News Release

BU MED student awarded prestigious research fellowship

Grant and Award Announcement

Boston University School of Medicine

(Boston)--Thomas Cheng, a first-year medical student at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), is the recipient of the 2020 Student Research Fellowship award from the Society of Vascular Surgery Foundation. Each fellowship consists of a $3,000 award and a two-year complimentary subscription to the Journal of Vascular Surgery.

As part of Cheng's fellowship, he will study patient presentation and outcomes for dialysis in the immigrant and refugee population at Boston Medical Center (BMC). According to Cheng, many immigrants and refugees requiring dialysis in the United States are unable to access dialysis on a regular basis, forcing them to undergo dialysis during emergency situations. "Studies have shown that emergency-only dialysis, compared to regularly scheduled dialysis, carries a higher risk of mortality and increased need for higher levels of care. This research will help identify areas for improvement in this vulnerable population as we will look at healthcare utilization, such as readmissions following their dialysis access creation," explained Cheng.

Born in Taiwan and raised in Burnaby, Canada, Cheng came to the United States after high school and graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering. He then received a Master of Science in Medical Sciences from Boston University in 2015. Subsequently, he worked as a research coordinator on several clinical trials for four years at BUSM/BMC in the department of surgery where he served as the lead coordinator under Dr. Alik Farber and Dr. Jeffrey Kalish for the Best Endovascular vs. Best Surgical Therapy in Patients With Critical Limb Ischemia trial before starting medical school.

"I am grateful to the Society for Vascular Surgery for awarding me this prestigious student research fellowship. I am also thankful for my amazing long-time mentor, Dr. Jeffrey Siracuse, who will be supervising this research as well as the other vascular surgeons at BUMC/BMC who comprise the fantastic team that I have had the privilege to work with," he added.


The Society for Vascular Surgery® is a not-for-profit professional medical society, composed primarily of vascular surgeons, that seeks to advance excellence and innovation in vascular health through education, advocacy, research and public awareness. It is the national advocate for more than 5,800 specialty-trained vascular surgeons and other medical professionals who are dedicated to the prevention and cure of vascular disease.

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