Debbie Cheng

Debbie M. Cheng, ScD

Professor, Biostatistics - Boston University School of Public Health


Debbie M. Cheng is Professor of Biostatistics at the Boston University School of Public Health. Her research focus is on applied statistics and the design and analysis of clinical trials. She collaborates with investigators worldwide on several projects in the areas of substance abuse and HIV. She is Associate Director of the Providence/Boston Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) and Co-Director of the Biostatistics Core for the CFAR. Dr. Cheng is also Director of the Biostatistics and Data Management Core for the International URBAN ARCH Center, which aims to examine the impact of alcohol on multiple aspects of the TB disease continuum. Previously, she was Principal Investigator of the Biostatistics and Data Management Core for the URBAN ARCH Consortium. Dr. Cheng is the lead statistician for the Massachusetts site of the HEALing Communities Study, a multi-site cluster randomized trial aimed at reducing opioid-related overdose deaths in communities across four different states, the largest study of its kind in addiction science. Dr. Cheng is founding Director of the BUSPH Population Health Data Science Program.  She has been an instructor for Introduction to Statistical Computing (BS723) and the Design and Conduct of Clinical Trials (BS722).

Other Positions

  • Associate Chair, Biostatistics - Boston University School of Public Health
  • - Boston Medical Center
  • Faculty, Medicine - Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine


  • Harvard University, ScD Field of Study: Biostatistics
  • Northwestern University, BS Field of Study: Industrial Engineering


  • Published on 5/29/2023

    Hahn JA, Ngabirano C, Fatch R, Emenyonu NI, Cheng DM, Adong J, Tumwegamire A, Terrault NA, Linas BP, Jacobson KR, Muyindike WR. Safety and tolerability of isoniazid preventive therapy for tuberculosis for persons with HIV with and without alcohol use. AIDS. 2023 Aug 01; 37(10):1535-1543. PMID: 37260251.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 1/21/2023

    Idrisov B, Lunze K, Cheng DM, Blokhina E, Gnatienko N, Patts G, Bridden C, Rossi SL, Weiser SD, Krupitsky E, Samet JH. Food Insecurity and Transmission Risks Among People with HIV Who Use Substances. AIDS Behav. 2023 Jul; 27(7):2376-2389. PMID: 36670209.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 12/15/2022

    Muyindike WR, Fatch R, Cheng DM, Emenyonu NI, Forman L, Ngabirano C, Adong J, Linas B, Jacobson KR, Hahn JA. Unhealthy Alcohol Use Is Associated With Suboptimal Adherence to Isoniazid Preventive Therapy in Persons With HIV in Southwestern Uganda. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2022 Dec 15; 91(5):460-468. PMID: 36044285.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 11/28/2022

    Asiimwe C, Fatch R, Cheng DM, Emenyonu NI, Ngabirano C, Muyindike WR, Hahn JA. Bar Attendance and Alcohol Use Before and After COVID-19 Related Restrictions Among HIV-infected Adults in South-Western Uganda. AIDS Behav. 2023 Jun; 27(6):2005-2014. PMID: 36441412.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 11/17/2022

    Bovell-Ammon BJ, Kimmel SD, Cheng DM, Truong V, Michals A, Vetrova M, Hook K, Idrisov B, Blokhina E, Krupitsky E, Samet JH, Lunze K. Incarceration history, antiretroviral therapy, and stigma: A cross-sectional study of people with HIV who inject drugs in St. Petersburg, Russia. Int J Drug Policy. 2023 Jan; 111:103907. PMID: 36402082.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 9/8/2022

    Tang X, Heeren T, Westgate PM, Feaster DJ, Fernandez SA, Vandergrift N, Cheng DM. Performance of model-based vs. permutation tests in the HEALing (Helping to End Addiction Long-termSM) Communities Study, a covariate-constrained cluster randomized trial. Trials. 2022 Sep 08; 23(1):762. PMID: 36076295.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 8/23/2022

    Adong J, Fatch R, Emenyonu N, Muyindike W, Ngabirano C, Cheng D, Hahn J. Cell Phone Availability and Usage for mHealth and Intervention Delivery to Persons Living With HIV in a Low-Resource Setting: Cross-sectional Study. JMIR Form Res. 2022 Aug 23; 6(8):e35631. PMID: 35998023.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 8/1/2022

    Tindle HA, Freiberg MS, Cheng DM, Gnatienko N, Blokhina E, Yaroslavtseva T, Bendiks S, Patts G, Hahn J, So-Armah K, Stein MD, Bryant K, Lioznov D, Krupitsky E, Samet JH. Effectiveness of Varenicline and Cytisine for Alcohol Use Reduction Among People With HIV and Substance Use: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Netw Open. 2022 Aug 01; 5(8):e2225129. PMID: 35930287.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 6/16/2022

    Dey AK, Ennis N, Cheng DM, Blokhina E, Raj A, Quinn E, Bendiks S, Palfai T, Dunne EM, Cook RL, Krupitsky E, Samet JH. Impulsivity and linkage to HIV Care among People living with HIV in St. Petersburg, Russia. AIDS Behav. 2022 Dec; 26(12):4126-4134. PMID: 35708831.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 5/5/2022

    Kholodnaia A, So-Armah K, Cheng D, Gnatienko N, Patts G, Samet JH, Freiberg M, Lioznov D. Impact of illicit opioid use on markers of monocyte activation and systemic inflammation in people living with HIV. PLoS One. 2022; 17(5):e0265504. PMID: 35511802.

    Read At: PubMed

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