Vikaas has always been fascinated by how complex behavior emerges from systems composed of seemingly simple units or rules. He grew up in Idaho, studied Applied Mathematics as an undergrad Harvard (where he worked with Mike Hasselmo) then completed Part III of the Maths Tripos at Cambridge. He did his MD/PhD at Stanford, working in the lab of John Huguenard. Vikaas stayed at Stanford to complete residency training in psychiatry. During this time, he worked in the lab of Karl Deisseroth, and published one of the early papers using optogenetics to study cortical circuits. This study showed that feedback inhibition from parvalbulmin interneurons is sufficient to generate gamma oscillations, and that gamma oscillations can enhance the flow of information through cortical circuits. Vikaas arrived at UCSF and started the lab in 2010. He is also a board-certified psychiatrist and continues to see psychiatric outpatients. In his ample free time, Vikaas enjoys watching TV with his daughters, yelling at referees during his son's soccer games, and debating the relative merits of various take-out options with his wife.