Assistant Professor of Surgery
Division of Cardiothoracic Transplantation and Circulatory Support
Baylor College of Medicine
Director of Research and Innovations
Division of Cardiothoracic Transplantation and Circulatory Support
Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery
Texas Heart Institute


MPH from University of California Berkeley
Research Fellowship at Columbia University
Research Fellowship at Loyola University
MBBS from Aga Khan University

Professional Statement

Dr. Cheema joined Baylor College of Medicine in 2017 as Director of Research and Innovations, in the Division of Cardiothoracic Transplantation of Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery. Dr. Cheema is a prolific physician-scientist who specializes in basic sciences, translational and clinical research. Under his leadership, the Division of Cardiothoracic Transplantation and Circulatory Support has already built a great momentum in research by virtue of initiation of many research projects, abstract acceptances, presentations, development of collaborations, successful in-vivo device testing and grant submissions.

Dr. Cheema’s research has focused on all aspects of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery with a special interest in surgical management of end-stage heart failure, in particular, heart transplantation and mechanical circulatory support devices. He has been involved in a wide range of clinical trials. Additional areas of interest include stem cell research, biomedical engineering, ex-vivo organ perfusion and resuscitation, and device innovation.

Before joining Baylor College of Medicine, Dr. Cheema provided leadership to Aegis Cardiovascular Research Foundation. Prior to that, Dr. Cheema was the Director of Clinical Research and Innovations & an Assistant Professor of Cardiac Surgery at University of Maryland where he oversaw recruitment in ~3 dozen clinical trials.

Dr. Cheema earned his M.B.;B.S. from The Aga Khan University followed by a clinical research fellowship in heart transplantation from the Robert Van Kampen Heart Transplant Resource Center at Loyola University. Later, he moved to Columbia University for additional post-doctoral research fellowships and stayed on as research faculty (Associate Research Scientist) as well as the Director of Cardiopulmonary Tissue Repository. Dr. Cheema was elected as University Senator from 2009-11 and served on several important senate committees during his tenure representing the entire body of researchers of Columbia University.

Dr. Cheema has co-authored over 110 scientific manuscripts and ~ 200 abstracts. He has presented his research at conferences worldwide. Additionally, he has written several book chapters and secured numerous grants both from private and federal agencies surpassing $6 Million in cumulative funding. His research papers have appeared in high impact journals such as The Lancet, PNAS, JCI, Circulation, BMJ, World Journal of Surgery, JTCVS, The Annals of Thoracic Surgery, EJCTS,JHLT, Circulation Heart Failure, and Circulation Research. He serves as a reviewer on several scholarly journals. Dr. Cheema is also a candidate for MPH at UC Berkeley. A proven clinical researcher and academician with ~ 4500 citations to his published scientific work and a phenomenal h-index of 30, Dr. Cheema is also a member of numerous professional organizations and is very active in academic, philanthropic and community organizations.

He loves to mentor students and young physicians.


The Society of Thoracic Surgeons
American Heart Association
The International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation
Cardiothoracic Surgery Network
American Society for Artificial Internal Organs


Clinical Research
Basic Sciences Research
Translational Research
Heart Transplantation
Mechanical Circulatory Support
Lung Transplantation
Minimally Invasive Surgery