Keanu C.K.K.W. CheeI was born and raised in Hawai’i, and am very fortunate for the opportunity to attend medical school at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. I completed my undergraduate studies in exercise physiology and Chemistry at Oregon State University. Prior to starting medical school in 2019, I fulfilled a research position studying bladder cancer at the University of Hawai’i Cancer Research Center working to develop a multiplex assay to detect cancer by utilizing different biomarkers in urine. In the Hankinson Lab at the University of Colorado, we have the unique opportunity to work with teams across the globe to study Adamantinomatous Craniopharyngiomas (ACP) in the pediatric population. As an aspiring neurosurgeon, my interests within the field include neuro-oncology and functional neurosurgery.
I am a Computational Bioscience PhD student at CU Anschutz focused on the application of machine learning and artificial intelligence to basic and clinical science within pediatric neuro-oncology. Using ACP as a model, I am investigating the use of human-centered design to develop explainable artificial intelligence systems tailored to support clinical decision-making related to neuroimaging. I complement this clinical research aim with basic science investigations into ACP pathophysiology, primarily via next-generation sequencing analysis. Thanks to the collaborating members of the Advancing Treatment for Pediatric Craniopharyngioma consortium, we have access to a comprehensive dataset comprised of genomics and clinical imaging that makes research like mine possible. I like to spend my free time in the mountains, typically snowboarding, cycling, or camping. I also enjoy checking out the various excellent craft breweries that Colorado has to offer!
I am the project manager for Dr. Hankinson’s national Advancing Treatment for Pediatric Craniopharyngioma Consortium (ATPC) and work with the participating sites to obtain tissue and clinical data as well as work with our local patients and families here in Colorado.
I am from Houston, Texas. I received my bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Science from Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi and my master’s degree in Physiology from Tulane University School of Medicine. My most recent work, before CU Anschutz, was at the Harris County Institute of Forensic Science as a Serology/DNA Operations Technician in the forensic genetics’ crime lab. Prior to that I was an adjunct professor for the Department of Biology at Lone Star College. My current projects focus on primary ACP cell lines, the heterogenic component of the tumor, and therapeutic trials. My goal in the Hankinson lab is to help advance our understanding of Adamantinomatous Craniopharyngioma, the tumor environment, and potential therapeutic treatments.
I am a medical student at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Class of 2026. I graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a Neuroscience B.S. and a Biomedical Research Minor. At UCLA, I spent four years in a neurosurgery lab studying spinal cord neural circuitry and neuromodulation through both basic science and clinical research projects.
At Dr. Hankinson’s lab, the projects I am currently working on include establishing an MRI database of suprasellar tumors and helping develop machine learning algorithms to enhance image quality and facilitate clinical decisions such as tumor diagnoses, treatment selections, and prognosis predictions. My career goal is to combine my passion for medicine and research together. I want to conduct clinically-oriented research and apply the findings back to bedside to better help patients with neurological conditions. In my spare time, I enjoy exploring different food and bubble tea places with friends. I also like hiking and skiing, and my goal is to check out all the skiing resorts here in Colorado!