Arshad Desai received his Bachelor’s degree from California State University, Hayward (now East Bay) and then pursued a PhD in cell biology at the University of California, San Francisco. After a brief time at Harvard Medical School, he conducted postdoctoral work at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg and the Max Planck Institute for Cell Biology & Genetics in Dresden. Since November 2002, he has been running his research group in San Diego, where he is Professor of Cellular & Molecular Medicine at UC San Diego and Head of the Laboratory of Chromosome Biology in the San Diego branch of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research. His research interests have centered around a long-standing fascination with the dynamic microtubule cytoskeleton and its central role in cell division. In addition to addressing fundamental mechanisms related to cell division, which has taken him beyond microtubules into investigating the epigenetic basis of centromere identity and the control of cell cycle progression, he is interested in understanding the genesis of cancer genome instability and is collaboratively exploring new mechanism-targeted approaches for cancer therapy.