Principal Research Fellow Shengjie Lai
Dr Shengjie Lai is currently leading the Dynamics and Mobility (DM)/Spatial Epidemiology and Public Health (SEPH) thematic group within WorldPop. Lai has an interdisciplinary education background across medicine, epidemiology, statistics, and geography, and has rich working experience in disease control institutes and universities. His research interests are investigating the spatiotemporal patterns and interactions between seasonal population movements, environmental changes and infectious disease transmission dynamics by using multidisciplinary approaches, e.g. GIS and epidemiology, and novel data sources, e.g. mobile phone and Internet check-in data, to provide an improved evidence-base for development and disease control decision-making.
Funded by national and international funders, he has made significant and influential research contribution on human mobility and emerging infectious diseases, with more than 140 peer-reviewed papers in prestigious journals such as Nature, Science, Lancet Infectious Diseases, BMJ, Nature Medicine, Nature Human Behaviour, Nature Communications, and Chinese Journal of Epidemiology. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he has led and conducted a series of influential studies for understanding the spreading risk and intervention effectiveness of SARS-CoV-2 and variants. These studies have had strong policy impacts for pandemic responses and been featured in global media outlets such as BBC and the Associated Press. Given his significant research achievements, he was awarded the 2019 Dean’s Prize for Research and the 2021 Vice-Chancellor’s Awards – Early Career, at the University of Southampton.