Research Summary

Dr. Cheng is a Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco. She is also co-Investigator of the SEER Greater Bay Area Cancer Registry. She is a cancer and genetic epidemiologist, and Principal Investigator of multiple NIH- and foundation-funded projects aimed at examining genetics, lifestyle factors, and neighborhood characteristics in relation to cancer risk. She has an extensive research program investigating racial/ethnic differences in cancer risk and has expertise in leading population-based cancer surveillance studies that document the variation in cancer incidence and mortality patterns across race/ethnicity.

Research Funding

  • February 1, 2020 - November 30, 2024 - Elucidating Lung Cancer Etiology Among Asian American Female Never Smokers, Co-Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH/NIMHD, Sponsor Award ID: R01MD014859
  • July 1, 2020 - February 28, 2024 - The Role of 27-hydroxycholesterol in Breast Cancer: A Population-Based Multiethnic Study, Co-Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH/NCI, Sponsor Award ID: R01CA229815
  • September 1, 2017 - August 31, 2020 - A cohort study of air pollution, lung cancer, and COPD in Los Angeles County, Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH/NIEHS, Sponsor Award ID: R01ES026171
  • May 11, 2016 - April 30, 2019 - Lung cancer in never smokers: incidence, risk factors, and molecular characteristics in Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanderfemales, Co-Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH/NCI, Sponsor Award ID: R01CA204070


University of California, Davis, BS, 1990 – 1994, Physiology
Yale University, MPH, 1999 - 2001, Chronic Disease Epidemiology
University of Southern California, PhD, 2001 - 2005, Epidemiology
University of California, San Francisco, Postdoc, 2006 - 2008, Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology

Honors & Awards

  • 2007
    American Association for Cancer Research Scholar-in-Training Award
  • 2007
    National Institutes of Health Loan Repayment Award
  • 2009
    National Institutes of Health Loan Repayment Renewal Award
  • 2011
    American Association for Cancer Research Faculty Scholar Award
  • 2011
    National Institutes of Health Loan Repayment Renewal Award
  • 2013
    American Journal of Epidemiology/Society of Epidemiology Research Top 10 manuscripts
  • 2014
    Cancer Prevention Institute of California Mentoring Award
  • 2015
    American Society of Human Genetics Top poster

