Mallika Desai

Mallika is a Medical Science Major with a minor in Political Science and certificates in Innovation and Medical Humanities. Mallika is dedicated to advancing multidisciplinary care for individuals with chronic illness and aging populations. She serves as the founder and president of Parkinson’s Together, a non-profit organization comprised of healthcare professionals, community members, and students. Together, they offer comprehensive support to patients grappling with Parkinson's disease and other neurological movement disorders. Mallika's inspiration for launching this initiative stemmed from her profound connection with a resident of a retirement home who faced Parkinson's disease without adequate social and financial assistance.

Under Mallika's leadership, Parkinson's Together has pioneered innovative approaches to address both symptomatic and non-motor challenges faced by patients. Through dynamic collaborations with pre-law students, artists, environmental advocates, clinical researchers, and computer science organizations, her nonprofit has tailored solutions to meet diverse patient needs. Mallika's vision extends beyond her organization; she aspires to pursue a medical degree with a focus on multidisciplinary care and design thinking. Her goal is to champion patient-centric, precision medicine practices by applying interdisciplinary methodologies to healthcare policy and leadership.

Mallika's professional journey has been marked by her involvement in cross-disciplinary innovation projects, including collaborations with corporate partners in artificial intelligence and strategic foresight through the NEXT Innovation Scholars program. She has been recognized for her expertise in multidisciplinary care and technology application, having been selected for interviews by Microsoft and participation in the Yale Healthcare Hackathon.

In addition to being a NEXT Innovation Scholar, Mallika is a Cincinnatus Scholar, recipient of the Gold Medal Congressional Award, inaugural Portman Policy Fellow, and a Connections BS/MD Dual Admission student. Outside of her professional pursuits, Mallika finds joy in fostering community through activities such as Olympic weightlifting and Bharatanatyam Indian classical dancing. These endeavors reflect her commitment to holistic wellness and embody the spirit of connectivity that underscores her approach to healthcare advocacy.