Professor KK Cheng MBBS, PhD, FFPH, FRCGP, FMedSci

Professor of Public Health and Primary Care

Public Health, Epidemiology and Biostatistics


Contact details

Public Health, Epidemiology and Biostatistics
School of Health and Population Sciences
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
Birmingham, B15 2TT


KK Cheng (郑家强) has been Professor at the University of Birmingham since 1995. His main interests are in the epidemiology, prevention and control of important non-communicable diseases, and the development of primary care in China.

1958年在香港出生。1978-1984年就读于香港大学,先后获生物医学学士与内外科医学学士学位,并于1984年先后到牛津大学短期学习内科与全科医学及到多伦多大学学习神经内科。1986年任香港大学社会医学系讲师,1989年与1990年先后考取英国公共卫生医学院与皇家全科医学院专业资格。1990-1992 年在英国剑桥大学从事肿瘤流行病学研究,1994年获剑桥大学博士学位。1995年起任英国伯明翰大学流行病学教授、系主任。1996年起任香港大学荣誉教授,2011年他在北京大学医学部创立了全科医学系,并授聘为兼职系主任、客座教授。2012年当选为英国医学科学院院士,并获广州市政府授予荣誉市民称号。




  • Fellow, Academy of Medical Sciences, UK 2012
  • FRCGP 2010
  • FFPHM 1997
  • PhD University of Cambridge 1997
  • MBBS, The University of Hong Kong 1984
  • BSc, The University of Hong Kong 1984


Postgraduate supervision

KK has supervised over 20 doctoral students at the University of Birmingham. Important examples of publications arising from their theses include:

Jokhio AH, Winter HR, Cheng KK. An intervention involving traditional birth attendants and perinatal and maternal mortality in Pakistan. N Engl J Med. 2005;352:2091-9. (This was one of the first research papers from Pakistan published in the New England Journal of Medicine. In helping to bring about a change of emphasis from a solely health centre one to multiple delivery approaches (i.e. in communities as well as health facilities), the findings have contributed towards the strategies towards two Millenium Development Goals.)

Yin P, Jiang CQ,  Cheng KK, Lam TH, Lam KL, Miller MR, Zhang WS, Thomas NG, Adab P. Passive smoking exposure and risk of COPD among adults in China: The Guangzhou Biobank Cohort Study. Lancet 2007; 370:751-7. (selected by the International Advisory Board of The Lancet as one of the research papers worldwide “that make the greatest potential contribution to clinical research” in 2007)

Aveyard P, Cheng KK, Almond J, Sherratt E, Lancashire R, Lawrence T, Griffin C, Evans O. Cluster randomised controlled trial of expert system based on the transtheoretical (“stages of change”) model for smoking prevention and cessation in schools. British Medical Journal 1999; 319:948-53. (This was the first fast track article published by the British Medical Journal since its establishment in 1840. The paper has played a major role in the practice of smoking prevention in schools in this country and further afield.)

Zhang D, Yin P, Freemantle N, Jordan R, Zhong N, Cheng KK. An assessment of the quality of randomised controlled trials conducted in China. Trials 2008;9:22.



Cancer and Chronic Disease Epidemiology, Clinical Trials, Health Services Research

Other activities

KK is the Academic Lead of the University’s project to develop a centre in Guangzhou in collaboration with the Guangzhou Municipal Government.

He is also active in primary care in China. As the lead member on health on the British Government's China Task Force, he has developed collaboration between the UK China in primary care. He founded the Department of General Practice at Peking University Health Science Center in May 2011 and is Honorary Head and Professor.

KK is Honorary Consultant in Public Health Medicine, Public Health England. He also holds an Honorary Chair at the University of Hong Kong.

Some of KK’s other current and recent commitments include the following:

  • Member, Public Health Interventions Advisory Committee, National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence
  • Deputy Chair, Expert Review Group on Population and Public Health, Wellcome Trust 


Publications in 2013:

Adab P, Jiang CQ, Rankin E, Tsang YW, Lam TH, Barlow J, Thomas GN, Zhang WS, Cheng KK. Breastfeeding practice, oral contraceptive use and risk of rheumatoid arthritis among Chinese women: the Guangzhou Biobank Cohort Study. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2014 Jan 6. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 24395920.

