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Jianguo Cheng, MD, PhD


Jianguo Cheng, MD, PhD

Appointed: 2006

Jianguo Cheng, MD, PhD
Department: Pain Management
Staff, Professor and Director
Location: Cleveland Clinic Main Campus
Mail Code C25
9500 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44195
Jianguo Cheng, MD, PhD
Department: Neurosciences
Staff, Professor
Location: Cleveland Clinic Main Campus
Mail Code C25
9500 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44195
Type of Doctor:
Adults Only

Biographical Sketch

Jianguo Cheng, MD, PhD, is Professor of Anesthesiology and Director of Cleveland Clinic Pain Medicine Fellowship Program. He is one of the 70 Best Pain Management Physicians in America (Becker's ASC Review). Board certified in both Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine by the American Board of Anesthesiology, Dr. Cheng is the Chairman of USA Section of World Institute of Pain and serves in Board of Directors of American Academy of Pain Medicine. He is also a Principal Physician Investigator in the Department of Neurosciences at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation Lerner Research Institute.

Dr. Cheng has received research grants of more than $3 million from the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense, and other funding agencies. He has published more than 90 research papers, review articles, and book chapters in scientific journals and textbooks. His clinical expertise and research interests are in the mechanisms and therapeutic strategies of chronic pain, spinal cord physiology of sensory-motor integration, and clinical application of neuromodulation.

Professional Highlights

  • Chairman, USA Section of World Institute of Pain
  • Council, World Institute of Pain
  • Board of Directors, American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM)
  • Chairman, AAPM Scientific Review/Clinical Guideline Committee
  • Executive Board Member, Association of Pain Program Directors 2013
  • Committee Member, American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) Committee on Pain Medicine
  • Committee Member, ASA Educational Track Subcommittee on Pain Medicine
  • Committee member, AAPM Educational Programs Committee
  • Member of National Institutes of Health Study sections/Grant review committee (National Institutes of Health Special Emphasis Panel/Scientific Review Group
  • Expert Reviewer of grant applications to the US Army Medical Research and Material Command, the Scientific Peer Advisory and Review Services division of the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS).
  • Published more than 90 research papers, reviews, and book chapters
  • Received research grants of nearly $4 million from the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense, and other funding agencies
  • Textbook Editor, Fundamentals of Pain Medicine (Springer, 2014)
  • Associate Editor, Pain Practice (Official Journal of World Institute of Pain)
  • Editorial Boards: Pain Practice, Pain Physician (Official Journal of Association of Interventional Pain Physicians), World Journal of Anesthesiology, and Journal of Perioperative Science (Executive Editor)
  • Invited reviewer for 20 journals, including Journal of Neurophysiology, American Journal of Physiology, Experimental Neurology, Clinical Journal of Pain, Anesthesia and Analgesia, and Anesthesiology
  • American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA), the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (ABPMR), and the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) board examination question writer (Author)
  • Chairman of Cleveland Clinic Pain Medicine Fellowship Education Committee
  • Member of Cleveland Clinic Anesthesiology Institute Research Advisory Committee, Education Committee, Visiting Professor Committee, Innovation Peer Review Committee
  • Previously worked or studied in Harvard University, University of Louisville, University of Alberta, University of Manitoba, University of Guelph, and Qingdao University
  • Trained more than 100 postdoctoral fellows, clinical fellows, and clinical research fellows
  • Received 36 honors and awards from institutions, societies, and government agencies
  • Recognized for professional achievements and representing the medical community in the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Editions of Covington Who's Who

Education & Fellowships

Fellowship - Massachusetts General Hospital
Pain Management/Anesthesia
Boston, MA USA
Residency - University of Louisville Hospital
Louisville, KY USA
Internship - University of Louisville Hospital
Louisville, KY USA
Other - University of Guelph
Guelph, Ontario Canada
Residency - Qingdao Medical College
Shandong China
Medical School - Qingdao Medical College
Bachelor of Medicine
Shandong China
Doctorate - University of Guelph
biophysics and neuroscience
Guelph, Ontario Canada


  • Anesthesiology
  • Anesthesiology- Pain Medicine

Specialty Interests

abdominal and pelvic pain, Abdominal Pain, abdominal pain and spinal cord stimulation for chronic pain, acute postoperative pain management, anesthesia for orthopedic surgery, back, back neuropathic, Back Pain, back/neck pain, cancer pain, CRP, complex regional pain syndrome, evaluation of back and neck pain, headache and orofacial pain, Headaches, interventional pain management, interventional pain management for back and neck pain, Low Back Pain, management of chronic pain, Neck Pain, neuromodulation, neuropathic, neuropathic pain, pain, pain management, pain management including spine, Pediatric Pain, pelvic pain, reflex sympathetic dystrophy, regional anesthesia, research, spinal cord stimulation, spine, spine pain

Awards & Honors

Dr. Cheng is named one of the 70 Best Pain Physicians in the US (Becker's ASC Review) and has received Patients' Choice Award, Passionate Doctor Award, and 30 other awards from academic, societal, and governmental agencies. As principle investigator, his research has been consistently funded in the last 18 years by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense, the Kentucky Spinal Cord and Head Injury Research Trust, the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research, and the Canadian NeuroScience Network of Centers of Excellence/Medical Research Council of Canada. As educator, he has trained more than 100 postdoctoral fellows, clinical research fellows, and clinical fellows. 

