Research description

Research Areas

The overall topic focuses on health in aging, especially on health trends, cardiovascular risk factors, and vascular mechanisms of brain aging and dysfunction (e.g., cognitive decline, dementia, and functional dependence). Specific areas include:

  • Epidemiology (e.g., risk and protective factors, distribution, time trends, and determinants) of dementia and functional disability;
  • Cardiovascular risk factors (e.g., hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol) for cognitive decline, dementia, mobility limitation, and functional disability;
  • Microvascular diseases (e.g., cerebral microbleeds, white matter lesions, enlarged perivascular spaces, global and regional brain atrophy, and retinal microvascular disease) in brain aging and dysfunction;
  • Life-course approaches for intervention against brain aging and dysfunction.

My research involves extensive collaborations with several groups within Sweden and across Europe, America, and Asia-Pacific regions.


Research Projects

My research has been essentially based on several well-established population-based projects on health in aging. For example, the Kungsholmen Project, the Swedish National study on Aging and Care in Kungsholmen (SNAC-K), and the SNAC-K MRI Study in Stockholm, Sweden; The Age, Gene/Environment Susceptibility (AGES)-Reykjavik Study in Iceland sponsored jointly by US NIH and Icelandic Parliament; The National FINRISK Study and the Cardiovascular Risk Factors, Aging, and Dementia (CAIDE) in Finland; and the China Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS) and the Confucius Hometown Aging Project (CHAP) in China.


Research Funds

My research has been supported in part by the Swedish Research Council (VR), the Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research (FAS)/Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare (FORTE), and Karolinska Institutet.


1980–1985: Medical Degree, Shandong Medical University, Jinan, Shandong, China.

1987–1990: Master Degree in Epidemiology, Tianjin Medical University, Tianjin, China.

1996–1999: Doctoral Degree in Medical Epidemiology and Statistics, Tongji Medical University, Wuhan, Hubei, China.

2001–2004: Ph.D. in Geriatric Epidemiology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

2005-2006: Postdoctoral Training in Neuroepidemiology, National Institute on Aging (NIA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, Maryland, USA