observed with brain-responsive neurostimulation for epilepsy. Epilepsia Open. 2020 Jun; 5(2):155-165. Ruoff L, Jarosiewicz B, Zak R, Tcheng TK, Neylan TC, Rao VR. PMID: 32524041; PMCID: PMC7278540.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 5     Fields:    
    27. Responsive neurostimulation for regional neocortical epilepsy. Epilepsia. 2020 01; 61(1):96-106. Ma BB, Fields MC, Knowlton RC, Chang EF, Szaflarski JP, Marcuse LV, Rao VR. PMID: 31828780.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 16     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    28. Prospective validation study of an epilepsy seizure risk system for outpatient evaluation. Epilepsia. 2020 01; 61(1):29-38. Chiang S, Goldenholz DM, Moss R, Rao VR, Haneef Z, Theodore WH, Kleen JK, Gavvala J, Vannucci M, Stern JM. PMID: 31792970; PMCID: PMC6980278.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 6     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    29. Direct Electrical Stimulation of Lateral Orbitofrontal Cortex Acutely Improves Mood in Individuals with Symptoms of Depression. Curr Biol. 2018 12 17; 28(24):3893-3902.e4. Rao VR, Sellers KK, Wallace DL, Lee MB, Bijanzadeh M, Sani OG, Yang Y, Shanechi MM, Dawes HE, Chang EF. PMID: 30503621.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 52     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    30. An Amygdala-Hippocampus Subnetwork that Encodes Variation in Human Mood. Cell. 2018 11 29; 175(6):1688-1700.e14. Kirkby LA, Luongo FJ, Lee MB, Nahum M, Van Vleet TM, Rao VR, Dawes HE, Chang EF, Sohal VS. PMID: 30415834.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 71     Fields:    Translation:HumansCTClinical Trials
    31. Gauging seizure risk. Neurology. 2018 11 20; 91(21):967-973. Baud MO, Rao VR. PMID: 30355701.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 23     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    32. Responsive neurostimulation: Candidates and considerations. Epilepsy Behav. 2018 11; 88:388-395. Ma BB, Rao VR. PMID: 30355456.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 25     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    33. Direct electrical stimulation of human cortex evokes high gamma activity that predicts conscious somatosensory perception. J Neural Eng. 2018 04; 15(2):026015. Muller L, Rolston JD, Fox NP, Knowlton R, Rao VR, Chang EF. PMID: 29160232; PMCID: PMC5997249.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 4     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    34. Responsive neurostimulation for treatment of pediatric drug-resistant epilepsy. Epilepsy Behav Case Rep. 2018; 10:21-24. Singhal NS, Numis AL, Lee MB, Chang EF, Sullivan JE, Auguste KI, Rao VR. PMID: 30013930; PMCID: PMC6019859.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 15  
    35. Multi-day rhythms modulate seizure risk in epilepsy. Nat Commun. 2018 01 08; 9(1):88. Baud MO, Kleen JK, Mirro EA, Andrechak JC, King-Stephens D, Chang EF, Rao VR. PMID: 29311566; PMCID: PMC5758806.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 164     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    36. Chronic ambulatory electrocorticography from human speech cortex. Neuroimage. 2017 06; 153:273-282. Rao VR, Leonard MK, Kleen JK, Lucas BA, Mirro EA, Chang EF. PMID: 28396294; PMCID: PMC5482367.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 18     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    37. Epilepsy. Curr Biol. 2015 Aug 31; 25(17):R742-6. Rao VR, Lowenstein DH. PMID: 26325130.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 15     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    38. Clinical approach to posttraumatic epilepsy. Semin Neurol. 2015 Feb; 35(1):57-63. Rao VR, Parko KL. PMID: 25714868.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 18     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    39. Multicentric Castleman's disease with voltage-gated potassium channel antibody-positive limbic encephalitis: a case report. BMC Neurol. 2015 Feb 04; 15:4. Rao VR, Lim LE, Fong D, Garga NI, Parko KL. PMID: 25648431; PMCID: PMC4320461.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    40. AMPA receptors regulate transcription of the plasticity-related immediate-early gene Arc. Nat Neurosci. 2006 Jul; 9(7):887-95. Rao VR, Pintchovski SA, Chin J, Peebles CL, Mitra S, Finkbeiner S. PMID: 16732277.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 95     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    41. Splice variants of the NR1 subunit differentially induce NMDA receptor-dependent gene expression. J Neurosci. 2006 Jan 25; 26(4):1065-76. Bradley J, Carter SR, Rao VR, Wang J, Finkbeiner S. PMID: 16436592; PMCID: PMC6674576.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 34     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    42. Secrets of a secretase: N-cadherin proteolysis regulates CBP function. Cell. 2003 Sep 05; 114(5):533-5. Rao VR, Finkbeiner S. PMID: 13678577.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
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