Dr. Chung received his medical degree from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and a Master’s in Public Health degree from the Harvard School of Public Health. He trained in Internal Medicine at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Infectious Diseases at the University of Washington, and is board certified in both specialties.
Based in Nairobi, Kenya since 2002, Dr. Chung has been actively involved in conducting HIV research, training Kenyans and Americans in medicine and infectious diseases, and treating Kenyan men, women, and children infected with HIV. Residing in Kenya has allowed him to directly impact the health of those living in resource-limited settings through teaching and practice as well as to conduct research relevant to care in sub-Saharan Africa.
Dr. Chung has conducted several randomized clinical trials in Kenya including examining the effects of antiretroviral drugs on breast milk shedding of HIV-1 and the consequences of behavioral interventions on adherence to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). His research has generally focused on perinatal transmission of HIV-1 and delivery of HIV health services in resource-limited settings. Other research studies he is leading or coordinating include the efficacy of cervical cancer screening and treatment among HIV-positive women, the evolution of antiretroviral drug resistance among women exposed to perinatal nevirapine, and the effect of lamivudine monotherapy on chronic hepatitis B among HIV co-infected individuals.
In 2003, Dr. Chung established the Tumaini Project to treat indigent HIV-infected patients with free antiretroviral medications. With sponsorship from the Slum Doctor Programme in Bellingham, WA, he was able to treat over a dozen patients. Seeking a clinical setting to treat these patients, Dr. Chung helped the Coptic Hospital in Kenya establish the Hope Clinic, a free HIV care and treatment clinic. In 2004, this relationship led to a collaboration between the University of Washington and the Coptic Mission to provide free HIV care and treatment to Kenyans with support from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). By 2015, over 20,000 HIV-infected Kenyans have received medical treatment at the Coptic Hope Center for Infectious Diseases, and Dr. Chung continues to treat patients in Nairobi.
Dr. Chung believes that educating Kenyans to provide care and treatment is necessary to meet the long-term health demands of the country. Towards this end, he conducts case conferences and journal club meetings at the Coptic Hope Center and Kenyatta National Hospital and mentors clinical officers and Internal Medicine residents and medical students at the University of Nairobi. He leads the UW in partnership with the University of Nairobi to teach HIV program management, health economics, and health informatics in an HIV management fellowship based in Kenya. Dr. Chung co-leads the University of Washington Department of Global Health E-Learning Initiative (eDGH), which delivers academic health courses to a global student audience. Dr. Chung has helped pioneer this use of the internet to deliver UW academic courses to an international audience, building upon the principle that better medical education leads to better patient care.