Jing Cheng, MD, MS, PhD

Preventive & Restor Dent Sci

Dr. Cheng is Professor of Biostatistics within the UCSF Division of Oral Epidemiology & Dental Public Health and Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and a faculty member in the UCSF Center to Address Disparities in Oral Health (CAN DO), Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science (TCORS), Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Clinical & Transnational Science Institute (CTSI). Dr. Cheng is a well-known biostatistician and 2019 Chair-Elected of the American Statistical Association Section on Statistics in Epidemiology. Dr. Cheng is Associate Editor and on editorial board of several scientific journals, and has been invited to provide scientific review for 30 scientific journals and NIH/NIDCR special review panels.

Dr. Cheng earned her medical degree in China, M.S. in nutrition at Cornell University in 2002, and Ph.D. in biostatistics at the University of Pennsylvania in 2006. Before joining UCSF School of Dentistry in 2010, Dr. Cheng was an Assistant Professor in Biostatistics at the University of Florida’s College of Medicine.

Dr. Cheng develops new statistical methods for complex problems in randomized trials and observational studies. Dr. Cheng is principal investigator (PI) on various projects, developing statistical methods to better understand the effects of a treatment or program on health outcomes in studies with challenging problems and the underlying mechanisms of the treatment via biomarkers, behaviors and social factors. Dr. Cheng's researches provide investigators evidence to understand the causal pathway/mechanism of the treatment and improve future programs by tailoring specific components of the treatment in specific populations.

Dr. Cheng also works with investigators in various fields of health sciences, including dentistry and oral diseases, biomedicine, cancer, infectious diseases, pharmacogenomics, nursing, public policy research, and tobacco control on study design, power analysis, randomization, statistical analysis, and the preparation of grant proposals and manuscripts.

Dr. Cheng's specific research interests include causal inference (instrumental variables and propensity scores) with applications in clinical trials with complex issues, e.g., noncompliance, mediation through intermediate variables (biomarkers, attitude, knowledge, behaviors etc.), missing data, and outcomes only observed in “survivors” etc., and in observational studies with measured and unmeasured confounding, methods for genetic association studies, categorical data analysis, longitudinal data analysis, survey design and analysis, and nonparametric statistics.


Predictors of psychological distress among rural family/friend caregivers of people living with dementia in the United States: Consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The journals of gerontology. Series B, Psychological sciences and social sciences

Santoyo-Olsson J, Covinsky KE, Chesla CA, Lorig K, Gallagher Thompson D, Cheng J, Luzanilla M, Macias Romo E, Aguayo Ramirez G, Karliner L, Yank V

Adipose tissue-derived metabolite risk scores and risk for type 2 diabetes in South Asians.

International journal of obesity (2005)

Gadgil MD, Cheng J, Herrington DM, Kandula NR, Kanaya AM

Short-term outcomes of the study of refeeding to optimize inpatient gains for patients with atypical anorexia nervosa.

The International journal of eating disorders

Garber AK, Cheng J, Accurso EC, Buckelew SM, Downey AE, Le Grange D, Gorrell S, Kapphahn CJ, Kreiter A, Moscicki AB, Golden NH

Impairment of Endothelial Function by Aerosol From Marijuana Leaf Vaporizers.

Journal of the American Heart Association

Liu J, Nabavizadeh P, Rao P, Derakhshandeh R, Han DD, Guo R, Murphy MB, Cheng J, Schick SF, Springer ML

Course and outcome in individuals with atypical anorexia nervosa: Findings from the Study of Refeeding to Optimize iNpatient Gains (StRONG).

The International journal of eating disorders

Golden NH, Kapphahn CJ, Cheng J, Kreiter A, Downey AE, Accurso EC, Machen VI, Adams SH, Buckelew SM, Moscicki AB, Le Grange D, Garber AK

Hospital-based higher calorie refeeding and mealtime distress in adolescents and young adults with anorexia nervosa or atypical anorexia nervosa.

The International journal of eating disorders

Accurso EC, Cheng J, Machen VI, Buckelew S, Kreiter A, Adams S, Le Grange D, Golden NH, Garber AK

Chronic E-Cigarette Use Impairs Endothelial Function on the Physiological and Cellular Levels.

Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology

Mohammadi L, Han DD, Xu F, Huang A, Derakhshandeh R, Rao P, Whitlatch A, Cheng J, Keith RJ, Hamburg NM, Ganz P, Hellman J, Schick SF, Springer ML

Study protocol for a hybrid effectiveness-implementation trial of the Building Better Caregivers online workshop for rural family/friend caregivers of people living with dementia.

