Department: Pathobiology and Population Sciences

Campus: Hawkshead

Research Groups: Sustainable Food Systems, IRLFS (Research Programme), CPCS (Research Programme)

Dr Zhangrui Cheng is a Research Fellow in Reproduction, Veterinary Pharmacology and Bioinformatics.

I received a bachelor degree of veterinary medicine from Hunan Agricultural University (China) in 1982. After completing my MSc degree in Beijing Agricultural University and Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science (CAAS) in 1984, I worked in Lanzhou Institute of Animal Science and Veterinary Pharmaceuticals, CAAS as a research fellow for 8 years. I undertook a number of research projects, including “blood rheology and dynamics and their uses in veterinary medicine and traditional Chinese veterinary medicine”, “Developing the computer programme software for pharmacokinetics (PK) modelling and analysis” and “Epidemiological studies on reproductive diseases in dairy cows”.

In 1993, I moved to the Department of Veterinary Pharmacology, Glasgow University to undertake research leading to a PhD. My research work was to investigated 1) the PK/pharmacodynamics (PD) behaviours of some non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in plasma and inflammatory site using donkey, goat and sheep as models and 2) the cyclo-oxygenase isoenzyme selectivity of NSAIDs to determine the therapeutic and side effects of NSAIDs.

Since 1997, I have joined the Royal Veterinary College based on the Reproduction group in Hawkshead campus. Working with Professor DC Wathes, I have developed my knowledge and experience in reproductive physiology and nutrition with particular interests in effect of polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFAs) supplementation on reproductive processes and diseases. I have also worked with Professor P Lees to investigate the PK/PD processes of NSAIDs and antimicrobial drugs in farm animals. Based on the requirements of the research activities, I have also developed my interests, knowledge and skills in molecular biology, applied statistics, functional genomics and bioinformatics.

• The effect of PUFA supplementation on female reproductive processes (especially ovulation, luteolysis, pregnancy and parturition) and diseases (infection and immunity).
• PK and PD of antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory drugs in farm animals.
• Resistance of bacterial pathogens to antimicrobial drugs: mechanisms and avoidance.
• Gene expression patterns and pathways in female reproductive processes, diseases and treatments, and in the animals with stress.

  1. Cheng Z, Buggiotti L, Salavati M, Marchitelli C, Palma-Vera S, Wylie A, Takeda H, Tang L, Mark Crowe MA, Wathes DC and GplusE consortium (2021) Global transcriptomic profiles of circulating leucocytes in early lactation cows with clinical or subclinical mastitis. Molecular Biology Reports. In Press.
  2. Cheng Z, Wylie A, Ferris C, Ingvartsen KL, Wathes DC and GplusE consortium (2021) Effect of diet and non-esterified fatty acid levels on global transcriptomic profiles in circulating peripheral blood mononuclear cells in early lactation dairy cows. Journal of Dairy Science. In Press.
  3. Wathes DC, Cheng Z, Salavati M, Buggiotti L, Takeda H, Tang L, Becker F, Ingvartsen KI, Ferris C, Hostens M, Crowe MA, Gplus EC (2021) Relationships between metabolic profiles and gene expression in liver and leukocytes of dairy cows in early lactation. Journal of Dairy Science. 104(3):3596-616.
  4. Wang K, Thomas C, Zhang S, Wathes DC, Cheng Z (2021) Comparison of the Ability of High and Low Virulence Strains of Non-cytopathic Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus-1 to Modulate Expression of Interferon Tau Stimulated Genes in Bovine Endometrium. Frontiers in Veterinary Science. 8.DOI: 10.3389/fvets.2021.659330.
  5. Wathes DC, Oguejiofor CF, Thomas C, Cheng Z (2020) Importance of Viral Disease in Dairy Cow Fertility. Engineering (Beijing). 6(1):26-33.
  6. Li Y, Wang D, Wu X, He B, Cheng Z, Szenci O, Song P, Shao D, Zhang S, Yan Z (2020) Decreasing of S100A4 in bovine endometritis in vivo and in vitro. Theriogenology. 153:68-73.
