Renalase protects cells against toxic and ischemic injury. Dysregulated renalase signaling can facilitate the development of certain cancers. Desir is a named inventor on several patents related to the discovery and therapeutic use of renalase in organ injury, and the development of drugs that modulate renalase signaling in cancer. He is the scientific founder of two biotechnology companies focused on developing renalase-based therapies.

Desir was born in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. After high school, he immigrated to the United States to attend New York University, from which he earned a bachelor’s degree in biology, Magna Cum Laude. Following graduation from the Yale School of Medicine (YSM) Cum Laude, he trained in internal medicine and nephrology at Yale-New Haven Hospital. He joined the Yale faculty in 1988 as an assistant professor of medicine. Subsequently, he has held several academic and administrative appointments, including professor of medicine, chair of the Department of Medicine, and board chair for the Yale Medical Group. Desir also holds a secondary appointment at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies (F&ES).