Michael Sweet received a PhD in Buddhist Studies in 1977 from the University of Wisconsin–Madison under the direction of Geshe Lhundub Sopa. From 1977–78 he taught and did research at the American Institute of Buddhist Studies. After later graduate studies, he was a psychotherapist in public and private practice (1980–2004) and a sometime lecturer at UW Madison, where he has been an assistant clinical professor in the Department of Psychiatry. He has written extensively on the history of sexuality in South Asia and on Buddhist Studies. Since 2001 his research has focused on Ippolito Desideri and the Catholic missions in Tibet. Current research focuses on the first mission to Tibet, led by the Portuguese Jesuit Antonio de Andrade.