Debbie Cheng, ScD

CARE Unit Faculty


Professor of Biostatistics, Boston University School of Public Health

Crosstown Center, 801 Massachusetts Ave., 3rd Floor, Boston, MA 02118


Dr. Cheng is a Professor of Biostatistics and has been on the faculty at Boston University School of Public Health since 2002.  Her research interests include longitudinal data analyses and the design and analysis of clinical trials.  Dr. Cheng collaborates with investigators on several projects in the areas of substance abuse and HIV research.  She is Principle Investigator of the Biostatistics and Data Management Core for the URBAN ARCH Consortium, a consortium of studies designed to examine the consequences of alcohol on HIV disease progression.  Dr. Cheng also serves as lead statistician on several other studies including: a randomized clinical trial of a behavioral and structural intervention designed to motivate HIV-infected narcology patients  to engage in HIV medical care (LINC Study) and a clinical trial to determine the efficacy of two models of brief intervention for decreasing drug use in primary care patients (ASPIRE study).

Boston University faculty appointment: 2002

Areas of Specialization

  • Biostatistics
  • Methods for longitudinal data analysis
  • Design of clinical trials

Education and Training

ScD (Biostatistics), Harvard University, Boston, MA
BA (Industrial Engineering), Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

Honors and Awards

  • Excellence in Teaching Award, Boston University School of Public Health, 2008, 2011

Key Publications

Blood EA, Cheng DM. (2012). Non-linear mixed models in the analysis of mediated longitudinal data with binary outcomes.  BMC Med Res Methodol. 2012 Jan 24;12:5.

Samet, J.H., Krupitsky, E.M., Cheng, D.M., Raj, A., Egorova, V.Y.,  Levenson, S., Meli, S., Bridden, C., Verbitskaya, E.V.,  Kamb, M.L., Zvartau, E.E. (2008). Mitigating risky sexual behaviors among Russian narcology hospital patients: the PREVENT (Partnership to Reduce the Epidemic Via Engagement in Narcology Treatment) randomized controlled trial.  Addiction, 103(9):1474-83.

Walley AY, Cheng DM, Libman H, Nunes D, Horsburgh CR Jr, Saitz R, Samet JH. (2008).  Recent drug use, homelessness and increased short-term mortality in HIV-infected persons with alcohol    problems. AIDS, 22(3):415-20.

Samet JH, Cheng DM, Libman H, Nunes DP, Alperen JK, Saitz R. (2007). Alcohol consumption and HIV disease progression.  J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr, 46(2):194-9.

Saitz, R., Palfai, T.P., Cheng, D.M., Horton, N.J., Freedner, N., Dukes, K., Kraemer, K.L., Roberts, M.S., Guerriero, R.T., Samet, J.H. (2007).  Brief Intervention for Medical Inpatients With Unhealthy Alcohol Use: A Randomized Controlled Trial.  Annals of Internal Medicine, 146(3):167-76.

Publications and NIH Grant Support