  7. Buggiotti L, Cheng Z, Wathes DC, Gplus EC (2020) Mining the Unmapped Reads in Bovine RNA-Seq Data Reveals the Prevalence of Bovine Herpes Virus-6 in European Dairy Cows and the Associated Changes in Their Phenotype and Leucocyte Transcriptome. Viruses. 12(12).
  8. Oguejiofor CF, Thomas C, Cheng Z, Wathes DC (2019) Mechanisms linking bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) infection with infertility in cattle. Animal Health Research Reviews.1-14.
  9. Cheng Z, Brown LE, Wathes DC (2019) Bovine Viral Diarrhoea Virus Infection Disrupts Uterine Interferon Stimulated Gene Regulatory Pathways During Pregnancy Recognition in Cows. Viruses. 12(1).
  10. Chen X, Zhang S, Cheng Z, Pollott GE, Wathes DC (2019) Association between Single Nucleotide Polymorphism in RelA with Somatic Cell Count and Longevity Supports Importance of NF-κB Signalling in Cattle Health. Open Journal of Animal Sciences. 09(01):51-64.
  11. Ullah F, Bhattarai D, Cheng Z, Liang X, Deng T, Rehman ZU, Talpur HS, Worku T, Brohi RD, Safdar M, et al. (2018) Comparative Analysis of V-Akt Murine Thymoma Viral Oncogene Homolog 3 (AKT3) Gene between Cow and Buffalo Reveals Substantial Differences for Mastitis. BioMed Research International. 1-13.
  12. Timpson AJ, de Mestre AM, Elliott J, Harris PA, Cheng Z, Mirczuk SM, Callan L, Rainbow L, Menzies-Gow NJ (2018) Seasonal and Dietary Influences on Adipose Tissue and Systemic Gene Expression in Control and Previously Laminitic Ponies. Journal of Equine Veterinary Science. 69:84-95.
  13. Wathes DC and Cheng Z (2018) Polyunsaturated Fatty Biosynthesis and Metabolism in Reproductive Tissues. In Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Metabolism. Edited by Graham C Burdge. Academic Press and AOCS Press. Oxford, UK. Book chapter.
  14. Cheng Z, Chauhan L, Barry AT, Abudureyimu A, Oguejiofor CF, Chen X, Wathes DC. (2017) Acute bovine viral diarrhoea virus infection inhibits expression of interferon tau-stimulated genes in bovine endometrium. Biology of Reproduction. doi: 10.1093/biolre/iox056.
  15. Yan B, Wang D, Dong S, Cheng Z, Na L, Sang M, Yang H, Yang Z, Zhang S, Yan Z. (2017) Palmatine inhibits TRIF-dependent NF-kappaB pathway against inflammation induced by LPS in goat endometrial epithelial cells. International Immunopharmacology. 45:194-200.
  16. Oguejiofor CF, Cheng Z, Fouladi-Nashta AA, Wathes DC. (2017) Bovine Endometrial Cells Mount Innate Immune Response to the Intracellular Ligands CL097 and Poly(dA:dT) Indicating Roles against Uterine Viruses. Open Journal of Animal Sciences. 07:110-126.
  17. Dorey L, Pelligand L, Cheng Z, Lees P. (2017) Pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic integration and modelling of florfenicol for the pig pneumonia pathogens Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae and Pasteurella multocida. PLoS One. 12:e0177568.
  18. Dorey L, Pelligand L, Cheng Z, Lees P. (2017) Pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic integration and modelling of oxytetracycline for the porcine pneumonia pathogens Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae and Pasteurella multocida. Journal of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics. doi: 10.1111/jvp.12385.
  19. Chen X, Zhang S, Cheng Z, Cooke JS, Werling D, Wathes DC, Pollott GE. (2017) Polymorphisms in the selectin gene cluster are associated with fertility and survival time in a population of Holstein Friesian cows. PLoS One. 12:e0175555.
