University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
Jing Cheng, MD, MS, PhD

Jing Cheng, MD, MS, PhD

Professor, Division of Oral Epidemiology & Dental Public Health, Division of Biostatistics, UCSF

Cancer Center Program Memberships

Tobacco Control

Research Summary

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 and is experienced in working with investigators in various fields of health sciences including dentistry and oral diseases, biomedicine, infectious diseases, pharmacogenomics, nursing, and public policy research. Dr. Cheng is currently a principal investigator (PI) on mediation analysis for dental studies at CANDO, a project to develop statistical methods to better understand how mechanisms of an intervention function and which components are more likely to succeed or fail. This research can help to understand the causal pathway/mechanism of an intervention and improve future programs by tailoring specific components of an intervention.

Dr. Cheng is also a statistician at CANDO’s Data Coordinating Center (DCC) and UCSF CTSI, where she works with investigators on study design, power analysis, randomization, statistical analysis, and the preparation of grant proposals and manuscripts.

Dr. Cheng's research interests include causal inference (instrument variables and propensity scores) with applications in clinical trials with complex issues, e.g., noncompliance, mediation with intermediate variables (biomarkers, attitude, knowledge, behaviors etc.), missing data, and outcome 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.


West China University of Medical Sciences, China, M.D., 06/1994, Preventive Medicine
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, M.S., 08/2002, Nutrition (minor in Epidemiology)
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, Ph.D., 08/2006, Biostatistics (minor in Epidemiology)

Professional Experience

  • 1994-1999
    Lecturer, School of Public Health, Sichuan Continuing Education College of Medical Sciences, Sichuan, China
  • 1997-1999
    Research Scientist, National Key Project (1995-2000): Epidemiological Study of Osteoporosis, China.
  • 1999-2002
    Teaching Assistant and Research Assistant, Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
  • 2002-2006
    Research Assistant, Division of Biostatistics, School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
  • 2006-2010
    Assistant Professor, Division of Biostatistics, Department of Epidemiology and Health Policy Research, College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
  • 2010-2011
    Assistant Professor, Division of Oral Epidemiology & Dental Public Health, Department of Preventive and Restorative Dental Sciences, School of Dentistry, UCSF
  • 2011-2016
    Associate Professor, Division of Oral Epidemiology & Dental Public Health, Division of Biostatistics, School of Dentistry, UCSF
  • 2016-present
    Professor, Division of Oral Epidemiology & Dental Public Health, Division of Biostatistics, UCSF
  • 2011-present
    Associate Director, Dental Data Coordinating Center, UCSF
  • 2011- present
    Faculty Consultant in Biostatistics, CTSI, UCSF

Honors & Awards

  • 1991-1993
    University Outstanding Student, West China University of Medical Sciences, Chengdu, China
  • 1994
    University Outstanding Graduating Senior, West China University of Medical Sciences, Chengdu, China
  • 1999
    Marion Fish Cox Fellowship, Cornell University
  • 2000
    Vincent Woo J.P. Fellowship, Cornell University
  • 2002
    Richard Barnes Fellowship, Cornell University
  • 2002
    GSK Scholarship Award, University of Pennsylvania
  • 2005
    International Biometrics Society ENAR Distinguished Student Paper Award
  • 2007
    Saul Winegrad Award for Outstanding Dissertation, University of Pennsylvania
  • 2007
    New Researcher Travel Grant, Institute of Mathematical Statistics

