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Department of Psychiatry

School of Medicine




Dr. Cheng’s laboratory at UCSD includes both wet-lab (experimental) and dry-lab (computational) research. Dr. Cheng’s research program studies transcriptional regulatory network and aims to develop a comprehensive understanding of how aberrant regulatory circuits contribute to human disease. Dr. Cheng’s lab utilizes single cell droplet-based technology enabled by microfluidic device to simultaneously profile the transcriptome and epigenome of thousands of single cells at the same time. The main focus of her lab is to utilize single cell resolution functional genomic assays and computational methods to study heterogeneous clinical tissue samples and blood immune cell populations in patient samples. Current projects focus on applying single-cell transcriptomics and epigenetics in Alzheimer’s disease, opioid use disorder patient samples, with the goal of finding diagnostic markers and therapeutic targets.



  • UM1DA051411: "Single Cell Transciptomics of the Opioid Use Disorder and HIV Syndemic in the Human Brain" - 2022-2025

  • U01DA056006: "Single Cell Transcriptomics of the Cocaine Use Disorder in the Context of HIV" - 2022-2027

  • R33DA047032: "Effect of opioid use disorder on HIV latent reservoirs and immune dysfunction assessed by single-cell transcriptomics" - 2018 - 2023

  • R01DA051889: "Synergistic Mechanisms of chronic Innate Immune Activation in Microglia by Opiates and HIV Infection" - 2020-2025

  • R56AG074591: "Exploring the Pathophysiology of AD and ADRDs with 3D Asteroid Models" - 2021 -2023

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