  20. Cheng Z, Abudureyimu A, Oguejiofor CF, Ellis R, Barry AT, Chen X, Anstaett OL, Brownlie J, Wathes DC (2016) BVDV alters uterine prostaglandin production during pregnancy recognition in cows. Reproduction151(6):605-14.
  21. Chen X, Cheng Z, Werling D, Pollott GE, Salavati M, Johnson KF, Khan FA, Wathes DC, Zhang S (2016) Bovine P-selectin mediates leukocyte adhesion and is highly polymorphic in dairy breeds. Research in Veterinary Science. 108:85-92.
  22. Oguejiofor CF, Cheng Z, Abudureyimu A, Fouladi-Nashta AA, Wathes DC (2015) Global transcriptomic profiling of bovine endometrial immune response in vitro. I. Effect of lipopolysaccharide on innate immunity. Biology of Reproduction93(4):100, 1-13.
  23. Oguejiofor CF, Cheng Z, Abudureyimu A, Anstaett OL, Brownlie J, Fouladi-Nashta AA, Wathes DC (2015) Global transcriptomic profiling of bovine endometrial immune response in vitro. II. Effect of bovine viral diarrhea virus on the endometrial response to lipopolysaccharide. Biology of Reproduction93(4):101, 1-16.
  24. Elmes M, Szyszka A, Pauliat C, Clifford B, Daniel Z, Cheng Z, Wathes C, McMullen S (2015) Maternal age effects on myometrial expression of contractile proteins, uterine gene expression, and contractile activity during labor in the rat. Physiological Report3(4).
  25. Cheng Z, Oguejiofor CF, Swangchan-Uthai T, Carr S, Wathes DC (2015) Relationships between Circulating Urea Concentrations and Endometrial Function in Postpartum Dairy Cows. Animals (Basel). 5(3):748-73.
  26. Cheng Z, Abayasekara DR, Elmes M, Kirkup S, Wathes DC (2015) Effect of oleic acid supplementation on prostaglandin production in maternal endometrial and fetal allantochorion cells isolated from late gestation ewes. Placenta36(9):1011-7.
  27. Chen X, Cheng Z, Zhang S, Werling D, Wathes DC (2015) Combining Genome Wide Association Studies and Differential Gene Expression Data Analyses Identifies Candidate Genes Affecting Mastitis Caused by Two Different Pathogens in the Dairy Cow. Open Journal of Animal Sciences05(04):358-93.
  28. Chang W-h, Zhang Y, Cheng Z, Zhao X-x, Wang J-h, Ma Y-j, Hu J-j, Zhang Q-w (2015) Identification of novel and differentially expressed microRNAs in ovine ovary and testis tissues using Solexa sequencing and bioinformatics. Journal of Integrative Agriculture14(8):1604-16.
  29. Cheng, Z, O'Connor, EA, Jia, Q, Demmers, TG, Wathes, CM, Wathes, DC (2014) Chronic ammonia xposure does not influence hepatic gene expression in growing pigs. Animal : an international journal of animal bioscience 8, 331-337.
  30. Wu, JJ, Song, LJ, Wu, FJ, Liang, XW, Yang, BZ, Wathes, DC, Pollott, GE, Cheng, Z, Shi de, S, Liu, QY, Yang, LG, Zhang, SJ (2013) Investigation of transferability of BovineSNP50 BeadChip from cattle to water buffalo for genome wide association study. Molecular biology reports 40, 743-750.
  31. Swangchan-Uthai, T, Chen, Q, Kirton, SE, Fenwick, MA, Cheng, Z, Patton, J, Fouladi-Nashta, AA, Wathes, DC (2013) Influence of energy balance on the antimicrobial peptides S100A8 and S100A9 in the endometrium of the post-partum dairy cow. Reproduction 145, 527-539.
  32. Lees, P, Cheng, Z, Chambers, M, Speirs, G, Hennessy, D, Abbott, EM (2013) Pharmacokinetics and bioequivalence in the pig of two ivermectin feed formulations. Journal of veterinary pharmacology and therapeutics 36, 350-357.
