Debbie M. Cheng, ScD

Professor, Biostatistics

Debbie Cheng
801 Massachusetts Ave Crosstown Center


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, Clinical Addiction Research and Education Unit, Medicine, Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine


  • Harvard University, ScD
  • Northwestern University, BS


  • Published on 2/26/2024

    Tsui JI, Rossi SL, Cheng DM, Bendiks S, Vetrova M, Blokhina E, Winter M, Gnatienko N, Backonja M, Bryant K, Krupitsky E, Samet JH. Pilot RCT comparing low-dose naltrexone, gabapentin and placebo to reduce pain among people with HIV with alcohol problems. PLoS One. 2024; 19(2):e0297948. PMID: 38408060.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 2/5/2024

    Stopka TJ, Babineau DC, Gibson EB, Knott CE, Cheng DM, Villani J, Wai JM, Blevins D, David JL, Goddard-Eckrich DA, Lofwall MR, Massatti R, DeFiore-Hyrmer J, Lyons MS, Fanucchi LC, Harris DR, Talbert J, Hammerslag L, Oller D, Balise RR, Feaster DJ, Soares W, Zarkin GA, Glasgow L, Oga E, McCarthy J, D'Costa L, Chahine R, Gomori S, Dalvi N, Shrestha S, Garner C, Shadwick A, Salsberry P, Konstan MW, Freisthler B, Winhusen J, El-Bassel N, Samet JH, Walsh SL. Impact of the Communities That HEAL Intervention on Buprenorphine-Waivered Practitioners and Buprenorphine Prescribing: A Prespecified Secondary Analysis of the HCS Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Netw Open. 2024 Feb 05; 7(2):e240132. PMID: 38386322.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 12/29/2023

    Kimmel SD, Samet JH, Cheng DM, Vetrova M, Idrisov B, Rossi SL, Rateau L, Astone K, Michals A, Sisson E, Blokhina E, Milet-Carty N, Bovell-Ammon BJ, Gnatienko N, Truong V, Krupitsky E, Lunze K. Stigma and other correlates of sharing injection equipment among people with HIV in St. Petersburg, Russia. Glob Public Health. 2024 Jan; 19(1):2296009. PMID: 38158724.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 12/7/2023

    Odokonyero RF, Fatch R, Emenyonu NI, Cheng DM, Ngabirano C, Adong J, Muyindike WR, Nakasujja N, Camlin CS, Kamya M, Hahn JA. The Relationship between Age at Initiation of Regular Drinking of Alcohol and Viral Suppression Status, and Depression Symptoms Among People Living with HIV in South-Western Uganda. AIDS Behav. 2024 Apr; 28(4):1415-1422. PMID: 38060110.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 11/1/2023

    Raifman J, Cheng DM, Skinner A, Hatzenbuehler ML, Mayer KH, Stein MD. State same-sex marriage policies and pre-exposure prophylaxis implementation among men who have sex with men in the United States. J Int AIDS Soc. 2023 Nov; 26(11):e26180. PMID: 37997001.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 10/5/2023

    Raj A, Gnatienko N, Cheng DM, Blokhina E, Dey AK, Wagman JA, Toussova O, Truong V, Rateau L, Lunze K, Krupitsky E, Samet JH. Provider-patient experiences and HIV care utilization among people living with HIV who inject drugs in St. Petersburg, Russia. Int J Qual Health Care. 2023 Oct 05; 35(4). PMID: 37642351.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 9/8/2023

    Biondi BE, Freibott CE, Cheng DM, Blokhina E, Lioznov D, Rateau L, Patts GJ, Bendiks S, Gnatienko N, Tindle HA, Freiberg MS, Krupitsky E, Samet JH, Stein MD. Healthcare Utilization Among Persons with HIV and Unhealthy Alcohol Use in St. Petersburg, Russia. AIDS Behav. 2024 Jan; 28(1):19-25. PMID: 37682403.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 9/1/2023

    Samet JH, Blokhina E, Cheng DM, Rosen S, Lioznov D, Lunze K, Truong V, Gnatienko N, Quinn E, Bushara N, Raj A, Krupitsky E. Rapid access to antiretroviral therapy, receipt of naltrexone, and strengths-based case management versus standard of care for HIV viral load suppression in people with HIV who inject drugs in Russia (LINC-II): an open-label, randomised controlled trial. Lancet HIV. 2023 Sep; 10(9):e578-e587. PMID: 37659841.

    Read at: PubMed
  • 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

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