What years did you participate in UROP? 


What UROP Program(s) were you a part of?


What made you choose UROP?

I was interested in making an impact in science. Looking back at it, I (as well as most students) had never done a research project before. I wanted to get a university experience in scientific research.

What do you think you have learned from your UROP experience?

I learned basic science skills and UROP plugged me into the research environment. Although I hardly do basic science research anymore, I am fully involved in clinical research. I think of UROP as what initiated the process for pivotal moments to happen during my undergraduate years which pushed me in the research direction. Because of UROP, I was plugged into research at the chemistry department, which then allowed me to pursue biological/pharmacological research abroad the following year. That was one of the pivotal moments for me where I found my calling in research.

What is the extent to which you have kept in contact with your Research Mentor?

I’m currently a resident physician and the last time I contacted my mentors was during residency. So even over a decade later, it has been valuable to have connections at the university.

How did your UROP experience shape or inform the next steps you took in your academic and professional journey?

Being plugged into the research experience allowed me to comfortably navigate other research avenues later on. UROP allowed me to transition into research readily as a freshman/sophomore with zero prior research experience. UROP was well-connected to faculty across the campus with what seemed like an endless amount projects ready for students to engage in. The robust research opportunities at UMich make this possible. After UROP, I pursued various research opportunities at UMich on my own by contacting faculty I was interested in working with, and also doing a research program abroad during the summer. Those were the “pivotal” moments I mentioned above where I honed in on my interests and found my passion in research.

What advice would you give to a current UROP student?

Looking back at my research experience and where I am at now, I currently do almost nothing related to my experiences in undergrad. But I do believe I have gained a better understanding of what goes into basic science and the scientific methodology of research. So, my advice to a current UROP student is if you have any idea of what you may be interested in, find a research project related to that. Embrace it, work hard, and take it to completion. Your interests may change later on, and that’s okay. You can take on a new project related to that, and you will be better equipped at that point with the new knowledge and experience you gained.

What are some recent publications or accomplishments that you are proud of?

I’ve worked on various research projects over the years and you can see how my interests have changed over time from projects including pharmacology, organometallic chemistry, and health policy/economics to my current passions which include diagnostics/biomarkers, and clinical outcomes including survivorship, pain scores, and infection.

Here’s my PubMed list: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Michael+kheir

Is there any other advice you would like to impart to current or future UROP students?

Be willing to follow your interests and pursue something new.