Michael Cheung

Michael is a fourth-year medical student at the Jacobs School of Medicine at the University at Buffalo in New York. After graduating from the University of Rochester with a degree in Biology, Michael spent a year teaching third grade through Bilingual Education for Central America at the Amigos de Jesus Bilingual School in Honduras. Teaching abroad and attaining Spanish language proficiency motivated him to take a year for tuberculosis research with Partners in Health in Lima, Peru, between his third and fourth years of medical school. During that time, he worked on an interventional study to improve screening rates for close contacts of patients with TB. Michael will be applying to internal medicine residencies this fall and aims to participate in sustainable global health throughout his career as a physician. In his free time, Michael enjoys running, weightlifting and rock climbing.

Investigating the role of axonal damage in the pathogenesis of neurocysticercosis using kinesin/dynein immunohistochemistry
Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia


What does the Kean Fellowship mean to you?
The Kean’s Fellowship is an opportunity for me to learn from a sustainable partnership between the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia and physicians based in the U.S. I will see how groups with different backgrounds work towards the end goal of furthering knowledge about tropical diseases and their pathophysiology. Furthermore, I will be able to hone fundamental research skills as a member of the neurocysticercosis research team.

What do you anticipate learning?
I anticipate learning significantly more about the pathophysiology of neurocysticercosis. The team at Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia are leaders in neurocysticercosis research as well as several other tropical diseases. I will improve my immunohistochemistry techniques and histology skills. Finally, I hope to continue to elevate my Spanish fluency and explore the wide-array of research projects at the university.


What interests you about tropical medicine and what problems are you interested in solving?
Tropical medicine includes many disease processes that are largely preventable and treatable by improved living conditions and access to care. My research with Partners in Health was aimed at improving screening for a tuberculosis, a disease of poverty that disproportionately affects those with socio-economic disadvantages. I am interested in applying global health research to better understand and address health care inequities.