Contemporary clinical trials

Santoyo-Olsson J, Lorig K, Romo EM, Luzanilla M, Ramirez GA, Cheng J, Chesla C, Covinsky KE, Karliner L, Thompson DG, Fahrenwald N, Yank V

Renal Function in Patients Hospitalized With Anorexia Nervosa Undergoing Refeeding: Findings From the Study of Refeeding to Optimize Inpatient Gains.

The Journal of adolescent health : official publication of the Society for Adolescent Medicine

Downey AE, Cheng J, Adams SH, Buckelew SM, Kapphahn CJ, Machen VI, Rosen EL, Moscicki AB, Golden NH, Garber AK

Preferences, use, and perceived access to flavored e-cigarettes among United States adolescents and young adults.

Drug and alcohol dependence reports

Chaffee BW, Halpern-Felsher B, Croker JA, Werts M, Couch ET, Cheng J

A SAS macro to calculate power for longitudinal correlated count and zero-inflated count outcome data. https://github.com/JingCheng-UCSF/Power-Calculation-for-Longitudinal-Count-and-Zero-inflated-Count-Data.git

A SAS macro to calculate power for longitudinal correlated count and zero-inflated count outcome data. https://github.com/JingCheng-UCSF/Power-Calculation-for-Longitudinal-Count-and-Zero-inflated-Count-Data.git

Nancy Cheng and Jing Cheng

Maczic: Mediation analysis and power calculation for count and zero-inflated count data. https://CRAN.R-project.org/package=maczic

Maczic: Mediation analysis and power calculation for count and zero-inflated count data. https://CRAN.R-project.org/package=maczic

Cheng NF, Guo Z, and Cheng J.

E-cigarette, cannabis and combustible tobacco use: associations with xerostomia among California adolescents.

Community dentistry and oral epidemiology

Chaffee BW, Halpern-Felsher B, Cheng J

Adolescents' Substance Use and Physical Activity Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

JAMA pediatrics

Chaffee BW, Cheng J, Couch ET, Hoeft KS, Halpern-Felsher B

Transmission, infectivity, and neutralization of a spike L452R SARS-CoV-2 variant.


Deng X, Garcia-Knight MA, Khalid MM, Servellita V, Wang C, Morris MK, Sotomayor-González A, Glasner DR, Reyes KR, Gliwa AS, Reddy NP, Sanchez San Martin C, Federman S, Cheng J, Balcerek J, Taylor J, Streithorst JA, Miller S, Sreekumar B, Chen PY, Schulze-Gahmen U, Taha TY, Hayashi JM, Simoneau CR, Kumar GR, McMahon S, Lidsky PV, Xiao Y, Hemarajata P, Green NM, Espinosa A, Kath C, Haw M, Bell J, Hacker JK, Hanson C, Wadford DA, Anaya C, Ferguson D, Frankino PA, Shivram H, Lareau LF, Wyman SK, Ott M, Andino R, Chiu CY

Higher-Calorie Refeeding in Anorexia Nervosa: 1-Year Outcomes From a Randomized Controlled Trial.


Golden NH, Cheng J, Kapphahn CJ, Buckelew SM, Machen VI, Kreiter A, Accurso EC, Adams SH, Le Grange D, Moscicki AB, Sy AF, Wilson L, Garber AK

A diagnostic host response biosignature for COVID-19 from RNA profiling of nasal swabs and blood.

Science advances

Ng DL, Granados AC, Santos YA, Servellita V, Goldgof GM, Meydan C, Sotomayor-Gonzalez A, Levine AG, Balcerek J, Han LM, Akagi N, Truong K, Neumann NM, Nguyen DN, Bapat SP, Cheng J, Martin CS, Federman S, Foox J, Gopez A, Li T, Chan R, Chu CS, Wabl CA, Gliwa AS, Reyes K, Pan CY, Guevara H, Wadford D, Miller S, Mason CE, Chiu CY

Short-term Outcomes of the Study of Refeeding to Optimize Inpatient Gains for Patients With Anorexia Nervosa: A Multicenter Randomized Clinical Trial.

