14584-Cheng, Liang

Liang Cheng, MD

Professor of Urology

IU Health Pathology Laboratory
350 W 11th Street, Room 4044

Indianapolis, IN 46202


Dr. Liang Cheng is the inaugural Virgil H. Moon Endowed Professor of Pathology, and Professor of Urology at Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. He is currently Chief of Genitourinary Pathology Service, Director of the Urologic Pathology Fellowship, and Director of Molecular Diagnostics and Molecular Pathology Laboratories. Dr. Cheng is board certified in Molecular Genetic Pathology, Anatomic and Clinical Pathology by the American Board of Pathology. At the age of 15, he entered the six-year medical program in Beijing Medical University/Peking University (the top medical school in China) as the youngest medical student. Dr. Cheng completed his pathology residency at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio and his fellowship at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.  Dr. Cheng has received numerous prestigious awards including the Stowell-Orbison Award from the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology (USCAP) and the Koss Medal Award from the International Society of Urological Pathology (ISUP). In 2006, he received the Arthur Purdy Stout Prize from the Arthur Purdy Stout Society of Surgical Pathologists in recognition of outstanding contributions to the field of surgical pathology as a surgical pathologist under the age of 45. Dr. Cheng was the Chairperson for the International Society of Urological Pathology (ISUP) Bladder Cancer Grading Working Group in 2020 (the work was published in European Urology Focus 2021 PMID: 33771477). He was also the Chairperson for ISUP Molecular Pathology of Bladder Cancer Working Group in 2019 (the work was published in Am J Surg Pathol 2019 PMID:32091435).

Dr. Cheng has published 1,062 peer-reviewed articles in high-impact scientific journals, including Nature Biotechnology(IF 42), Nature Reviews Disease Primers (IF 41), Journal of Clinical Oncology (IF 32), JAMA Oncology (IF 25), Cell Metabolism (IF 21), Journal of National Cancer Institute (IF 11), Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (IF 10),  European Urology (IF 18), Nature Communications (IF 12), Nature Reviews Urology (IF 11), Molecular Cancer (IF 15), Annals of Oncology (IF 18), Clinical Cancer Research (IF 10),  including 61 first-author original research studies in Cancer: An Official Journal of the American Cancer Society (IF 6.5). His published work has been cited 50,627 times (ISI Web of Science h-index: 110; i10-index: 761). The majority of his papers are co-authored with trainees.  He is an active member of over 30 editorial boards, including Molecular Cancer (Associate Editor), Human Pathology (Senior Associate Editor), Pathology-Research and Practice (North American Editor), Applied Immunohistochemistry and Molecular Morphology (Associate Editor), American Journal of Surgical Pathology, Modern Pathology, Histopathology, Journal of Pathology, European Journal of Cancer, Journal of Clinical Pathology, Pathology, Future Oncology, Urologic Oncology, Expert Review of Anticancer Therapy, Critical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology and others. He is currently the Editor-in-Chief of Expert Review of Precision Medicine and Drug Development. Dr. Cheng was the guest editor of 2012 and 2019 Annual Review Issue (ARI) of Histopathology on Urologic Pathology.  In the 2016 WHO Classification of Tumors of Urinary System and Male Genital Organ blue book, 85 of his publications, including 20 first author papers, were cited. These references accounted for 2.7% (85/3106) of the total number of referenced works in the WHO blue book. He was the first prize winner of the poster award at the 2012 European Congress of Pathology. He also established a record for the greatest number of abstract presentations (n=36) at one national meeting of the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology (USCAP) in its history. These abstracts accounted for 2.3% (36/1551) of the total number of abstracts accepted for the 2004 annual meeting in Vancouver. Dr. Cheng was ranked No. 11 among pathologists for the total number of abstracts presented at the USCAP Annual Meetings between 2015 and 2018 (https://thepathologist.com/outside-the-lab/the-best-metric-of-success).

Dr. Cheng is also the author of 130 book chapters and several textbooks, including Molecular Genetic Pathology (Springer Nature, 2008 and 2013), Molecular Surgical Pathology (Springer Nature, 2013 and 2022), Bladder Pathology (Wiley, 2012 and 2022), Urologic Surgical Pathology (Elsevier, 2008, 2014, and 2020), Essentials of Anatomic Pathology (Springer Nature, 2002, 2006, 2011, and 2016), Atlas of Genitourinary Pathology (Springer, 2011), Rare Tumors and Tumor-like Conditions in Urological Pathology (Springer-Verlag, 2015),  Pathology of the Urinary Bladder  (Cambridge University Press, 2016), Pathology of the Prostate (Cambridge University Press, 2017),  Atlas of Anatomic Pathology (Series Editor, Springer, 2011-present), and Tumors of the Kidney, Bladder, and Related Urinary Structures (Armed Forces Institute of Pathology /AFIP Fascicle, 5th Series. ARP Press, 2022).  His textbook, Essentials of Anatomic Pathology, which is now in its 4th edition, is the No. 1 downloaded book from Springer, and has been downloaded 210,812 times since its online publication on April 5, 2011. He is the chief editor of the classical urologic textbook, Urologic Surgical Pathology (Elsevier, 4th edition, 2020), which is ranked as the No. 1 new book release from both Pathology and Urology categories in Amazon.
Under Dr. Cheng’s directorship, the molecular menu at Indiana University has undergone vast expansion. The annual volume of molecular tests performed at the IU Health Molecular Pathology Laboratory has increased 7.3-fold from 31,418 molecular tests in 2007 to 230,531 tests in 2017. Dr. Cheng is also the principal or co-investigator for more than 40 funded grants and has served as a member of over 50 Grant Review Panels for Federal Funding Agencies (NIH, NCI, DOD, etc.).  He has served as an NIH/NCI review panelist for the Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE) each year since 2000. Dr. Cheng has been a member of the National Cancer Institute Bladder Cancer Task Force and the Surgical Pathology Committee of the College of American Pathologist (CAP), and an author and a member of the CAP Cancer Panel Working Group for the Cancer Genomics Resource (2014). He has been an author and member of the international working groups for the 2004 and 2016 WHO Blue Books on Tumors of the Urinary System and Male Genital Organs. In 2020, Dr. Cheng was ranked No. 1 among the World’s Experts in Urogenital Neoplasms (https://expertscape.com/ex/urogenital+neoplasms) and Top 3 Experts in the field of Bladder Cancer by Expertscape (https://expertscape.com/ex/bladder). Dr. Cheng's research focuses on translational studies of genitourinary cancers and molecular diagnostics of solid tumors.

Key Publications

Urologic Surgical Pathology, Essentials of Anatomic Pathology


Titles & Appointments

  • Professor of Urology
  • Division Chief
  • Education
    1990 MS University of Illinois
    1987 MD Beijing Medical University
  • Research

    Urologic pathology, Molecular diagnostics and Molecular genetic pathology

  • Board Certifications
    American Board of Pathology - Pathology - Molecular Genetic
    American Board of Pathology - Pathology-Anatomic/Pathology-Clinical*
  • Clinical Interests

    Molecular Genetic Pathology 

  • Awards
    Org: Arthur Purdy Stout Society of Surgical Pathologists
    Desc: Arthur Purdy Stout Prize
    Scope: National
    Org: International Society of Urological Pathology
    Desc: Koss Medal Award for Eminent Services in the Advancement of Urologic Pathology
    Scope: National
    Org: National Cancer Institute
    Desc: Certificate of Appreciation
    Scope: National

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