  33. Illambas, J, Potter, T, Cheng, Z, Rycroft, A, Fishwick, J, Lees, P (2013) Pharmacodynamics of marbofloxacin for calf pneumonia pathogens. Research in veterinary science 94, 675-681.
  34. Illambas, J, Potter, T, Sidhu, P, Rycroft, AN, Cheng, Z, Lees, P (2013) Pharmacodynamics of florfenicol for calf pneumonia pathogens. The Veterinary record 172, 340.
  35. Cheng, Z, Abayasekara, DR, Ward, F, Preece, DM, Raheem, KA, Wathes, DC (2013) Altering n-3 to n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid ratios affects prostaglandin production by ovine uterine endometrium. Animal reproduction science 143, 38-47.
  36. Brentnall, C, Cheng, Z, McKellar, QA, Lees, P (2013) Influence of oxytetracycline on carprofen pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics in calves. Journal of veterinary pharmacology and therapeutics 36, 320-328.
  37. Brentnall, C, Cheng, Z, McKellar, QA, Lees, P (2013)  Pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic integration and modelling of oxytetracycline administered alone and in combination with carprofen in calves. Research in veterinary science 94, 687-694.
  38. Brentnall, C, Cheng, Z, McKellar, QA, Lees, P (2012) Pharmacodynamics of oxytetracycline administered alone and in combination with carprofen in calves. The Veterinary record 171, 273.
  39. Brentnall, C, Cheng, Z, McKellar, QA, Lees, P (2012) Potency and selectivity of carprofen enantiomers for inhibition of bovine cyclooxygenase in whole blood assays. Research in veterinary science 93, 1387-1392.
  40. Lees, P, Cheng, Z, Keefe, TJ, Weich, E, Bryd, J, Cedergren, R, Cozzi, E (2012) Bioequivalence in dogs of a meloxicam formulation administered as a transmucosal oral mist with an orally administered pioneer suspension product. Journal of veterinary pharmacology and therapeutics.
  41. Sherlock, L, McKeegan, DE, Cheng, Z, Wathes, CM, Wathes, DC (2012) Effects of contact dermatitis on hepatic gene expression in broilers. British poultry science 53, 439-452.
  42. Sherlock, L., Wathes, CM, Cheng, Z, Wathes, DC (2012) Differential hepatic gene expression in the broiler chicken in response to the combined stressors of food withdrawal, catching and transport at the end of production. Stress 15, 293-305.
  43. Swangchan-Uthai, T, Lavender, CR, Cheng, Z, Fouladi-Nashta, AA, Wathes, DC (2012) Time course of defense mechanisms in bovine endometrium in response to lipopolysaccharide. Biology of reproduction 87, 135.
  44. Cheng, Z, Elmes, M, Kirkup, S, Abayasekara, DR, Wathes, DC (2011) Effects of n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids on prostaglandin production in ovine fetal chorion cells in vitro in late gestation ewes. Placenta 32, 752-756.
  45. Elmes, MJ, Tan, DS, Cheng, Z, Wathes, DC, McMullen, S (2011) The effects of a high-fat, high-cholesterol diet on markers of uterine contractility during parturition in the rat. Reproduction 141, 283-290.
  46. Swangchan-Uthai, T, Walsh, SW, Alexander, SL, Cheng, Z, Crowe, MA, Evans, AC, Wathes, DC (2011) Comparison of mRNA for IGFs and their binding proteins in the oviduct during the peri-oestrous period between dairy heifers and lactating cows. Reproduction 142, 457-465.
  47. Wathes, DC, Cheng, Z, Fenwick, MA, Fitzpatrick, R, Patton, J (2011) Influence of energy balance on the somatotrophic axis and matrix metalloproteinase expression in the endometrium of the postpartum dairy cow. Reproduction 141, 269-281.
  48. Kirkup, SE, Cheng, Z, Elmes, M, Wathes, DC, Abayasekara, DR (2010) Polyunsaturated fatty acids modulate prostaglandin synthesis by ovine amnion cells in vitro. Reproduction 140, 943-951.
