Dr. Cheung is an HHMI Investigator, and a Professor of Pediatric Neurology, and Human Genetics at the University of Michigan. She received her undergraduate degree from UCLA and her medical degree from Tufts University. She was a pediatric resident at UCLA, and a neurology fellow at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Dr. Cheung’s laboratory studies genetic variation in gene regulation. She and the late Dr. Richard Spielman showed that expression levels of human genes can be studied as quantitative traits. This enabled mapping of gene regulators without a priori knowledge of the underlying mechanisms, and facilitated the identification of regulatory variants that affect disease susceptibility. More recently, it has led her group to a surprising finding of differences between RNA and its corresponding DNA sequences beyond the known RNA editing mechanisms. They found all 12 types of RNA-DNA sequence differences (RDDs), and showed that RDD is conserved from yeast to human and linked to R-loop. Similar to alternate splicing, RDD allows a DNA sequence to form two or more transcripts. Dr. Cheung is a recipient of the Curt Stern Award from the American Society of Human Genetics. She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Cheung was the 2016-2017 President of the ASCI.
Vivian G. Cheung, MD