David Musheyev grew up in Kew Gardens Hills and attended Townsend Harris High School, where he learned about the inventor of the polio vaccine, Dr. Jonas E. Salk, an alumnus of the school. Five years later, after graduating from the honors program at Queens College, he was named as a recipient of the fellowship carrying Salk’s name.

“My senior thesis was on the cellular dynamics of E. coli bacteria exposed to a certain virus,” Musheyev said. “I worked so late in the lab at Queens College that the campus gate was closed, and I had to climb over the fence to get home.”

His interest in science developed at his high school, where he participated in the Science Olympiad. With stellar grades and an active extracurricular resume, Mushevev entered Queens College as a Macaulay Honors College student. “It gives you flexibility as I did not have to pay for school and I could spend more time in the lab.”

At Queens College, Musheyev recognized faculty members for their expertise in specific topics. “Professor John Dennehy specializes in microbiology and is good at mentoring students.” Outside of class, he conducted clinical research at Mount Sinai Hospital and volunteered in NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital’s emergency room. He also contributed towards the Jewish scene on campus as the vice president of the Bukharian Cultural Club. “The Hillel at Queens College accommodates us, and we need to have more Bukharian students represented in this organization,” he said.

Under the leadership of Manashe Khaimov, MSW, who teaches Bukharian history at the college, the club serves as a place for networking and cultural events. “It was a great place to meet people. I joined its board, planning events, and volunteering.”

During his senior year, the pandemic closed the campus and all events moved online. “We organized a podcast of famous Bukharians, so that students can learn their stories. Networking is important, make the right friends. The five people closest to you define who you are,” he said.

Musheyev will be continuing his studies this fall at SUNY Downstate Medical School in Brooklyn, paid by the fellowship.

By Sergey Kadinsky