  49. Murugan M, Fenwick M, Cheng Z, Sharma M, Singh D, Wathes DC (2010) IGF1 induces up-regulation of steroidogenic and apoptotic regulatory genes via activation of phosphatidylinositol-dependent kinase/AKT in bovine granulosa cells. Reproduction139 (1), 139-151.
  50. Wathes DC, Cheng Z, Chowdhury W, Fenwick M, Fitzpatrick R, Morris D, Patton J, Murphy J (2009) Negative energy balance alters global gene expression and immune responses in the uterus of postpartum dairy cows. Physiological Genomics39(1), 1-13.
  51. Swali A, Cheng Z, Bourne N, Wathes DC (2008) metabolic traits affecting growth rates of pre-pubertal calves and their relationship with subsequent survival. Domestic Animal Endocrinology35, 300-313.
  52. Childs S, Hennessy AA, Sreenan JM, Wathes DC, Cheng Z, Stanton C, Diskin MG, Kenny DA (2008) Effect of level of dietary n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation on systemic and tissue fatty acid concentrations and on selected reproductive variables in cattle. Theriogenology70(4), 595-611.
  53. Haworth GM, Tranter WP, Chuck JN, Cheng Z, Wathes DC (2008) Relationships between age at first calving and first lactation milk yield, and lifetime productivity and longevity in dairy cows. Veterinary Record162, 643-647.
  54. Wathes DC, Fenwick M, Cheng Z, Bourne N, Llewellyn S, Morris DG, Kenny D, Murphy J, Fitzpatrick R (2007) Influence of negative energy balance on cyclicity and fertility in the high producing dairy cow. Theriogenology, 68, Suppl 1, S232-241.
  55. Wathes DC, Brickell JS, Bourne N, Swali A, Cheng Z (2007) Factors influencing heifer survival and fertility on commercial dairy farms (review). In 'Fertility in dairy cows : bridging the gaps'. Liverpool pp. 1135-1143. (Cambridge University Press).
  56. Wathes DC, Bourne N, Cheng Z, Mann GE, Taylor VJ, Coffey MP (2007) Multiple Correlation Analyses of Metabolic and Endocrine Profiles with Fertility in Primiparous and Multiparous Cows. Journal of Dairy Science90(3)1310-1325
  57. Wathes DC, Cheng Z, Bourne N, Taylor VJ, Coffey MP, Brotherstone S (2007) Differences between primiparous and multiparous dairy cows in the inter-relationships between metabolic traits, milk yield and body condition score in the periparturient period. Domestic Animal Endocrinology33, 203–225.
  58. Cheng Z, Abayasekara DRE, Wathes DC (2005) The effect of supplementation with n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids on 1-, 2- and 3-series prostaglandin F production by ovine uterine epithelial cells. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta1736, 128 – 135.
  59. Cheng Z, Elmes M, Kirkup SE, Chin E, Abayasekara DRE, Wathes DC(2005) The effect of a diet supplemented with the n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) linoleic acid on prostaglandin production in early and late pregnant ewes. Journal of Endocrinology184, 165-178.
  60. Elmes M, Green LR, Poore K, Newman J, Burrage D, Abayasekara R, Cheng Z, Hanson MA, Wathes DC (2005) Raised dietary n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid intake increases 2-series prostaglandin production during labour in the ewe. Journal of Physiology562, 583-592.
  61. Taylor VJ, Cheng Z, Pushpakumara PGA, Beever DE, Wathes DC (2004) Relationships between the plasma concentrations of insulin-like growth factor-I in dairy cows and their fertility and milk yield. Veterinary Record155, 583-588.
  62. Elmes M, Tew P, Cheng Z, Kirkup SE, Abayasekara DR, Calder PC, Hanson MA, Wathes DC, Burdge GC (2004) The effect of dietary supplementation with linoleic acid to late gestation ewes on the fatty acid composition of maternal and fetal plasma and tissues and the synthetic capacity of the placenta for 2-series prostaglandins. Biochimica et Biohpysica Acta, 1686, 139-47.
