CHENG, Jing-School of Medicine, Tsinghua University

Micro-nano Medicine & Tissue Engineering


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    Professional Societies:


    Chinese Academy of Engineering


    International Eurasian Academy of Sciences


    Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences


    China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences

    Vice Chairman

    Chinese Society of Biomedical Engineering


    National Technical Committee for Biochip Standardization


    Biochip Branch of China Medicinal Biotech Association

    Vice Chairman

    China International Exchange and Promotive Association for Medical and Health Care

    Chairman (China)

    China-American Frontiers of Engineering Symposium

    (jointly operated every other year by Chinese Academy of Engineering and National Academy of Engineering)



    B. Eng.

    Electrical Engineering, Tongji University


    Ph. D.

    Forensic Science, University of Strathclyde



    Forensic Biology, University of Strathclyde



    Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Aberdeen



    Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

    Academic Appointments:


    Electrical Engineer, Ziyang Internal Combustion Locomotive, Factory of Railway Ministry, Ziyang, China


    Lecturer of Criminalistics, Southwesten University of Political Science and Law, Chongqing, China


    Research Assistant Professor, School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA


    Staff Scientist/Engineer, Principal Scientist/Engineer, Principal Investigator, Nanogen Inc., San Diego, USA


    Professor, Department of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology, Tsinghua University, China


    Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, School of Medicine, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China


    Tsinghua University Chair Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, School of Medicine, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China


    Director, National Engineering Research Center for Beijing Biochip Technology, Beijing, China

Dr. Cheng has been engaged and made great achievements in biotechnology research related to both basic and clinical medicine, especially in the field of biochip technology. He has established a series of biochip-based molecular testing systems for disease prevention, diagnosis and prognosis; and developed a variety of biochips for the analysis of genes, proteins, cells and biochemicals, many of these chips have been certified by the National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) of China and applied in hospitals with total sales revenue over 1.7 billion US dollars. Additionally, he has been responsible for developing a full line of instruments for biochip-based analyses.

His feasibility study of a laboratory-on-a-chip integrating microbe isolation, electronic lysis, and nucleic acid hybridization was published as the cover story of Nature Biotechnology in 1998 and cited as a “Breakthrough of the Year” by Science the same year.

Since his return to Tsinghua University in 1999, he has conducted systematic innovative research in biochip design, fabrication, system integration and instrument development, and has made significant impact on the development of novel technologies and products for solving problems facing clinicians. He has made extraordinary contributions in the development of rapid and high-throughput molecular testing biochip systems for birth defect intervention, major endemic and pandemic prevention and control, infectious disease diagnosis and treatment, and personalized medicine. And he also built a comprehensive health management platform with the modernization of traditional Chinese medicine such as artificial intelligence-assisted equipment for diseases diagnoses and molecular compendium of materia medica.

1. Diagnostic systems for pathogenic microorganisms of infectious diseases

For accurate diagnoses of major infectious diseases such as SARS, tuberculosis, HPV and hepatitis B, Dr. Cheng and his team developed a series of chip-based comprehensive solutions. In the SARS outbreak in 2003, his team invented the first SARS nucleic acid detection chip in two weeks, and made significant contribution to epidemic control in Beijing by accurate analysis of over one thousand clinical samples from 43 local hospitals. In collaboration with China CDC, his team further developed a genotyping chip for mycobacterium that can rapidly identify 17 mycobacterium strains (CE-IVD certified in 2009, NMPA certified in 2010), which laid the foundation of the first systematic diagnosis and personalize treatment solutions for tuberculosis that has helped millions of tuberculosis patients. He has also developed oligo arrays for hepatitis B drug resistance detection (NMPA certified in 2019) and for genotyping chip of 22 genetic subtypes of HPV (NMPA certified in 2015).

In the fight against COVID-19, Dr. Cheng led the core team members from both Tsinghua University and National Engineering Research Center for Beijing Biochip Technology to develop the first-of-its-kind “Fully Integrated Lab-on-a-Chip System for Rapid Nucleic Acid Detection of SARS-CoV-2” (CE-IVD certified and NMPA certified in 2021), which was able to accomplish “sample in, answer out” operation within 45 minutes, and capable of reporting positive results in 35 minutes. The system used the proprietary nested isothermal amplification technology on chip to reach a detection limit of 150 copies/ml. Based on the above achievement Dr. Cheng and his team proceeded to rapidly develop a mobile laboratory for the detection of nucleic acid of SARS-CoV-2. This mobile laboratory is equipped with a fully integrated lab-on-a-chip system and an automatic pharyngeal swabbing robot (Clinical Chemistry 2021). It has been deployed in Beijing, Guangzhou, Wuhan, Zhuhai, Qingdao, Nanjing and many other places in China. This mobile laboratory has also played a key role in the 2022 Winter Olympic Games by providing rapid and sensitive nucleic acid testing for heads of states and dignitaries. He was awarded the “2020 National Innovation and Excellence Awards”, and the “2021 Communications Prize for Engineering Success Stories” of the Council of Academies of Engineering and Technological Sciences (CAETS).