Zhao J, Jiang C, Lam TH, Liu B, Cheng KK, Xu L, Au Yeung SL, Zhang W, Leung GM, Schooling CM. Genetically predicted testosterone and cardiovascular risk factors in men: a Mendelian randomization analysis in the Guangzhou Biobank Cohort Study. Int J Epidemiol. 2013 Dec 2. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID:24302542.

Bryan RT, Shimwell NJ, Wei W, Devall AJ, Pirrie SJ, James ND, Zeegers MP, Cheng KK, Martin A, Ward DG. Urinary EpCAM in urothelial bladder cancer patients: characterisation and evaluation of biomarker potential. Br J Cancer. 2013 Nov 28. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2013.744. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 24292452.

van Hasselt TJ, Pickles O, Midgley-Hunt A, Jiang CQ, Zhang WS, Cheng KK, Thomas GN, Lam TH. Effects of tea consumption on renal function in a metropolitan chinese population: the guangzhou biobank cohort study. J Ren Nutr. 2014 Jan;24(1):26-31. doi: 10.1053/j.jrn.2013.08.006. Epub 2013 Nov 9. PubMed PMID:24216256.

Li B, Adab P, Cheng KK. Family and Neighborhood Correlates of Overweight and  Obesogenic Behaviors Among Chinese Children. Int J Behav Med. 2013 Sep 21. [Epub  ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 24057407.

Pallan M, Parry J, Cheng KK, Adab P. Development of a childhood obesity prevention programme with a focus on UK South Asian communities. Prev Med. 2013 Dec;57(6):948-54. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2013.08.025. Epub 2013 Sep 6. PubMed PMID: 24012821; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3842497.

Yeung SL, Jiang CQ, Zhang WS, Lam TH, Cheng KK, Leung GM, Schooling CM. Systematic differences among never, occasional and moderate alcohol users in southern China, and its use in alcohol research: a cross-sectional study. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2013 Dec 1;67(12):1054-60. doi:10.1136/jech-2013-202807. Epub 2013 Aug 22. PubMed PMID: 23969348.

Long MJ, Jiang CQ, Lam TH, Lin JM, Chan YH, Zhang WS, Jin YL, Liu B, Thomas GN, Cheng KK. Alcohol consumption and electrocardiographic left ventricular hypertrophy and mediation by elevated blood pressure in older Chinese men: the Guangzhou Biobank Cohort Study. Alcohol. 2013 Sep;47(6):473-80. doi: 10.1016/j.alcohol.2013.06.003. PubMed PMID: 23938170.

Au Yeung SL, Jiang C, Cheng KK, Cowling BJ, Liu B, Zhang W, Lam TH, Leung GM,Schooling CM. Moderate alcohol use and cardiovascular disease from Mendelian randomization. PLoS One. 2013 Jul 16;8(7):e68054. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0068054. Print 2013. PubMed PMID: 23874492; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3712994.

Ho JW, Lee AM, Macfarlane DJ, Fong DY, Leung S, Cerin E, Chan WY, Leung IP, Lam SH, Taylor AJ, Cheng KK. Study protocol for "Moving Bright, Eating Smart"—A phase 2 clinical trial on the acceptability and feasibility of a diet and physical activity intervention to prevent recurrence in colorectal cancer survivors. BMC Public Health. 2013 May 20;13(1):487. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 23688320; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3716902.

Zhang WS, Xu L, Schooling CM, Jiang CQ, Cheng KK, Liu B, Lam TH. Effect of alcohol and aldehyde dehydrogenase gene polymorphisms on alcohol-associated hypertension: the Guangzhou Biobank Cohort Study. Hypertens Res. 2013 Aug;36(8):741-6. doi: 10.1038/hr.2013.23. Epub 2013 Apr 25. PubMed PMID: 23615284; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3734527.

