Meet our team


Desert Horse-Grant

Desert Horse-Grant is the Senior Director of Research and Innovation at UCLA Health where she facilitates the translation of discoveries from the lab to the clinical environment. Desert launched the UCLA Health Innovation Competition, a seed funding program that recognizes and scales innovative digital and device solutions as well as patient experience and performance excellence efforts. A champion of the UCLA Innovation fund, she also connects researchers to resources and opportunities for funding or commercialization opportunities in partnership with the UCLA Technology Development Group. A former Director at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Desert was named the 2015 Life Science Innovation Northwest Women to Watch by the Washington Biotechnology & Biomedical Association and 15 Women to Watch by Disruptive Women in Health Care. She and her team’s pioneering work to develop Oncoscope, a novel biotool for developing imaging systems that provide images and information on tissue microstructure, was recognized with a social impact award by GitHub. At Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, she helped launch the Brain Tumor Center and Neurosurgery Department and was the Administrator and Education Director of multiple NIH-funded efforts, including the creation of a Physical Sciences-Oncology Center and a program for researchers at the intersection of computational medicine and cancer biology. Within the Southern California ecosystem, Desert is a steering committee member for the FDA SoCal Consortium for Technology and Innovation in Pediatrics, an advisory board member for UCLA Center for Smart Health, and an active member of the UCLA Data Governance Committee. Desert is a graduate of Stanford University, where she received her B.A. with honors in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity with a concentration in Health Status and Health Policy.