  63. Cheng Z, Elmes M, Kirkup SE, Abayasekara DRE, Wathes DC (2004) Alteration of prostaglandin production and agonist responsiveness by n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids in endometrial cells from late-gestation ewes. Journal of Endocrinology, 182, 249-256.
  64. Wathes DC, Taylor VJ, Cheng Z, Mann GE (2003) Follicle growth, corpus luteum function and their effects on embryo development in postpartum dairy cows. Reproduction Supplement61, 219-237.
  65. Cheng Z, Elmes M, Abayasekara DRE, Wathes DC (2003) Effects of conjugated linoleic acid on prostaglandins produced by cells isolated from maternal intercotylrdonary endometrium, fetal allantochorion and amnion in late pregnant ewes.  Biochimica et Biohpysica Acta, 1633, 170-178.
  66. Cheng Z, Nolan A, Monteiro A, McKellar Q (2003) Enantioselective pharmacokinetics and cyclo-oxygenase inhibition of carprofen and carprofen enantiomers in sheep. Journal of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics26, 1-4.
  67. Cheng Z, Nolan A, McKellar Q(2002) Anti-inflammatory effects of carprofen, carprofen enantiomers and NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester in sheep. American Journal of Veterinary Research63, 782-788.
  68. Robinson RS, Pushpakumara PGA, Cheng Z, Peters AR, Abayasekara DRE, Wathes DC (2002). Effects of dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids on ovarian function in the lactating dairy cow. Reproduction, 124, 119-131.
  69. Cheng Z, Robinson RS, Pushpakumara PG, Mansbridge RJ, Wathes DC (2001) Effect of dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids on uterine prostaglandin synthesis in the cow. Journal of Endocrinology171, 463-473.
  70. Leung ST, Cheng Z, Sheldrick EL, Derecka K, Flint APF, Wathes, DC (2001) The effect of lipopolysaccharide and interleukins-1, -2 and –6 on oxytocin recpetor expression and prostaglandin production in bovine endometrium. Journal of Endocrinology,168, 497-508.
  71. Wathes DC, Talor VJ, Cheng Z (2001) Metabolic interactions with fertility. Cattle Practice9, 291-296.
  72. Wathes DC, Beever, DE, Cheng Z, Pushpakumara, PGA and Taylor VJ(2001) Lifetime organisation and management of reproduction in the dairy cow. In BSAS Occasional Publication 28 "Integrated management systems for livestock" pp59-69.
  73. Wathes DC, Robinson RS, Pushpakumara A, Cheng Z, Abayasekara DRE (1998) Nutritional effects on reproductive performance in dairy cows. Cattle Practice6, 371-377.
  74. Leven RA, Leung ST, Cheng Z (1998) The use of oxytocin to prevent retained placeta after induction with cloprostenol. Cattle Practice6, 291-296.
  75. Cheng Z, Nolan A, McKellar Q(1998) Measurement of cyclooxygenase inhibition in vivo: a study of two non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs in sheep. Inflammation, 22, 353-366.
  76. Cheng Z, McKellar Q, Nolan A (1998) Pharmacokinetic studies of flunixin meglumine and phenylbutazone in plasma, exudate and transudate in sheep. Journal of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 21, 315-321.
  77. Cheng Z, Welsh E, Nolan A, McKellar Q (1997) Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic studies on phenylbutazone and oxyphenbutazone in goats. Veterinary Record, 140, 40-43.
  78. Cheng Z, McKellar Q, Nolan A, Lees P (1996) Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic studies on flunixin meglumine in donkeys. Veterinary Research Communications, 20, 469-472. (Short Communication).
  79. Cheng Z, Mckellar Q, Nolan A, Lees P (1996) Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic studies on phenylbutazone and oxyphenbutazone in donkeys. Journal of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 19, 149-151. (Short Communication).
  80. Ali BH, Cheng Z, Hadrami GEl, Bashir, AK, McKellar QA (1996 ) Comparative pharmacokinetics of paracetamol and its sulphate and glucuronides metabolites in desert camels and goats. Journal of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics19, 238-244.

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