Michael was born in St. Petersburg, Russia and immigrated to Philadelphia at the age of five. He completed his undergraduate education at Temple University, having graduated with summa cum laude with a degree in psychology and a minor in molecular biology. During his undergraduate years, he also worked for two years at the Wistar Institute in the laboratory of Dr. Meenhard Herlyn studying the molecular pathogenesis of melanoma transformation. Subsequently, Michael attended Temple University School of Medicine for the combined MD/PhD program. During his PhD years, he investigated the molecular mechanisms of HIV-1 interaction with innate immunity via effects on NF-kB signaling in macrophages under the mentorship of Dr. Jay Rappaport. Michael continues to hold a strong enthusiasm in academics and his research interests in neurosurgery are in the fields of deep brain stimulation and computer-brain interface design. Michael is considering future specialization in functional, pediatric, peripheral nerve, endoscopic, spine, or skull base fields.