Dr. Nalin Gupta, chief of pediatric neurological surgery at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital San Francisco, is an expert in treating children with neurological disorders such as brain tumors, hydrocephalus, cranial and spinal congenital anomalies and epilepsy. Gupta is involved in national clinical studies of brain tumors and the effectiveness of fetal surgery for spina bifida.

Why did you decide to specialize in pediatric neurosurgery?

I liked the sense of hope that exists in pediatric medicine. There was a definite difference between the atmosphere that I felt when I did my training in adult neurosurgery as compared to pediatric neurosurgery.

Some of your research focuses on fetal surgery for spina bifida. Are there any other exciting developments in surgical treatment for neurological disorders in children?

We are currently studying the safety and feasibility of stem cell transplantation for a severe developmental condition. It's exciting to be part of a process that may actually lead to treatment options for diseases that have no treatment now.

What's your motto?

Kids first.

What may your patients be surprised to learn about you?

I like cooking!

What do you do when you're not caring for patients?

Well, it's difficult to have enough time for everything, so I try to spend as much time as I can with my own kids.