Alka Kanaya is Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) in the Division of General Internal Medicine. She trained in clinical epidemiology during a General Internal Medicine fellowship at UCSF. She completed her internship and residency training in Primary Care, Internal Medicine at UCSF in 1998, and served as Chief Medical Resident at Moffitt-Long Hospital from 1998-1999. She earned her M.D. degree from UCSF in 1995 and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from the University of California, Davis in 1990.

Dr. Kanaya is an expert in type 2 diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. She began the MASALA pilot study in 2006 to obtain preliminary data comparing Asian Indians in the SF Bay Area to four ethnic groups in the United States. With these compelling preliminary results, the National Institutes of Health funded the larger MASALA Study starting in 2010 which expanded the study to two geographic locations (San Francisco Bay Area and the greater Chicago area). Dr. Kanaya has been mentoring several junior investigators and students to develop clinical research skills and work on papers using the MASALA study data.