Christabel Cheung

Christabel Cheung Headshot

Christabel Cheung, Assistant Professor
Room: 3W04
Phone: 410-706-7011


UM School of Social Work
525 West Redwood Street
Baltimore, MD 21201

Christabel Cheung, PhD, MSW is an assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Social Work. 

Dr. Cheung’s research interests are focused on cancer support, health disparities, social determinants, health care delivery and access, adolescent and young adult (AYA) oncology, financial social work, military social work, and racial/ethnic minority populations. In pursuit of these interests, she has led research projects as principal investigator and co-principal investigator, and contributed to numerous cancer care optimization, patient education, and advocacy initiatives aimed at improving health and behavioral health outcomes. She has particular interests in the financial toxicity of cancer among the age-defined AYA patient care population.

Dr. Cheung’s research activities include participation as Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Research Advocate for the National Caner Institute (NCI) funded SWOG Cancer Network, aimed at designing and conducting multidisciplinary cancer clinical trials. She serves as Teaching Faculty for the NCI-funded Minority Training Program in Cancer Control Research (MTPCCR), Member of the NCI Community Oncology Research Program’s (NCORP) AYA Working Group, as well as Member of Teen Cancer America’s Global Military AYA Working Group.

Prior to joining the University of Maryland, Dr. Cheung served as assistant professor of social work at the University of Hawai'i, where she chaired both their Health and Behavioral Mental Health Specializations. She continues to be a Corresponding Member of the University of Hawai'i Cancer Center, where she was previously Special Member of their Minority Underserved NCORP.

Additionally, Dr. Cheung’s former experience includes serving as lecturer/field consultant on the teaching faculty at the University of California Berkeley’s School of Social Welfare. As a social work practitioner, she last served as executive director of San Francisco Village, a nonprofit organization within the national village movement for aging in place. As a recognized patient advocate and two-time cancer survivor, Dr. Cheung builds community with other racial minority patients through public speaking, personal writing, and her cancer blog,

She holds a Bachelor of Journalism from University of Missouri-Columbia, a Master of Social Welfare from University of California, Berkeley, and a PhD in Social Welfare from University of California, Los Angeles.


Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles
M.S.W. University of California, Berkeley
B.A. University of Missouri-Columbia

Expertise and Research Interests

  • Cancer support

  • Health disparities

  • Social determinants

  • Health care delivery and access

  • Adolescent and young adult (AYA) oncology

  • Financial social work

  • Military social work

  • Racial/ethnic minority populations

Select Publications

Cheung, C.K. (2018). “Young cancer patients as future leaders in the global knowledge economy.” Cancer Therapy and Oncology International Journal. 10(4).

Cheung, C. K. (2017). Occupied with cancer: Trajectories of employment/education and psychological distress among socioculturally diverse adolescent and young adult cancer patients (Doctoral Dissertation). Retrieved from Proquest Dissertations Publishing. (Accession No. 10288120). Dissertation Committee: Robert F. Schilling, PhD, MSW (Chair); David Cohen, PhD, MSW; Todd M. Franke, PhD, MSW; Patricia A. Ganz, MD; Bradley J. Zebrack, PhD, MSW, MPH, FAPOS.

Cheung, C.K. & Zebrack, B.J. (2017). “What do adolescents and young adults want from cancer resources? Insights from a Delphi panel of AYA patients” Journal of Supportive Care in Cancer, 25(1), 119-126.

Cheung, C.K., Ponce, N., Dukakis, M.S. (under review). “The cost of universal health care in the context of the affordable care act: Lessons learned from the Hawaii model.”

Cheung, C.K. & Zebrack, B. J. (in preparation). “Working title: Phase two qualitative study of preferences for cancer resources among adolescent and young adult patients.”