JAMA pediatrics

Garber AK, Cheng J, Accurso EC, Adams SH, Buckelew SM, Kapphahn CJ, Kreiter A, Le Grange D, Machen VI, Moscicki AB, Sy A, Wilson L, Golden NH

Beverage Advertisement Receptivity Associated With Sugary Drink Intake and Harm Perceptions Among California Adolescents.

American journal of health promotion : AJHP

Chaffee BW, Werts M, White JS, Couch ET, Urata J, Cheng J, Kearns C

Association Between Youth Smoking, Electronic Cigarette Use, and Coronavirus Disease 2019.

The Journal of adolescent health : official publication of the Society for Adolescent Medicine

Gaiha SM, Cheng J, Halpern-Felsher B

Monetary incentives for improving smartphone-measured oral hygiene behaviors in young children: A randomized pilot trial.

PloS one

White JS, Ramos-Gomez F, Liu JX, Jue B, Finlayson TL, Garza JR, Crawford AH, Helman S, Santo W, Cheng J, Kahn JG, Gansky SA


Statistics in medicine

Baiocchi M, Cheng J, Small D

Constructing matched groups in dental observational health disparity studies for causal effects

JDR Clinical & Translational Research. To appear.

Cheng J, Gregorich SE, Gansky SA, Fisher-Owens SA, Kottek AM, White JM, and Mertz EA. (2019).

Weight Loss and Illness Severity in Adolescents With Atypical Anorexia Nervosa.


Garber AK, Cheng J, Accurso EC, Adams SH, Buckelew SM, Kapphahn CJ, Kreiter A, Le Grange D, Machen VI, Moscicki AB, Saffran K, Sy AF, Wilson L, Golden NH

Causal effects on a survival outcome in observational studies with unmeasured confounding: Application to the effect of PMRT on breast cancer patients. Observational Studies, to appear

Causal effects on a survival outcome in observational studies with unmeasured confounding: Application to the effect of PMRT on breast cancer patients. Observational Studies, to appear.

Yang, F., Cheng, J., and Huo, D. (2020).


Statistics in medicine

Baiocchi M, Cheng J, Small DS

Predictors of Smokeless Tobacco Susceptibility, Initiation, and Progression Over Time Among Adolescents in a Rural Cohort.

Substance use & misuse

Chaffee BW, Couch ET, Urata J, Gansky SA, Essex G, Cheng J

Mediation analysis for count and zero-in?ated count data

Statistical Methods in Medical Research

Cheng, J., Cheng, N.F., Guo, Z., Gregorich, S., Ismail, A.I., Gansky, S.A. (2017).

Instrumental variable analysis in the presence of unmeasured confounding.

Annals of translational medicine

Zhang Z, Uddin MJ, Cheng J, Huang T

Understanding distributional and subgroup causal e?ects with the instrumental propensity score

American journal of epidemiology

Cheng, J. and Lin, W. (2018).

Causal mediation analysis with multiple causally non-ordered mediators

Statistical Methods in Medical Research

Taguri, M., Featherstone, J., and Cheng, J. (2015).

Mediation analysis for count and zero-inflated count data without sequential ignorability and its application in dental studies

Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Series C. Accepted.

Guo, Z., Small, D.S., Gansky, S.A., Cheng, J. (2017).

Dental student clinical experience across three curricula at one institution

Journal of Dental Education

White, J.M., Jenson, L.E., Gansky, S.A., Walsh, C.J., Accurso, B.T., Vaderhobli, R.M., Kalen- derian, E., Walji, M.F., and Cheng J. (2017).

Evidence that malaria parasitemia plays a pathogenic role in retinopathy-negative cerebral malaria: A natural experiment


Small, D.S., Taylor, T.E., Postels, D.G., Beare, N.A.V., Cheng, J., MacCormick, I., and Seydel, K.B. (2017).

A Cluster-Randomized, Community-Based, Tribally-Delivered Oral Health Promotion Trial in Navajo Head Start Children

Journal of Dental Research

Braun, P.A., Quissell, D.O., Henderson, W.G., Bryant, L.L., Gregorich, S.E., George, C., Toledo, N., Kudeii, D., Smith, V., Johs, N., Cheng, J., Cheng, N.F., Santos, W., Batliner, T., Wilson, A., Brega, A., Roan, R., Lind, K., Tiwari, T., Shain, S., Schae?er, G., Harper, M., Manson, S.M., and Albino, J. (2016).

Caries Risk Assessment Item Importance: Risk Designation and Caries Status in Children under Age 6.

