Wei Cheng, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Biological Chemistry
Associate Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences
Associate Professor, Biophysics
College of Pharmacy
3565 C C Little
428 Church Street
Ann Arbor MI 48109-1065


(734) 763-3709


Biological Chemistry, Medical School
Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy
Biophysics, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts

Areas of Interest

Research Interests

  • Exploring fundamental questions that can enlighten therapeutic strategies
  • Developing and applying state-of-the-art single-particle and single-molecule manipulation and visualization techniques to improve therapeutic development and delivery

Professor Cheng’s lab develops and applies single-molecule techniques to important fundamental questions in biology and disease, with a special focus on mechanisms of HIV infection. For example, understanding the efficiency with which a virus transmits itself among host cells can enlighten therapeutic strategies to block virion infection, as well as improve vaccine and gene delivery using viruses as vectors. Addressing such questions is often limited by our understanding of these processes at molecular and cellular levels, which is one of many reasons the Cheng lab studies and dissects these processes, aided by novel biophysical techniques developed by the lab. 

Additional Cheng Research Lab Information:  CLICK HERE

Current Cheng Research Lab Members:          CLICK HERE



B.S., Biology, University of Science & Technology of China (USTC), graduated one year ahead of normal schedule

Ph.D., Molecular Biophysics, Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences, Washington University School of Medicine

Postdoctoral training, Carlos Bustamante Lab, University of California at Berkeley

After earning a BS in biology from the University of Science and Technology of China, Wei Cheng completed his PhD in molecular biophysics at Washington University, in St. Louis, Mo., and did postdoctoral training at UC-Berkeley. In 2009, he accepted an endowed assistant professor position with the University of Michigan.



  • PHARMACY Pharmaceutical Sci - Faculty and Staff
  • College of Pharmacy - Faculty and Staff
  • LSA Biophysics - Faculty and Staff
  • College of Lit, Science & Arts - Faculty and Staff
  • UMH MCIT CIO Administration - Sponsored Affiliate
  • Biological Chemistry Dept - Faculty and Staff, Joint Faculty Appointee
  • Medical School - Faculty and Staff


Honors & Awards

Basil O'Connor Starter Scholar 2011

NIH Director's New Innovator Award 2011

3M Nontenured Faculty Award 2012

NSF CAREER Award 2012

George Fishman Memorial Fund 2013


Published Articles or Reviews

Selected Publications

  • Y. Pang, H. Song, J. H. Kim, X. Hou, and W. Cheng. (2014). Optical Trapping of Individual Human Immunodeficiency Viruses in Culture Fluid Reveals Heterogeneity with Single-Molecule Resolution. Nature Nanotechnology 9: 624-630.
  • B. Koh, G. Kim, H. Yoon, J. B. Park, R. Kopelman, and W. Cheng. (2012). Fluorophore and Dye-Assisted Dispersion of Carbon Nanotubes in Aqueous Solution. Langmuir 28: 11676-11686.
  • W. Cheng, S. G. Arunajadai, J. R. Moffitt, I. Tinoco Jr., and C. Bustamante. (2011). Single Base Pair Unwinding and Asynchronous RNA Release by the HCV NS3 Helicase. Science 333: 1746-1749.
  • X. Hou and W. Cheng. (2011). Single-Molecule Detection Using Continuous-Wave Excitation of Two-Photon Fluorescence. Opt. Lett. 36: 3185-3187. (Also selected for publication in the Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics)
  • X. Hou and W. Cheng. (2012). Optical Tweezers. In: Roberts GC. Encyclopedia of Biophysics. Heidelberg, Springer.

Recent Publications

  • Byumseok Koh; Wei Cheng The Impact of Sonication on the Surface Quality of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes. Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. 2015;():
  • Li-Hong Xin; Jing Wang; Zhen Wang; Wei Cheng; Wen Zhang Effect of Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection on function of T lymphocytes in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of asthmatic children. Chinese Journal of Contemporary Pediatrics. 2014;16(3):277-280
  • Byumseok Koh; Wei Cheng Mechanisms of carbon nanotube aggregation and the reversion of carbon nanotube aggregates in aqueous medium. Langmuir. 2014;30(36):10899-10909
  • Yuanjie Pang; Hanna Song; Jin H. Kim; Ximiao Hou; Wei Cheng Optical trapping of individual human immunodeficiency viruses in culture fluid reveals heterogeneity with single-molecule resolution. Nature Nanotechnology. 2014;9(8):624-630
  • Wei Cheng; Weikai Li Structural insights into ubiquinone biosynthesis in membranes. Science. 2014;343(6173):878-881

For a list of publications, click HERE

Web Sites