Selected Publications

  1. Moksud N, Loo LWM, Yang J, Huang CY, Haiman CA, Le Marchand L, Wilkens LR, Cheng I. Cholesterol lowering drug use and breast cancer survival: the Multiethnic Cohort Study. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2021 Aug 30.  View on PubMed
  2. DeRouen MC, Canchola AJ, Thompson CA, Jin A, Nie S, Wong C, Lichtensztajn D, Allen L, Patel MI, Daida YG, Luft HS, Shariff-Marco S, Reynolds P, Wakelee HA, Liang SY, Waitzfelder BE, Cheng I, Gomez SL. Incidence of Lung Cancer Among Never-Smoking Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Females. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2021 Aug 04.  View on PubMed
  3. Streicher SA, Lim U, Park SL, Li Y, Sheng X, Hom V, Xia L, Pooler L, Shepherd J, Loo LWM, Darst BF, Highland HM, Polfus LM, Bogumil D, Ernst T, Buchthal S, Franke AA, Setiawan VW, Tiirikainen M, Wilkens LR, Haiman CA, Stram DO, Cheng I, Le Marchand L. Genome-wide association study of pancreatic fat: The Multiethnic Cohort Adiposity Phenotype Study. PLoS One. 2021; 16(7):e0249615.  View on PubMed
  4. Choi E, Sanyal N, Ding VY, Gardner RM, Aredo JV, Lee J, Wu JT, Hickey TP, Barrett B, Riley TL, Wilkens LR, Leung AN, Le Marchand L, Tammemägi MC, Hung RJ, Amos CI, Freedman ND, Cheng I, Wakelee HA, Han SS. Development and Validation of a Risk Prediction Tool for Second Primary Lung Cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2021 Jul 13.  View on PubMed
  5. Dee EC, Chen S, Santos PMG, Wu SZ, Cheng I, Gomez SL. Anti-Asian American Racism: A Wake-Up Call for Population-Based Cancer Research. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2021 08; 30(8):1455-1458.  View on PubMed
  6. Bogumil D, Wu AH, Stram D, Yang J, Tseng CC, Le Marchand L, Wu J, Cheng I, Setiawan VW. The association between ambient air pollutants and pancreatic cancer in the Multiethnic Cohort Study. Environ Res. 2021 Jun 30; 202:111608.  View on PubMed
  7. Wu AH, Fruin S, Larson TV, Tseng CC, Wu J, Yang J, Jain J, Shariff-Marco S, Inamdar PP, Setiawan VW, Porcel J, Stram DO, Le Marchand L, Ritz B, Cheng I. Association between Airport-Related Ultrafine Particles and Risk of Malignant Brain Cancer: A Multiethnic Cohort Study. Cancer Res. 2021 Aug 15; 81(16):4360-4369.  View on PubMed
  8. Chen H, Majumdar A, Wang L, Kar S, Brown KM, Feng H, Turman C, Dennis J, Easton D, Michailidou K, Simard J, Breast Cancer Association Consortium (BCAC) , Bishop T, Cheng IC, Huyghe JR, Schmit SL, Colorectal Transdisciplinary Study (CORECT) , Colon Cancer Family Registry Study (CCFR) , Genetics and Epidemiology of Colorectal Cancer Consortium (GECCO) , O'Mara TA, Spurdle AB, Endometrial Cancer Association Consortium (ECAC) , Gharahkhani P, Schumacher J, Jankowski J, Gocke I, Esophageal Cancer GWAS Consortium , Bondy ML, Houlston RS, Jenkins RB, Melin B, Glioma International Case Control Consortium (GICC) , Lesseur C, Ness AR, Diergaarde B, Olshan AF, Head-Neck Cancer GWAS Consortium , Amos CI, Christiani DC, Landi MT, McKay JD, International Lung Cancer Consortium (ILCCO) , Brossard M, Iles MM, Law MH, MacGregor S, Melanoma GWAS Consortium , Beesley J, Jones MR, Tyrer J, Winham SJ, Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium (OCAC) , Klein AP, Petersen G, Li D, Wolpin BM, Pancreatic Cancer Case-Control Consortium (PANC4) , Pancreatic Cancer Cohort Consortium (PanScan) , Eeles RA, Haiman CA, Kote-Jarai Z, Schumacher FR, PRACTICAL consortium, CRUK, BPC3, CAPS, PEGASUS , Brennan P, Chanock SJ, Gaborieau V, Purdue MP, Renal Cancer GWAS Consortium , Pharoah P, Hung RJ, Amundadottir LT, Kraft P, Pasaniuc B, Lindström S. Large-scale cross-cancer fine-mapping of the 5p15.33 region reveals multiple independent signals. HGG Adv. 2021 Jul 08; 2(3).  View on PubMed
  9. Wu AH, Franke AA, Wilkens LR, Tseng C, Conroy SM, Li Y, Sangaramoorthy M, Polfus LM, DeRouen MC, Caberto C, Haiman C, Stram DO, Le Marchand L, Cheng I. Risk of breast cancer and prediagnostic urinary excretion of bisphenol A, triclosan and parabens: The Multiethnic Cohort Study. Int J Cancer. 2021 10 01; 149(7):1426-1434.  View on PubMed
