Dinesh S. Rao is a physician scientist with interests in the molecular basis of hematologic malignancies. He received a B.S. summa cum laude in Biochemistry and an M.D. from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, USA. During this time he developed a deep interest in the pathogenesis of cancer, completing several projects in cancer research during medical school, and went on to a research fellowship at the University of Michigan. There, he made a seminal discovery implicating clathrin mediated trafficking of growth factor receptor tyrosine kinases in oncogenic transformation. He then combined clinical training in the pathology of hematologic diseases with further research training in the laboratory of Nobel laureate David Baltimore at Caltech, making and contributing to important discoveries on microRNAs in the immune system. The Rao lab at UCLA, established in 2010, has been interested in studying the mechanisms of post-transcriptional gene regulation in hematopoietic development, the immune system and in hematologic malignancy. His research work has highlighted startling new mechanisms involving RNA binding proteins and non-coding RNA in oncogenesis, and the lab is focused on molecular biological underpinnings of post-transcriptional gene regulation and translational work to develop novel therapeutic approaches. In addition to running a vibrant research laboratory, he manages a busy diagnostic service in leukemia and lymphoma molecular pathology.