Shimwell NJ, Bryan RT, Wei W, James ND, Cheng KK, Zeegers MP, Johnson PJ, Martin A, Ward DG. Combined proteome and transcriptome analyses for the discovery of urinary biomarkers for urothelial carcinoma. Br J Cancer. 2013 May 14;108(9):1854-61. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2013.157. Epub 2013 Apr 16. PubMed PMID: 23591195; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3658509.

Lin PR, Zhao ZW, Cheng KK, Lam TH. The effect of physician's 30 s smoking cessation intervention for male medical outpatients: a pilot randomized controlled trial. J Public Health (Oxf). 2013 Sep;35(3):375-83. doi: 10.1093/pubmed/fdt018. Epub 2013 Mar 13. PubMed PMID: 23487178.

Jin YL, Zhu T, Xu L, Zhang WS, Liu B, Jiang CQ, Yu H, Huang LM, Cheng KK, Thomas GN, Lam TH. Uric acid levels, even in the normal range, are associated with increased cardiovascular risk: the Guangzhou Biobank Cohort Study. Int J Cardiol. 2013 Oct 3;168(3):2238-41. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2013.01.214. Epub 2013 Feb 28. PubMed PMID: 23453878.

Bryan RT, Zeegers MP, van Roekel EH, Bird D, Grant MR, Dunn JA, Bathers S, Iqbal G, Khan HS, Collins SI, Howman A, Deshmukh NS, James ND, Cheng KK, Wallace  DM. A comparison of patient and tumour characteristics in two UK bladder cancer cohorts separated by 20 years. BJU Int. 2013 Jul;112(2):169-75. doi: 10.1111/bju.12032. Epub 2013 Mar 4. PubMed PMID: 23452262.

Morgan R, Bryan RT, Javed S, Launchbury F, Zeegers MP, Cheng KK, James ND, Wallace DM, Hurst CD, Ward DG, Knowles MA, Pandha H. Expression of Engrailed-2 (EN2) protein in bladder cancer and its potential utility as a urinary diagnostic biomarker. Eur J Cancer. 2013 Feb 21. pii: S0959-8049(13)00081-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ejca.2013.01.019. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 23434148.

van Roekel EH, Cheng KK, James ND, Wallace DM, Billingham LJ, Murray PG, Bryan RT, Zeegers MP. Smoking is associated with lower age, higher grade, higher  stage, and larger size of malignant bladder tumors at diagnosis. Int J Cancer.2013 Jul 15;133(2):446-54. doi: 10.1002/ijc.28017. Epub 2013 Feb 13. PubMed PMID:23292999.

Wang Y, Wilkinson M, Ng E, Cheng KK. Primary care reform in China. Br J Gen Pract. 2012 Oct;62(603):546-7. doi: 10.3399/bjgp12X656946. PubMed PMID: 23265219; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3459766.

Au Yeung SL, Jiang C, Cheng KK, Liu B, Zhang W, Lam TH, Leung GM, Schooling CM. Is aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 a credible genetic instrument for alcohol use in Mendelian randomization analysis in Southern Chinese men? Int J Epidemiol. 2013 Feb;42(1):318-28. doi: 10.1093/ije/dys221. Epub 2012 Dec 14. PubMed PMID:23243119.

Knowles G, Pallan M, Thomas GN, Ekelund U, Cheng KK, Barrett T, Adab P.Physical  activity and blood pressure in primary school children: a longitudinal study. Hypertension. 2013 Jan;61(1):70-5. doi:10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.112.201277. Epub 2012 Nov 12. PubMed PMID: 23150507.

Elwell-Sutton TM, Jiang CQ, Zhang WS, Cheng KK, Lam TH, Leung GM, Schooling CM. Inequality and inequity in access to health care and treatment for chronic conditions in China: the Guangzhou Biobank Cohort Study. Health Policy Plan. 2013 Aug;28(5):467-79. doi: 10.1093/heapol/czs077. Epub 2012 Sep 16. PubMed PMID:22987824.


Prevention and control of cancer and chronic disease; the development of primary healthcare and general practitioner training in China

Back to top