2. The detection and prevention of birth defects

In collaboration with the PLA General Hospital and Central South University, he invented the world first gene chip system for hereditary hearing loss that can accurately diagnose congenital hereditary hearing loss and acquired deafness due to the misuse of aminoglycoside antibiotics (Human Mutation 2008; NMPA certified in 2009, 2015 and 2021; CE certified in 2015 and 2021; first molecular diagnosis product from mainland to obtain Taiwan certification). Through continuous evolution, this technology has been upgraded from the original microarray platform to an integrated microfluidic platform and the detection time has been shortened from 5 hours to 2 hours. The number of mutations detectable increased from the original 9 mutations to the current 23 mutations. This technology has been adopted by more than 20 cities in China including Beijing for mass screening of high-risk group and newborns, making China the largest country for hereditary hearing loss screening (American Journal of Human Genetics 2019). So far, more than 6 million newborns have been screened using this technology, 5.21% were found to be carriers of hearing loss genes, and close to 170,000 tested subjects and their maternal relatives were prevented from developing drug induced deafness. Besides, Dr. Cheng’s team has developed a microarray that was able to detect 25 mutations related to thalassemia (NMPA certified in 2016). For prenatal diagnosis of birth defects, he and co-workers discovered a pair of non-syndromic cleft lip and palate susceptible genes using the gene chip technology, among which the susceptible locus rs8049367 at 16p13.3 was reported for the first time (Nature Communications 2015).

3. Preservation and innovation of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM)

In the last ten years, Dr. Cheng has devoted much of his effort in building a comprehensive health management platform by up-grading the TCM i.e., the development of artificial intelligence-assisted equipment for diagnosis and molecular compendium of materia medica.

For example, he was responsible for the development of the world’s first shadowless imaging system of sclera using a deep learning algorithm, and big data analysis (NMPA certified in 2018, Top ten breakthroughs of medical and biological technologies in China). This system provides an intelligent “imaging” diagnostic tool for chronic diseases, and has been adopted in mass screening for patients with chronic diseases such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and high blood glucose in Chongqing, Kunming in Yunnan and Fuxin in Liaoning.

Dr. Cheng and his team constructed a large database for TCM molecular functions (Molecular Compendium of Materia Medica) based on high throughput prescription generating system. A computed innovative TCM formulae could be obtained for chronic heart failure based on the above-mentioned system involving database, disease-related signaling pathway and artificial intelligence algorithm. Using the Molecular Compendium of Materia Medica, they evaluated the immunomodulatory effects of 125 anti-COVID-19 TCM formulae. A total of 98 formulae demonstrate inhibitory effects on virus-related pathways and have anti-cytokine storm potential, including Qingfei Paidu Decoction. Another 26 formulae activate virus-related pathways, indicating an immune-boosting and immunosuppression-alleviating effect, including Shengmai Yin. Three patented medicines and three TCM formulae recommended by central government performed well in this system. The results have been published in Signal Transduction and Targeted Therapy in 2021, providing scientific interpretation for TCM in treating COVID-19.

    Dr. Cheng’s work on biochip technology was highly recognized and he was twice awarded the National Awards for Technological Innovation in 2007 and 2018; Qiushi Outstanding Young Scientist Award for Technology Transfer in 2004; HO LEUNG HO LEE Prize for Scientific and Technological Innovation in 2008; China National Outstanding Engineer Award in 2014; C.C. Tan Life Science Achievements Award in 2016; First Prize of the Huang Jiasi Biomedical Engineering Award in 2017; ShuLan Medical Prize in 2018; The First Outstanding Contribution Award for Translational Medicine in 2018; National Innovation and Excellence Award in 2021 and CAETS Communications Prize for Engineering Success Stories in 2021.

1. Zhang, Z., Wang, H., Chen,L., Cao, C., Liu, T., Ren, R., Zhou, R., Huang, R., Hu, D., Zhu, C., Lu, C., Xu, Y., Fang, Z., Lu, F., Pan, H., Su, Y., Fu, N., Zhan, H., Si, Q., Bai, C., Ge, R., Cao, H., Dong, W., Yang, G., Wu, L., Guo, J., and Cheng, J.