Additional Training

  • Leading in Healthcare Leadership Class, Cleveland Clinic Academy and Board of Governors, Cleveland, Ohio, 08/2009-05/2010.  A 10-month course focusing on leadership in healthcare, human resource management, emotional intelligence, finances, marketing, organizational culture and team building.
  • Program Director Certification Program, Cleveland Clinic Education Institute, Department of Faculty Development, 09/2011-05/2012. Certification of Distinguished Development Award,  September of 2013.
  • PhD, biophysics, Interdepartmental Group of Biophysics and Department of Human Biology, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, 1991-1995
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, electrophysiology of neurons: cell membrane and receptors, Department of Physiology/Spinal Cord Research Centre, University of Manitoba Faculty of Medicine, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, 1995-1996
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, neural control of locomotion: neural networks and therapeutic strategies, Division of Neuroscience/Department of Physiology, University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, 1996-1998

Innovations & Patents

Dr. Cheng is a recipient of the Cleveland Clinic 2012 and 2007 Inventor Awards for his achievements and innovations in effective treatment of back pain with a new technique of radiofrequency denervation of the sacroiliac joint and his investigation of the therapeutic application of gap junction inhibitors in the management of pain. He is also the inventor of a wheelchair powered by electrical stimulation of paralyzed leg muscles, designed for patients with spinal cord injury and the elderly.


  • Association of University Anesthesiologists
  • American Society of Anesthesiologists
  • American Academy of Pain Medicine
  • American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine
  • World Institute of Pain
  • Society for Neuroscience
  • Association of Pain Program Directors 

Treatment & Services

  • Acute Postoperative Pain Management
  • Celiac Plexus Block
  • Cervical, Thoracic And Lumbar Epidural Injections
  • Cervical, Thoracic And Lumbar Facet Joint Blocks
  • Cervical, Thoracic And Lumbar Radiofrequency Ablation
  • Comprehensive Pain Management
  • Diagnostic Epidural Differential Blocks
  • Discograms
  • Epidural Steroid Injection
  • Epiduroscopy
  • Facet Median Nerve Branch Block
  • Implantable Intrathecal Drug Delivery Systems
  • Implantable Spinal Cord Stimulaters Therapy
  • Intradiscal Intervention (idet, Biacculoplasty)
  • Intradiscal Procedure For Pain Relief
  • Intrathecal Baclofen Pump
  • Joint Injections
  • Management of Back and Neck Pain
  • Neuromodulation
  • Occipital Nerve Block
  • Occipital Nerve Stimulation
  • Pain Management
  • Peripheral Nerve Blocks
  • Placement Of Cervical And Lumbar Tunneled Epidural Catheters
  • Regional Anesthesia
  • Second Opinion Neuropathic Pain
  • Selective Nerve Root Injection
  • Spinal Cord Stimulation
  • Splanchenic Nerve Block
  • Sympathetic Nerve Blocks
  • Trigeminal Nerve Radiofrequency Ablation

Industry Relationships

Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists may collaborate with the pharmaceutical or medical device industries to help develop medical breakthroughs or provide medical expertise or education. Cleveland Clinic strives to make scientific advances that will benefit patient care and support outside relationships that promise public benefit. In order for the discoveries of Cleveland Clinic physicians' and scientists' laboratories and investigations to benefit the public, these discoveries must be commercialized in partnership with industry. As experts in their fields, Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists are often sought after by industry to consult, provide expertise and education.

To assure professional and commercial integrity in such matters, Cleveland Clinic maintains a program that reviews these collaborations and, when appropriate, puts measures in place to minimize bias that may result from ties to industry. The Cleveland Clinic publicly discloses the names of companies when (i) its physicians/scientists receive $5,000 or more per year (or, in rare cases, equity or stock options) for speaking and consulting, (ii) its physicians/scientists serve as a fiduciary, (iii) its physicians/scientists receive or have the right to receive royalties or (iv) its physicians/scientists hold any equity interest for the physician's/scientist's role as inventor, discoverer, developer, founder or consultant.* In publicly disclosing this information, the Cleveland Clinic tries to provide information as accurately as possible about its physicians' and scientists' connections with industry.

As of 2/9/2015, Dr. Cheng has reported no financial relationship with industry that is applicable to this listing. In general, patients should feel free to contact their doctor about any of the relationships and how the relationships are overseen by the Cleveland Clinic. To learn more about the Cleveland Clinic's policies on collaborations with industry and innovation management, go to our Integrity in Innovation page.

Public Health Service-Reportable Financial Conflicts of Interest. Cleveland Clinic scientists and physicians engage in basic, translational and clinical research activities, working to solve health problems, enhance patient care and improve quality of life for patients. Interactions with industry are essential to bringing the researchers’ discoveries to the public, but can present the potential for conflicts of interest related to their research activities. Click here to view a listing of instances where Cleveland Clinic has identified a Public Health Service (PHS)-Reportable Financial Conflict of Interest and has put measures in place to ensure that, to the extent possible, the design, conduct and reporting of the research is free from bias.

* Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists subscribe to the guidance presented in the PhRMA Code on Interactions with Healthcare Professionals and the AdvaMed Code of Ethics on Interactions with Health Care Professionals. As such, gifts of substantial value are generally prohibited.

Languages Spoken

  • Chinese
  • English