JDR clinical and translational research

Chaffee BW, Featherstone JD, Gansky SA, Cheng J, Zhan L

Baseline caries risk assessment as a predictor of caries incidence.

Journal of dentistry

Chaffee BW, Cheng J, Featherstone JD

Understanding treatment effect mechanisms of the CAMBRA randomized trial in reducing caries increment

Journal of Dental Research.

Cheng J, Chaffee BW, Cheng NF, Gansky SA, Featherstone JD. (2015).

Assessing fit at the implant-abutment junction with a radiographic device that does not require access to the implant body

The Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry

Lin KC, Wadhwani CPK, Cheng J, Sharma A, Finzen F. (2014).

Using an instrumental variable to test for unmeasured confounding

Statistics in Medicine

Guo Z., Cheng J., Lorch S.A., and Small D.S. (2014)

Tutorial in biostatistics: instrumental variable methods for causal inference

Statistics in Medicine

Baiocchi M., Cheng J. and Small D.S. (2014).

Case definition and design sensitivity

Journal of the American Statistical Association,

Small, D., Cheng, J., Halloran, M.E., Rosenbaum, P. (2013).

Effects of rituximab on lymphocytes in multiple sclerosis and neuromyelitis optica.

Multiple sclerosis and related disorders

Graves J, Vinayagasundaram U, Mowry EM, Matthews IR, Marino JA, Cheng J, Waubant E

The alternative lengthening of telomere phenotype is significantly associated with loss of ATRX expression in high-grade pediatric and adult astrocytomas: A multi-institutional study of 214 astrocytomas

Modern Pathology,

Abedalthagafi, M., Phillips, J., Kim, G., Marshall, R., Croul, S., Santi, M., Cheng, J., Zhou, S., Sullivan, L., Martinez-Lage, M., Judkins, A.R., and Perry, A. (2013).

Oral health education for pediatric nurse practitioner students.

Journal of dental education

Golinveaux J, Gerbert B, Cheng J, Duderstadt K, Alkon A, Mullen S, Lin B, Miller A, Zhan L

Impact of genetic polymorphisms of SLC2A2, SLC2A5, and KHK on metabolic phenotypes in hypertensive individuals.

PloS one

Le MT, Lobmeyer MT, Campbell M, Cheng J, Wang Z, Turner ST, Chapman AB, Boerwinkle E, Gums JG, Gong Y, Johnson RJ, Johnson JA

Effect of xylitol on cariogenic bacteria and caries in young children

Journal of Dental Research 91: S85-S90.

Zhan, L., Cheng, J., Chang, P., Ngo, M., DenBesten, P.K., Hoover, C.I., and Featherstone, J.D.B. (2012).

Functional remineralization of dentin lesions using polymer-induced liquid-prcursor process

Plos One 7: e38852

Burwell A.K., Thula-Mata T., Gower L.B., Habeliz S., Kurylo M., Ho S.P., Chien Y., Cheng J., Cheng N.F., Gansky S.A., Marshall S.J., and Marshall G.W. (2012).

Diet type and changes in food cravings following weight loss: findings from the POUNDS LOST Trial

Eating and Weighting Disorders

Anton SD, Gallagher J, Carey VJ, Laranjo N, Cheng J, Champagne CM, Ryan DH, McManus K, Loria CM, Bray GA, Sacks FM, Williamson DA. (2012).

Functional remineralization of dentin lesions using polymer-induced liquid-precursor process.

PloS one

Burwell AK, Thula-Mata T, Gower LB, Habelitz S, Habeliz S, Kurylo M, Ho SP, Chien YC, Cheng J, Cheng NF, Gansky SA, Marshall SJ, Marshall GW

Effects of high fructose corn syrup and sucrose on the pharmacokinetics of fructose and acute metabolic and hemodynamic responses in healthy subjects

Metabolism, 61(5):641-651.

Le, M.T., Frye, R.F., Rivard, C.J., Cheng, J., McFann, K.K., Segal, M.S., Johnson, R.J., and Johnson, J.A. (2012).

Discomfort and exertion associated with prolonged wear of respiratory protection in a health care setting

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene

Shenal, B.V., Radonovich, L.J., Cheng, J., Hodgson, M., and Bender, B.S. (2012).

Sleep medicine clinical and surgical training during otolaryngology residency: A national survey of otolaryngology residency programs

Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery

Shen, T., Shimahara, E., Cheng, J., and Capasso, R.

Effects of a weight loss plus exercise program on physical function in overweight, older women: a randomized controlled trial.

