Jayaraman Rao, M.D.

July 15, 1943October 13, 2019

On Sunday, October 13, 2019, Dr. Jayaraman Rao, loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, and uncle passed away at the age of 76. Dr. Rao was born on July 15, 1943 in Salem, India to Mr. Krishna and Mrs. Jayanthi Appurao.

Dr. Rao received his medical degree from Kasturba Medical College in Mangalore, India in 1969. He completed his residency in Neurology at St. Vincent’s Hospital and fellowship at Columbia University in New York. Dr. Rao joined Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center’s (LSUHSC) Department of Neurology in 1977 where he became Director of the Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center. He was honored with the Dr. Carl Baldridge Chair for Parkinson’s Research.

After Hurricane Katrina, Dr. Rao worked at Ochsner Medical Center for several years before returning to LSUHSC. He retired as Professor Emeritus of Neurology and Neurosciences from LSUHSC in 2019. Specializing in Parkinson’s Disease and movement disorders, Dr. Rao devoted his life to helping patients and their families suffering from these diseases.

Dr. Rao married his classmate Dr. Jayashree Kamath in 1969 in Shimoga, India and emigrated to the United States in 1971. They raised two daughters, Aparna and Archana, in New Orleans. ¬¬Dr. Rao and his wife helped raise their two wonderful granddaughters, Aubrey and Laurel Paine.

Dr. Rao was known for his sense of humor, his infectious laugh, his intellectual curiosity, and his love for his family. He was passionate about traveling the world with his wife. Dr. Rao’s interests covered many subjects, including Buddhist art, music, movies, anthropology, genealogy, nature, history, photography, New Orleans Saints and LSU football, cricket, and Game of Thrones.

Dr. Rao was preceded in death by his father, mother, and sister Jayamani. He is survived by his wife Jayashree, his two daughters Aparna Rao and Archana Paine, his son-in-law Whiton Paine, his grandchildren, Aubrey and Laurel Paine, his brother, Jayagopal Appurao, his two sisters, Vijaya Devarajan and Jayasri Srikar, and brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, and nephews.

A Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, October 19, 2019 at Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home, 5100 Pontchartrain Blvd. New Orleans, LA 70124. Visitation begins at 11:00 am and the service begins at 1:00 pm.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the LSU Health Foundation, memo line: The Dr. Jay Rao Fund for Parkinson’s Research. To make a donation online, please visit or contact LSU Health Foundation New Orleans at (504) 568-2421. Donations can also be mailed to LSU Health Foundation New Orleans, 2000 Tulane Avenue, 4th Floor, New Orleans, LA 70112.

The family invites you to share your thoughts fond memories and condolences online at


  • Visitation

    Saturday, October 19, 2019

  • Celebration of Life Memorial Service

    Saturday, October 19, 2019


Jayaraman Rao, M.D.

have a memory or condolence to add?

Freida Johnson

October 23, 2019

With deepest sympathy,
Freida Johnson( Mrs. Phil Johnson)

Linda Grannan

October 22, 2019

To the Rao Family,

My husband, Fritz Grannan, was a patient of Dr. Rao for 10 years. He could always brighten his day with his funny stories and quick wit. Fritz loved him so much because he always listened, made him so comfortable and they had a real connection. When Fritz passed away last year, I was so stunned to see Dr. Rao at the funeral. I couldn't believe that he actually took the time to attend his funeral. I guess everyone loved him so much because he really cared about his patients. Rest in peace, Dr. Rao.

Linda Grannan

Samy Sukumaran Nair

October 22, 2019

Dr. Jayraman has become celestial or para Brahman and free from the miseries human beings go through in this life ! It is a celebration in this birth and certainly not to mourn for a blessed soul as per Srimad Bhagavat Geetha ! I remember him with a smiling face all the time and was an expert in the Mac world of computers when people around him were struggling to cope up with the scientific gadgets undergoing periodical upgrades all the time
our family Alli Rajani and Shankar pray for Jayashree and children to be be strong during this tough but solemn period. Hearty condolences !

Vinodh Narayanan

October 19, 2019

I thought I would share some of my own feelings on this day when we are all filled with sadness and are missing our dear friend and guide through life.
Dr. Jay is the reason I chose to become a neurologist. Dr. Jay and my own parents are the inspiration behind my pursuing a career in neuroscience. He was, and will always be, my guru, my friend and my brother.
Our families are bound together at many levels. He was always proud to say that he was my father's student back in India, just as I am proud to say that I was his student. I was lucky to work in his lab as a medical student. He gave me his copy of the Neuroscience syllabus from Columbia and helped me spend a student rotation there in Neurology. He was always a source of strength and encouragement for me. Over the years, we have become part of the family. He was a favorite for our sons, Vasant and Mohan, and he "baby-sat" them when he stayed with us in Baltimore and Pittsburgh.
I will always remember Dr. Jay, with that mischievous glint in his eye, always laughing, giggling, making all around him happy.
I too will miss hearing his voice, will miss being able to share some small news of excitement as only he would understand.
With all of our love.
Vinodh (for Chitra, Vasant, Mohan, Joanna, Vikram, my parents, and the entire Narayanan family)

Dr.Madhu Sheth

October 19, 2019

So sorry to hear about Dr.Rao passing away.He was very kind and compassionate.He took care of me when I had a neck pain and referred to me a good Neurosurgeon.He always asked me how I am doing whenever I met him in any gathering.Our deepest condolences to his families and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and family members.May his soul Rest In Peace.

Madhu and Sharad Sheth.

Randy LeBlanc

October 17, 2019

Dr. Rao was a true friend to every patient he ever treated. I'm very fortunate to have been one of those folks. In the midst of fighting his own personal medical demon, he dedicated his life to those of us with Parkinson's. Dr. Rao was a great man and doctor who always greeted his patients with a smiling face, a hand on the shoulder and a box of tissues when you needed it. He never forgot a patient, even years later. Most importantly, he never forgot that he was treating a person, not just a disease. His work carries on through the many fine doctors who trained under him.

Dr. Rao, my friend, I know you're smiling down on us as you can now tick off that final item on your bucket list.

Randy LeBlanc

Carrie Webb

October 16, 2019

Dr Rao
Rest in Peace. 13 years, I worked with you and each and every time you came into my office you always had a smile on your face and always made a joke about something. You truly were a spectacular man and the medical community will sorely miss you and your wisdom. FLY HIGH

Shilpa Chitnis

October 16, 2019

Dr. Rao, we had so much more to do for our patients and in life. You mean the world to me. I promise to carry on your good work and I will continue to serve the way you always wanted us to. I am not sure how I can go to work and see patients without thinking of you and tearing up. Thanks for the love you gave me and all the incredible knowledge. Rest in peace "my quasi indian intellectual father". I will see you on the other side! Love you so very much. Shilpa

Brenda Gremillion

October 16, 2019

Dr Rao
You will be missed. I will always remember the care and support you gave me while Daddy had PSP. My thoughts and prayers are with your family. Rest In Peace!

Millie Baudier

October 15, 2019

May you RIP Dr. Rao. You will be missed. Keep working on a cure. I know you can do it. Prayers to his family.