Wenjun Li is a Professor, Director - Health Statistics and Geography Lab at UMass Lowell.

Wenjun Li

Chair, Professor, Director - Health Statistics and Geography Lab

Health Sciences
Public Health, Center for Health Statistics and Biostatistics Core, Health Statistics and Geography Lab
O'Leary Library 540U


Aging - Epidemiology and Prevention of Falls in Older Age, Patient Reported Outcomes, Neighborhood Environment, Observational Cohort Studies, Design and Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials, Analysis of Hospital Discharge and ED Visit Databases, and Electronic Health Records

Research Interests

Wenjun is interested in applications of statistical and data science tools to investigate medical and public health problems. His areas of expertise include:

  1. aging and injury preventions in older age;
  2. mental health, substance and disabilities;
  3. assessment of community influences on health, health behaviors and health care among older adults;
  4. production and dissemination of community-level health statistics using small area estimation models to assist public health agencies prioritize public health preventions; and
  5. applications of GIS and spatiotemporal analysis in public health research.


Ph.D. Biostatistics, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA


Wenjun Li, Ph.D., is a statistician and epidemiologist with an intrinsic interest in the use of mathematical and statistical tools to investigate medical and public health problems. I was trained as a biologist and then a biostatistician. He has over 18 years of experience as PI for multiple NIH R01 or R21 studies and a CDC-funded large studies. In addition, he has long term experience and expertise in managing biostatistics and data management cores for NIH and AHRQ funded P01, U19 and UM projects, R01 RCTs and observational studies, and PCORI-funded pragmatic trials. His Health Statistics and Geography Lab is well funded, and currently has 10 FTE informatics, biostatistics and research staff. His lab currently hosts three doctoral students pursuing ScD in Epidemiology, and is recruiting new students.

Selected Publications

  1. Li W, Allison J, Lewis C, Bowen T, Ayers D, Franklin P. Functional gain and pain relief after total joint replacement according to obese status? Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2017 Jul 19;99(14):1183-1189. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.16.00960. PMC5508191. 
  2. Li W, Procter-Gray E, Lipsitz L, Leveille S, Hackman H, Biondolillo M, Hannan M. Utilitarian walking, neighborhood environment and risk for outdoor falls among older adults. Am J Public Health, 2014 Sep;104(9):e30-7. PMC4151909.
  3. Li W, Kelsey J, Zhang Z, Lemon S, Mezgebu S, Boddie-Willis C, Reed G. Small-area estimation and prioritizing communities for obesity control in Massachusetts. Am J Public Health, 2009, 99(3):511-9. PMC2642528.
  4. Duckham R, Procter-Grey E, Hannan M, Leveille S, Lipsitz L, Li W. Sex differences in circumstances and consequence of outdoor and indoor falls in older adults in MOBILIZE Boston cohort study. BMC Geriatrics.2013, 13:133. (PMC3907046)
  5. Olendzki B, Procter-Gray E, Wedick N, Patil V, Zheng H, Kane K, Land T, Li W. Disparities in access to healthy and unhealthy foods in Central Massachusetts: implications for public health policy. J Am Coll Nutr. 2015;34(2):150-8. (PMID: 25751264)
  6. Li W, Gouveia T, Sbarra C, Harding N, Kane K, Hayes R, Reid M. Has Boston’s 2011 cigar packaging and pricing regulation reduced youth access to cigars? Tob Control. 2017;26:135-140. (PMID: 27052096)
  7. Li W, Keegan TH, Sternfeld B, Sidney S, Quesenberry Jr. CP, and Kelsey JL. Outdoor falls in middle-aged and older adults: a neglected public health problem. American Journal of Public Health, 2006, 96 (7): 1192-200. (PMC1483851)
  8. Li W, Procter-Gray E, Lipsitz LA, Leveille SG, Hackman H, Biondolillo M, Hannan MT. Utilitarian walking, neighborhood environment and risk for outdoor falls among older adults. Amer. J Public Health, 2014, 104(9): e30-e37. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2014.302104. (PMC4151909)

Selected Contracts, Fellowships, Grants and Sponsored Research

R01 AG066492
Li (PI)
Neighborhood Risk Factors for Falls in the Elderly
CDC/NACDD # 1112021
Li (PI)
Improving Chronic Disease Surveillance and Management Through the Use of EHR (MENDS)
Smelson/Li/Gonzalez (MPI)
Supporting Treatment Access and Recovery for Co-Occurring Opioid Use and Mental Health Disorders (STAR-COD)