“Noninvasive and affordable type 2 diabetes screening by deep learning-based risk assessment and detection using ophthalmic images inspired by traditional Chinese medicine”

Med-X, 2023, 1(2)

2. Xing, W., Wang, J., Zhao, C., Wang, H., Bai, L., Pan, L., Li, H., Wang, H., Zhang, Z., Lu, Y., Chen, X., Shan, S., Wang, D., Pan, Y., Weng, D., Zhou, X., Huang, R., He, J., Jin, R., Li, W., Shang, H., Zhong, N. and Cheng, J.

“A highly automated mobile laboratory for on-site molecular diagnostics in the COVID-19 pandemic”

Clinical Chemistry, 2021, 67(4): 672-683.

3. Qiao, L., Huang, W., Zhang X., Guo, H., Wang, D., Feng Q., Jin, R., Xie, L., Li, W. and Cheng, J.

“Evaluation of the immunomodulatory effects of anti-COVID-19 TCM formulae by multiple virus-related pathways”

Signal Transduction and Targeted Therapy, 2021, 6(1): 577-579.

4. Dai, P., Huang, H., Wang, G., Gao, X., Qu, C., Wei, X., Chen., Ma, F., Zhang, J., Xing, W., Xi, S., Ma, B., Pan, Y., Cheng, X., Duan, H., Yuan, Y., Zhao, L., Chang, L., Gao, R., Liu, H., Zhang, W., Huang, S., Kang, D., Liang, W., Zhang, K., Jiang, H., Guo, Y., Zhou, Y., Xia, W., Zhang, Fan L., Jin, Y., Zhou, Z., Lu, H., Zhang, X., Liu, P., Ke, J., Hao, J., Huang, H., Jiang, D., Ni, X., Long, M., Zhang, L., Qiao, J., Cynthia M., Liu, X., Cheng, J. and Han, D.

“Concurrent hearing and genetic screening of 180,469 neonates with follow-up in Beijing, China”

The American Journal of Human Genetics, 2019, 105(4): 803-812.

5. Xu, Y., Xie, X., Duan, Y., Wang, L., Cheng, Z. and Cheng, J.

“A review of impedance measurements of whole cells”

Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 2016, 77: 824-836.

6. Sun, Y., Huang, Y., Yin, A., Pan, Y., Wang, Y., Wang, C., Du, Y., Wang, M., Lan, F., Hu, Z., Wang, G., Jiang, M., Ma, J., Zhang, X., Ma, H., Ma, J., Zhang, W., Huang, Q., Zhou, Z., Ma, L., Li, Y., Jiang, H., Xie, L., Jiang, Y., Shi, B., Cheng, J., Shen, H., Wang, L. and Yang, Y.

“Genome-wide association study identifies a new susceptibility locus for cleft lip with or without a cleft palate”

Nature Communications, 2015, 6: 6414.

7. Guo, H., Liu, H., Mitchelson, K., Rao, H., Luo, M., Xie, L., Sun, Y., Zhang, L., Lu, Ying., Liu, R., Ren, A., Liu, S., Zhou, S., Zhu, J., Zhou, Y., Huang, A., Wei, L., Guo, Y. and Cheng, J.

“MicroRNAs-372/373 promote the expression of hepatitis B virus through the targeting of nuclear factor I/B”

Hepetology, 2011, 54 (3): 808–819.

8. Wang, L., Zhu, J., Deng C., Xing W. and Cheng, J.

“An automatic and quantitative on-chip cell migration assay using self-assembled monolayers combined with real-time cellular impedance sensing”

Lab on a Chip, 2008, 8(6): 872-878. (Cover)

9. Li, C., Pan, Q., Guo, Y., Li, Y., Gao, H., Zhang, D., Hu, H., Xing, W., Mitchelson, K., Xia, K., Dai, P. and Cheng, J.

“Construction of a multiplex allele-specific PCR-based universal array (ASPUA) and its application to hearing loss screening”

Human Mutation, 2008, 29(2): 306-314.

10. Cheng, J., Sheldon, E.L., Wu, L., Uribe, A., Gerrue, L.O., Carrino J., Heller, M.J., Carrino, J. and O¢Connell, J.P.

“Preparation and hybridization analysis of DNA/RNA from E. coli on microfabricated bioelectronic chips”

Nature Biotechnology, 1998, 16(6): 541-546. (Cover)

LIU, Jing