Clinical interventions in aging

Anton SD, Manini TM, Milsom VA, Dubyak P, Cesari M, Cheng J, Daniels MJ, Marsiske M, Pahor M, Leeuwenburgh C, Perri MG

Salivary bacterial risk markers of subsequent early childhood caries

IADR/AADR/CADR 89th General Session and Exhibition.

Ramos-Gomez FJ, Cheng J, Gansky SA, Santo W, Hoover CI, Featherstone JDB, Weintraub JA.

Leg extension is an important predictor of paretic leg propulsion in hemiparetic walking

Gait Posture

Peterson, C.L., Cheng, J., Kautz, S.A., and Neptune, R.R.

Real longitudinal data analysis for real people: Building a good enough mixed model

Statistics in Medicine

Cheng, J., Edwards, L.J., Maldonado-Molina, M.M., Komro, K., and Muller, K.

The effects of the HIPAA privacy rule on influenza research using geographic information system (GIS)

Geospatial Health

Tellman N., Litt E.R., Knapp C., Eagan A., Cheng, J., Radonovich L.M. (2010).

Design and statistical analyses of oral medicine studies: common pitfalls

Oral Diseases

Baccaglini, L., Shuster, J.J., Cheng, J., Theriaque, D.W., Schoenbach, V.J., Tomar, S., and Poole, C. (2010).

Diminished speech intelligibility associated with respirators worn by healthcare workers

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene

Radonovich, L., Robert, Y., Cheng, J., Bradley B. (2010).

Elementary My Dear Dr. Allen: The case of barium toxicity and Pa Ping


Bowen, L.N., Subramony, S.H., Cheng, J., Wu, S., and Okun, M.S. (2010).

Estimation of treatment effects in crossover clinical trials with noncompliance

Iranian Journal of Epidemiology

Soltanian, A.R., Faghihzadeh, S., Gerami, A., Mehdibarzi, D., and Cheng, J. (2010).

Evaluating the efficacy of a malaria vaccine

The International Journal of Biostatistics

Small, D., Cheng, J., Ten Have, T.R.

Right and left dorsolateral prefrontal rTMS treatment of refractory depression: a randomized, sham-controlled trial

Psychiatry Research

Triggs W.J., Ricciuti, N., Ward, H.E., Cheng, J., Bowers, D., Goodman, W.K., Kluger, B.M., and Nadeau, S.E. (2010).

Semiparametric estimation and inference for distributional and general treatment effects

Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series B (Statistical Methodology)

Cheng, J., Qin, J., and Zhang, B.

Respirator tolerability in healthcare workers

Journal of the American Medical Association

Radonovich, L.J., Cheng, J., Shenal, B.V., Yanke, R., Hodgson, M., and Bender, B.S.

Assessment of marhame-mafasel pomade effect on knee osteoarthritis with non-compliance

Journal of Research in Health Sciences

Soltanian, A.R., Faghihzadeh, S., Mehdibarzi, D., Gerami, A., Nasery, M., and Cheng, J. (2009).

Actigraphy in older adults: comparison of means and variability of three different aggregates of measurement

Behavioral Sleep Medicine

Rowe, M., McCrae, C., Campbell, J., Horne, C., Tiegs, T., Lehman, B., and Cheng, J. (2008).

Sleep pattern differences between older adult caregivers and older adult noncaregivers using objective and subjective measures

Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine

Rowe, M., Campbell, J., McCrae, C., Pe Benito, A., and Cheng, J. (2008).

Numerical skills and asthma outcomes

Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Apter, A., Cheng, J., Small, D., Bennett, I.M., Albert, C., Fein, D.G., George, M., and Van Horne, M. (2007).

Bounds on causal effects in three-arm trials with noncompliance

Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series B (Statistical Methodology)

Cheng, J. and Small, D. (2006)

Random effects logistic models for analyzing efficacy of a longitudinal randomized treatment with non-adherence

Statistics in Medicine

Small, D., Ten Have, T., Joffe, M. and Cheng, J. (2006)

Asthma numeracy skill and health literacy

Journal of Asthma

Apter, A., Cheng, J., Small, D., Albert, C., Fein, D., Bennett,
I., George, M., Van Horne, M. and Chang, D. (2006).

The principles and methods to establish the diagnosis criteria of primary osteoporosis

Chinese Journal of Osteoporosis

Yang, D., Cheng, J. and An, Z. (1999).