Vikram Rao, PhD, MD

Neurologist and epilepsy specialist

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. His primary clinical interests involve treating complex epilepsy patients with medications, surgery and implanted neurostimulation devices.

An assistant professor of clinical neurology at the UCSF School of Medicine, Rao's research involves using direct brain electrical recordings and implanted devices — such as the NeuroPace RNS System for responsive neurostimulation — to understand more thoroughly how abnormal patterns of brain electrical activity give rise to seizures and the cognitive dysfunction and mood disorders, like 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, the American Academy of Neurology and the San Francisco Medical Society.


Epilepsy Center
400 Parnassus Ave., Eighth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94143
Phone: (415) 353-2437
Fax: (415) 353-2837

Hours: Monday to Friday
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Academic Title

Assistant Professor

More about Vikram Rao


UCSF School of Medicine 2008


Brigham and Women's Hospital 2012


UCSF Medical Center 2013

Selected Research and Publications

  1. Muller L, Rolston JD, Fox NP, Knowlton R, Rao VR, Chang EF. Direct electrical stimulation of human cortex evokes high gamma activity that predicts conscious somatosensory perception. J Neural Eng. 2018 Apr; 15(2):026015.
  2. Baud MO, Kleen JK, Mirro EA, Andrechak JC, King-Stephens D, Chang EF, Rao VR. Multi-day rhythms modulate seizure risk in epilepsy. Nat Commun. 2018 Jan 08; 9(1):88.
  3. Rao VR, Leonard MK, Kleen JK, Lucas BA, Mirro EA, Chang EF. Chronic ambulatory electrocorticography from human speech cortex. Neuroimage. 2017 Jun; 153:273-282.

Publications are derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and provided by UCSF Profiles, a service of the Clinical & Translational Science Institute (CTSI) at UCSF. Researchers can make corrections and additions to their publications by logging on to UCSF Profiles.