  10. Hurwitz LM, Agalliu I, Albanes D, Barry KH, Berndt SI, Cai Q, Chen C, Cheng I, Genkinger JM, Giles GG, Huang J, Joshu CE, Key TJ, Knutsen S, Koutros S, Langseth H, Li SX, MacInnis RJ, Markt SC, Penney KL, Perez-Cornago A, Rohan TE, Smith-Warner SA, Stampfer MJ, Stopsack KH, Tangen CM, Travis RC, Weinstein SJ, Lang PhD W, Jacobs EJ, Mucci LA, Platz EA, Cook MB, Prostate Cancer Cohort Consortium (PC3) Working Group . Recommended Definitions of Aggressive Prostate Cancer for Etiologic Epidemiologic Research. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2021 Jun 01; 113(6):727-734.  View on PubMed
  11. DeRouen MC, Thompson CA, Canchola AJ, Jin A, Nie S, Wong C, Jain J, Lichtensztajn DY, Li Y, Allen L, Patel MI, Daida YG, Luft HS, Shariff-Marco S, Reynolds P, Wakelee HA, Liang SY, Waitzfelder BE, Cheng I, Gomez SL. Integrating Electronic Health Record, Cancer Registry, and Geospatial Data to Study Lung Cancer in Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Ethnic Groups. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2021 Aug; 30(8):1506-1516.  View on PubMed
  12. Sarink D, Franke AA, White KK, Wu AH, Cheng I, Quon B, Le Marchand L, Wilkens LR, Yu H, Merritt MA. BPA, Parabens, and Phthalates in Relation to Endometrial Cancer Risk: A Case-Control Study Nested in the Multiethnic Cohort. Environ Health Perspect. 2021 May; 129(5):57702.  View on PubMed
  13. Wu AH, Franke AA, Wilkens LR, Tseng C, Conroy SM, Li Y, Polfus LM, De Rouen M, Caberto C, Haiman C, Stram DO, Le Marchand L, Cheng I. Urinary phthalate exposures and risk of breast cancer: the Multiethnic Cohort study. Breast Cancer Res. 2021 04 06; 23(1):44.  View on PubMed
  14. Aredo JV, Luo SJ, Gardner RM, Sanyal N, Choi E, Hickey TP, Riley TL, Huang WY, Kurian AW, Leung AN, Wilkens LR, Robbins HA, Riboli E, Kaaks R, Tjønneland A, Vermeulen RCH, Panico S, Le Marchand L, Amos CI, Hung RJ, Freedman ND, Johansson M, Cheng I, Wakelee HA, Han SS. Tobacco Smoking and Risk of Second Primary Lung Cancer. J Thorac Oncol. 2021 06; 16(6):968-979.  View on PubMed
  15. Sun H, Lin M, Russell EM, Minster RL, Chan TF, Dinh BL, Naseri T, Reupena MS, Lum-Jones A, Samoan Obesity, Lifestyle, and Genetic Adaptations (OLaGA) Study Group , Cheng I, Wilkens LR, Le Marchand L, Haiman CA, Chiang CWK. The impact of global and local Polynesian genetic ancestry on complex traits in Native Hawaiians. PLoS Genet. 2021 02; 17(2):e1009273.  View on PubMed
  16. Bhambhvani HP, Greenberg DR, Kasman AM, DeRouen MC, Cheng I, Eisenberg ML, Shah SA. Racial and socioeconomic disparities in retroperitoneal lymph node dissection and survival in nonseminomatous germ cell tumor: A population-based study. Urol Oncol. 2021 03; 39(3):197.e1-197.e8.  View on PubMed
  17. Hullar MAJ, Jenkins IC, Randolph TW, Curtis KR, Monroe KR, Ernst T, Shepherd JA, Stram DO, Cheng I, Kristal BS, Wilkens LR, Franke A, Le Marchand L, Lim U, Lampe JW. Associations of the gut microbiome with hepatic adiposity in the Multiethnic Cohort Adiposity Phenotype Study. Gut Microbes. 2021 Jan-Dec; 13(1):1965463.  View on PubMed
  18. John EM, McGuire V, Kurian AW, Koo J, Shariff-Marco S, Gomez SL, Cheng I, Keegan THM, Kwan ML, Bernstein L, Vigen C, Wu AH. Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Survival after Breast Cancer Diagnosis by Estrogen and Progesterone Receptor Status: A Pooled Analysis. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2021 02; 30(2):351-363.  View on PubMed
  19. Gomez SL, Washington SL, Cheng I, Huang FW, Cooperberg MR. Monitoring Prostate Cancer Incidence Trends: Value of Multiple Imputation and Delay Adjustment to Discern Disparities in Stage-specific Trends. Eur Urol. 2021 01; 79(1):42-43.  View on PubMed
  20. Lin M, Caberto C, Wan P, Li Y, Lum-Jones A, Tiirikainen M, Pooler L, Nakamura B, Sheng X, Porcel J, Lim U, Setiawan VW, Le Marchand L, Wilkens LR, Haiman CA, Cheng I, Chiang CWK. Population-specific reference panels are crucial for genetic analyses: an example of the CREBRF locus in Native Hawaiians. Hum Mol Genet. 2020 08 03; 29(13):2275-2284.  View on PubMed

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