Kevin Cheng

College of Medicine – Tucson
Year Entered Program: 
Degrees Received: 
  • PhD in Medical Pharmacology - University of Arizona, College of Medicine - Tucson; January 2023
  • Master of Science in Biology - University of California, San Diego; September 2017
  • Bachelor of Science in Human Biology - University of California, San Diego; June 2016
Thesis Advisor: 
Mohab Ibrahim, MD, PhD
About Me: 

Although I grew up in the Bay Area in northern California, I ended up going to the University of California, San Diego for my undergrad and master’s partially because I love the sun and who doesn't love sunny San Diego?! While at UCSD, I became fascinated by basic science and translational research that advanced the methods that clinicians treat patients with. It was there where I discovered and decided to pursue the career pathway of an MD/PhD physician-scientist. After six years in San Diego, I found myself in a much sunnier Tucson, Arizona where I am currently pursuing an MD/PhD at the University of Arizona. Outside of academia, I enjoy traveling the world with my wife, playing ultimate frisbee, cooking, eating, and playing with our dog.

Honors & Awards: 
  • Graduate College Fellowship, Department of Pharmacology, University of Arizona, College of Medicine - Tucson; July 2022
  • G.F. Gebhart Journal of Pain Young Investigator Award, Runner Up; April 2022
  • University of Arizona Graduate and Professional Student Council Travel Grant; Nov 2021
  • American Society for Addiction Medicine Conference Scholarship, Department of Psychiatry, University of Arizona, College of Medicine - Tucson; April 2021
  • The International Society for Study of the Lumbar Spine (ISSLS) Prize in Basic Science; May 2018
  • Mie-UCSD Medical Bioengineering Fellowship; 2014, 2016
  • Ledell Family Endowed Research Scholarship for Science and Engineering; May 2014
Selected Publications: 
  • Martin LF, K Cheng, SM Washington, T Kranz, T Largent-Milnes, AM Patwardhan, MM Ibrahim. Green Light Exposure Elicits Anti-inflammation, Endogenous Opioid Release and Dampens Synaptic Potentiation to Relieve Post-surgical Pain. J Pain. 2022 Oct 23.
  • Korah HE, K Cheng, SM Washington, ME Flowers, HJ Stratton, AM Patwardhan, MM Ibrahim, LF Martin. Partial Sciatic Nerve Ligation: A Mouse Model of Chronic Neuropathic Pain to Study the Antinociceptive Effect of Novel Therapies. J. Vis. Exp. 2022.
  • Cheng K, LF Martin, H Calligaro, A Patwardhan, MM Ibrahim. Case Report: Green light exposure relieves chronic headache pain in a colorbind patient. Clin. Med. Insights Case Rep. 2022 Sep 20.
  • Cheng K, LF Martin, MJ Slepian, AM Patwardhan, MM Ibrahim. Mechanisms and Pathways of Pain Photobiomodulation: A Narrative Review. Journal of Pain. 2021;22(7):763-777.
  • Martin LF, A Moutal, K Cheng, SM Washington, V Goel, T Kranz, T Largent-Milnes, R Khanna, AM Patwardhan, MM Ibrahim. Green light antinociceptive effects rely on endogenous opioid system stimulation in a rodent model of neuropathic pain. Journal of Pain. 2021
  • Mwale F, K Masuda, M Grant, L Epure, K Kato, S Miyazaki, K Cheng, J Yamada, WC Bae, C Muehleman, PT Roughley, J Antoniou. Short Link N promotes disc repair in a rabbit model of disc degeneration. Arthritis Research & Therapy. 2018;20(1):201.
  • Murata K, K Akeda, N Takegami, K Cheng, K Masuda, A Sudo. Morphology of intervertebral disc ruptures evaluated by vacuum phenomenon using multi-detector computed tomography: Association with lumbar disc degeneration and canal stenosis. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders. 2018;19:164.
  • Miyazaki S, AD Diwan, K Kato, K Cheng, WC Bae, Y Sun, J Yamada, C Muehleman, ME Lenz, N Inoue, RL Sah, M Kawakami, K Masuda. ISSLS PRIZE IN BASIC SCIENCE 2018: Growth differentiation factor-6 attenuated pro-inflammatory molecular changes in the rabbit anular-puncture model and degenerated disc-induced pain generation in the rat xenograft radiculopathy model. European Spine Journal. 2018;27(4):739-51.
  • Fukui D, M Kawakami, K Cheng, K Murata, K Yamada, R Sato, M Yoshida, H Yamada, N Inoue, K Masuda. Three-dimensional micro-computed tomography analysis for spinal instability after lumbar facetectomy in the rat. European Spine Journal. 2017;26(8):2014-20.
MD-PhD Committee Student Rep: 
MD-PhD Committee Student Rep