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Heng-wei Cheng

Animal Sciences 

  • Research Biologist, USDA-ARS Livestock Behavior Research Unit
POUL Room 216A
125 S. Russell St.
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2042

Area of Expertise: Animal Behavior and Well-Being

Education: M.D., Medical School, Tongnang University; M.S., Harbin Medical University; Ph.D., Medical School, Wayne State University
Post-doctoral Training: University of Southern California

Research Program

Dr. Cheng's primary research interest is brain functioning in regulating stress response in farm animals, especially in poultry. His lab studies the cellular and molecular mechanisms of stress-induced neuronal plasticity and behavioral adaptation; and to develop neuroanatomical and neurophysiological quantitative indicators of animal well-being. His current research emphasis is on 1) pain in farm animals, following various management practices, such as beak trimming in poultry; 2) use of probiotics for improving animal well-being; 3) modification of caging environments to improve hen well-being; and 4) prenatal modification of neurotransmitter system for reducing aggression. Integrated morphological, molecular biological, pharmacological and behavioral approaches to the goal have been designed in my laboratory. 

USDA-ARS Homepage

Purdue Center for Animal Welfare Science

Awards & Honors

(2004) Certificate. MWA-USDA-ARS.

(2003) Certication. MWA-USDA-ARS.

Selected Publications

Cheng, H. (2005). Behavioural changes and production performance of laying hens in furnished cages vs. conventional cages. 37th Int. Cong. of ISAE, 136.

Cheng, H. (2005). Effects of chronic stress on response to social isolation in three genetic strains of Leghorn hens. 37th Int. Cong. of ISAE, 70.

Cheng, H. (2005). Genetic related differences in response to chronic stress in laying hens. 37th Int. Cong. of ISAE.

Cheng, H. (2005). Poultry Welfare Issues - Beak Trimming. In Acute and chronic pain in beak trimmed chickens (pp. 31-49).

Cheng, H. (2005). Effect of colour identification marking of feathers on behaviour, social dominance and corticosterone levels in laying hens. Applied Animal Behavior.

Cheng, H. (2005). Effects of bill-trimming on the welfare of muscovy ducks. Applied Animal Behavior.

Cheng, H. (2005). Effects of bill-trimming on the welfare of ducks. Int. Cong. of ISAE, 56.

Cheng, H. (2005). Behavioral, Physiological, and Histological Indicators of hypersensitivity or Chronic Pain Following Tail-docking in Dairy Cattle. Journal of Dairy Science.

Cheng, H. (2005). Appearance Matters: Artificial marking alters aggression and stress. Nature.

Cheng, H. (2005). Differential regulation of the growth-associated proteins GAP-43 and superior cervical ganglion 10 in response to lesions of the cortex and substantia nigra in the adult rat. Neuroscience, 135, 1231-1239.