Parallel Lives

By Inder Verma
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In an amazing coincidence, three lives intersect in a race against the clock, to find a cure for a deadly brain tumor. Meanwhile, one man and his family come together in hopes of a miracle. 

On his 50th birthday, Graham Bunker, a tall, trim, handsome school teacher, in perfect health woke up in the middle of the night with an intense headache and a general state of restlessness. Chalking it up to the end of school year crush, he went about his day and later celebrated his fiftieth with his wife and children. However, in a matter of weeks, his life and that of his family will change drastically. 

Yacov Kaufman, born in Israel the same year as Graham, was lured by several venture capitalists to become the chief scientist of a biotech company in the San Francisco Bay Area. Charged with finding cures that will be highly profitable for the company, Kaufman believes he’s found his dream job. A job that will save thousands of lives. For him patients will always come before profits. 

Rakesh Mehra, obtained his medical degree in India and trained in Boston as a Neuro-oncologist. His life is up ended the day Graham Bunker and his wife walk into his office. What begins as a simple exam turns into something far more dire, yet it also proves to be an extraordinary opportunity that pushes Mehra to question the oath he took as a doctor to do no harm.

Two men come together to save one man, a family and possibly hundreds in this fast-paced and moving story about the boundaries of medicine and the limitless empathy one man can have for another.

"Parallel Lives reads like a detective novel. There was clearly an incentive to see how it would end. As a result once I started I finished it the next day. That does not happen with all the books I read. I was impressed by the detailed medical and scientific descriptions …." - Anton Berns, Former Director, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam.

“I was captivated by Parallel Lives and wanted to know how you would bring it to its end. You really master linking both science and medicine in a field to which you contributed a lot. Bravo for this tour de force”. - Jacques Beckmann, University de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.

About the Author

Inder Verma is a cancer biologist who has published over four hundred peer reviewed articles in major scientific journals. Discoveries from his laboratory in the last four decades have included identification of cancer genes, animal models of lung, breast and brain cancers. He pioneered the use of viruses to deliver therapeutic genes for human gene therapy. Verma has been a founder of several biotech companies and served on numerous Scientific Advisory Boards.

Published: 2022
Page Count: 220

Customer Reviews

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Kleanthis Xanthopoulos, Ph.D, CEO of Shoreline Biosciences
Parallel Lives

I came back from a visit to Greece a few weeks back and found your book on my desk which I read with great interest. Congratulations! It is very nicely written and a testament to the power of science and medicine viewed thru the lenses of someone who deeply understands both.

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Ed Holmes, MD
Parallel Lives

I thoroughly enjoyed Parallel Lives. You have done a remarkable job in blending basic science and clinical medicine (without dumbing down either) into an intriguing story about human responses to a potentially devastating illness.

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Arnie Levine, Ph.D, Institute of Advanced studies, Princeton
Parallel Lives

I started your book on July 4th, which I think has signified our independence as old men entitled to health, happiness and the time to enjoy it, and finished it on July 5th which signifies that I really liked it and could not put it down. I love the way the book bounces back and forth between the patient, his family and the science and scientists. the counterpoint is stark. I loved the statement made by example that every scientist had a different national origin- all collected in the USA- Which signifies the gift you and I have had knowing so many diverse and interesting people WELL from almost all over the world.. I loved the description of Yacov meeting Graham the first time as he stands in respect, is a little overwhelmed and not sure how to act. You developed the characters and their personalities of the family, their love, fears, changes, insights and pasts but were sparse with the scientists and doctors and that gave the story contrast and focused the reader (even a scientist like me) on the family and their terrible situation. Cynthia was developed the deepest and my hopes were for her as such a remarkable women in a deeper sense than Graham was. For those of us who know you, who grew up with you, we get the deep use of Hebrew, Yiddish, Sanskript, Hindi, languages which enforce the cultural breadth of the science community and reflect your own background. You had a choice, and I am happy you let Graham live to see his grandchild one of the greatest joys of life- the generational passing.