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Doctor Shengjie Lai

Dr Shengjie Lai

Principal Research Fellow

Research interests

  • Lai is interested in understanding the transmission dynamics and intervention effectiveness for infectious diseases; Quantifying seasonal human mobility, social connectivity and migration using novel data sources, e.g. mobile phone data; Investigating spatiotemporal interactions between human behaviour, environmental change and infectious disease dynamics.

More research

Accepting applications from PhD students.


Lai has been long engaged in interdisciplinary research focusing on human behaviour, population dynamics, environmental changes, and infectious disease transmission and interventions. He has >150 papers published in scientific journals such as Nature, Science, Lancet Infectious Diseases, Nature Medicine, Nature Human Behaviour, BMJ, and Nature Communications. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he has been leading a series of influential studies for understanding the COVID-19 transmission dynamics and intervention effectiveness, using epidemiological and mobility data obtained from different novel ‘big data’ sources. The findings of these studies have been timely shared with the WHO, Africa CDC, Europe CDC, China CDC, among others, for tailoring COVID-19 intervention strategies, and also featured in main media outlets across the world. His studies on exploring how to use mobile phone data for measuring population mobility, migration and dynamics have aroused great interest, being presented at multiple international conferences including the United Nations 5th International Conference on Big Data for Official Statistics.