Selected Publications

  1. Cheng, J. and Lin, W. (2018).. Understanding distributional and subgroup causal e?ects with the instrumental propensity score. American Journal of Epidemiology. 2018; 87(3):614-622..
    View on PubMed
  2. Guo, Z., Small, D.S., Gansky, S.A., Cheng, J. (2017).. 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. 2017.
    View on PubMed
  3. Cheng, J., Cheng, N.F., Guo, Z., Gregorich, S., Ismail, A.I., Gansky, S.A. (2017). . Mediation analysis for count and zero-in?ated count data. Statistical Methods in Medical Research. 2017; DOI: 10.1177/0962280216686131.
    View on PubMed
  4. Small, D.S., Taylor, T.E., Postels, D.G., Beare, N.A.V., Cheng, J., MacCormick, I., and Seydel, K.B. (2017). . Evidence that malaria parasitemia plays a pathogenic role in retinopathy-negative cerebral malaria: A natural experiment. eLife. 2017; (6):e23699, DOI:10.7554/eLife.2369.
    View on PubMed
  5. 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). . Dental student clinical experience across three curricula at one institution. Journal of Dental Education. 2017; (81):366-377.
    View on PubMed
  6. 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). . A Cluster-Randomized, Community-Based, Tribally-Delivered Oral Health Promotion Trial in Navajo Head Start Children. Journal of Dental Research. 2016; (95):1237-1244.
    View on PubMed
  7. Chaffee B.W., Featherstone J.D.B., Gansky S.A., Cheng J., and Zhan L. (2016).. Caries Risk Assessment Item Importance: Risk Designation and Caries Status in Children under Age 6. JDR Clinical & Translational Research. 2016; 2(1):131-142.
    View on PubMed
  8. Taguri, M., Featherstone, J., and Cheng, J. (2015). . Causal mediation analysis with multiple causally non-ordered mediators. Statistical Methods in Medical Research. 2015; DOI: 10.1177/0962280215615899.
    View on PubMed
  9. Chaffee BW, Cheng J, Featherstone JD. (2015). Non-operative anti-caries agents and dental caries increment among adults at high caries risk: a retrospective cohort study. BMC Oral Health. 2015; 15.
    View on PubMed
  10. Chaffee BW, Cheng J, Featherstone JD. (2015).. Baseline caries risk assessment as a predictor of caries incidence. Journal of Dentistry. 2015; 43:518-524.
    View on PubMed
  11. Cheng J, Chaffee BW, Cheng NF, Gansky SA, Featherstone JD. (2015).. Understanding treatment effect mechanisms of the CAMBRA randomized trial in reducing caries increment. Journal of Dental Research. 2015; 94(1):44-51.
    View on PubMed
  12. Lin KC, Wadhwani CPK, Cheng J, Sharma A, Finzen F. (2014).. 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. 2014; 112(4):817-823.
    View on PubMed
  13. Guo Z., Cheng J., Lorch S.A., and Small D.S. (2014). Using an instrumental variable to test for unmeasured confounding. Statistics in Medicine . 2014; 33(20):3528-3546.
    View on PubMed
  14. Baiocchi M., Cheng J. and Small D.S. (2014). . Tutorial in biostatistics: instrumental variable methods for causal inference. Statistics in Medicine. 2014; 33(13):2297-2340.
    View on PubMed
  15. Small, D., Cheng, J., Halloran, M.E., Rosenbaum, P. (2013).. Case definition and design sensitivity. Journal of the American Statistical Association,. 2013; 108:1457-1468.
    View on PubMed
  16. 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).. 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,. 2013; 26:1425-1432.
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  17. Neidlinger, N., Gleason, B., and Cheng, J. (2013).. Honoring deceased donors with a unique family-designed statement followed by a moment of silence: effect on donation outcomes. Progress in Transplantation. 2013; 23(2):188-193.
    View on PubMed
  18. Golinveaux J., Gerbert B., Cheng J., Duderstadt K., Alkon A., Mullen S., Lin B., Miller A., and Zhan L. (2013). . Oral health education for pediatric nurse practitioner students. Journal of Dental Education,. 2013; 77(5):581-590.
    View on PubMed
  19. Le MT, Lobmeyer MT, Campbell M, Cheng J, Wang Z, Turner ST, Chapman AB, Boerwinkle E, Gums JG, Gong Y, Johnson RJ, Johnson JA. Impact of genetic polymorphisms of SLC2A2, SLC2A5, and KHK on metabolic phenotypes in hypertensive individuals. PLoS One. 2013; 8(1):e52062.
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  20. Zhan, L., Cheng, J., Chang, P., Ngo, M., DenBesten, P.K., Hoover, C.I., and Featherstone, J.D.B. (2012).. Effect of xylitol on cariogenic bacteria and caries in young children. Journal of Dental Research 91: S85-S90. 2012.
    View on PubMed

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