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John S. Ji

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    Tsinghua University, Mingli Building 4 Fl 420C10, Beijing, China, 100084

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Johns Hopkins University, BA in Neuroscience, 2008

Harvard School of Public Health, ScM in Epidemiology, 2010

Harvard School of Public Health, ScD in Environmental Health, 2013

Academic Appointments

Assistant Professor of Environmental Health Science, Duke Kunshan University, 2017-2021; Director of Graduate Studies, iMEP program, 2017-2020

Assistant Professor (secondary), Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, 2017-2021

Associate Professor, Vanke School of Public Health, Tsinghua University, 2021-current

Research Interests

My research area is global environmental health. Our research group uses real-world evidence involving epidemiologic or occupational cohorts to examine the impact of environmental changes on population health. We use exposure assessment tools such as earth satellite imagery, ground-based pollution monitors, and geographical information system to assess external exposure changes. Second, we use biological markers (aka biomarkers) as an indicator of biological processes or responses to environmental changes or pollution. Third, we use statistical techniques to quantify the association or causation of disease outcomes. Our research team is particularly interested in the role of the environment on longevity and aging-related outcomes. We hope our findings can influence design of urban environments to prevent disease and save lives.


environmental epidemiology, neuroepidemiology, healthy aging, healthy city, climate change and health


Public Health Research Methods

Membership and Experiences

International Society of Environmental Epidemiology (member)

American Public Health Association (member)

Chinese Preventive Medicine Association (member)

The Lancet, Senior Editor (2017)

Harvard University Center for the Environment Graduate Consortium (2012)

Select Publications

Full Publication List

Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=-lrEs0sAAAAJ&hl=en

PubMed: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/?term=ji+john

Healthy Cities and Aging

John S Ji, Linxin Liu, Lijing Yan, Yi Zeng. "Comparing Effects of FOXO3A and Residing in Urban Areas on Longevity: A Gene-Environment Interaction Study." The Journals of Gerontology: Series A, 2021 DOI: 10.1093/gerona/glab362

Shuyi Qiu, Xiaofang Chen, Guojin Luo, Yu Guo, Zheng Bian, Liming Li, Zhengming Chen, Xianping Wu, John S Ji*. "Solid fuel use, socioeconomic indicators and risk of cardiovascular diseases and all-cause mortality: a prospective cohort study in a rural area of Sichuan, China". International Journal of Epidemiology, 2021  DOI: 10.1093/ije/dyab191

John S. Ji*, Anna Zhu, Yuebin Lv, Xiaoming Shi*. “Interaction between Residential Greenness and Air Pollution Mortality: Analysis of the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey (CLHLS).” The Lancet Planetary Health, 2020  DOI: 10.1016/S2542-5196(20)30027-9

John S. Ji*, Anna Zhu, Chen Bai, Chih-Da Wu, Lijing Yan, Shenglan Tang, Yi Zeng, Peter James. “Residential Greenness and Mortality in a Cohort of Oldest-Old Women and Men in China.” The Lancet Planetary Health, 2019 DOI: 10.1016/S2542-5196(18)30264-X

“The Tsinghua–Lancet Commission on Healthy Cities in China: unlocking the power of cities for a healthy China.” The Lancet, 2018 DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(18)30486-0

Cognitive Function and Dementia

Linxin Liu, Huichu Li, Hari Iyer, Andy J. Liu, Yi Zeng and John S. Ji. "Apolipoprotein E Induced Cognitive Dysfunction: Mediation Analysis of Lipids and Glucose Biomarkers in an Elderly Cohort Study." Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 2021 DOI: 10.3389/fnagi.2021.727289

Xurui Jin, Chang Shu, Yi Zeng, Liming Liang, John S. Ji*. “Interaction of Greenness and Polygenic Risk Score of Alzheimer's Disease on Risk of Cognitive Impairment.” Science of the Total Environment. 2021 DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.148767

Anna Zhu, Chenkai Wu, Lijing Yan, Chih-Da Wu, Chen Bai, Xiaoming Shi, Yi Zeng, John S. Ji*. “Association of Residential Greenness and Cognitive Function: Analysis of the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey.” BMJ Nutrition, Prevention and Health, 2019 DOI: 10.1136/bmjnph-2019-000030

Heavy Metal and Micronutrients

Hui Miao, Yan Liu, Thomas C. Tsai, Joel Schwartz, John S. Ji*. “Association between Blood Lead Level and Uncontrolled Hypertension in the US Population (NHANES 1999-2016).” Journal of American Heart Association, 2020 DOI: 10.1161/JAHA.119.015533

Jia Wei, Tarannum Jaleel, Amanda S. MacLeod, John S. Ji*. “Inverted U-Shaped Relationship between Vitamin D and Eczema in US adults.” Allergy, 2019 DOI: 10.1111/all.13708

Jia Wei, John S. Ji*. “Association of Serum Vitamins with Eczema in US Adults (NHANES 2005-2006).” Dermatology, 2019 DOI: 10.1159/000502642

Jia Wei, John S Ji*. “Modification of vitamin B6 on the associations of blood lead levels and cardiovascular diseases in the US adults.” BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health, 2020  DOI: 10.1136/bmjnph-2020-000088

Ji, John S.*, Louis, ED, Sparrow D, Spiro, A, Hu H, Weisskopf MG. "Cumulative Lead Exposure and Tremor in a Cohort of Older Men: Impact of Lead Biomarkers in the VA Normative Aging Study." Environmental Health Perspectives, 2015 DOI: 10.1289/ehp.1408535

Ji, John S.*, Alexis Elbaz and Marc G. Weisskopf. "Association between Blood Lead and Walking Speed in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES 1999–2002)." Environmental Health Perspectives, 2013 DOI: 10.1289/ehp.1205918

Gene-environment Interaction

John S Ji*, Linxin Liu, Chang Shu, Lijing L Yan, Yi Zeng. "Sex Difference and Interaction of SIRT1 and FOXO3 Candidate Longevity Genes on Life Expectancy: A 10-year Prospective Longitudinal Cohort Study." The Journals of Gerontology: Series A, 2021 DOI: 10.1093/gerona/glab378

Yao Yao, Linxin Liu, Guang Guo, Yi Zeng, John S Ji*. “Interaction of Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) candidate longevity gene and particulate matter (PM2.5) on all-cause mortality: a longitudinal cohort study in China.” Environmental Health, 2021 DOI: 10.1186/s12940-021-00718-x

Linxin Liu, Anna Zhu Chang Shu, Yi Zeng, John S. Ji*. “Gene-Environment Interaction of Residential Greenness and FOXO on Mortality among Older Adults.” Rejuvenation Research, 2020. DOI: 10.1089/rej.2019.2301

Climate Change and Health

Haofan Zhang, Linxin Liu, Yi Zeng, Miaomiao Liu, Jun Bi, John S Ji*. "Effect of heatwaves and greenness on mortality among Chinese older adults." Environmental Pollution, 2021 DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2021.118009

Jianxiang Huang, Yi Xu, Phil Jones, Xiaojun Li, Mengdi Guo, Gang Liu, John S Ji. "Building energy and thermo-hydraulic simulation (BETHS) for district heat system in residential communities: A case of Shenyang, China" Energy and Buildings, 2021 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enbuild.2021.111114

Chengcheng Qiu, John S. Ji*, Michelle Bell. “Effect Modification of Greenness on Temperature-Mortality Relationship among Older Adults: A Case-Crossover Study in China.” Environmental Research, 2021. DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2021.111112

Anna Zhu, Yi Zeng, John S. Ji*. “Residential Greenness Alters Serum 25(OH)D Concentrations: A Longitudinal Cohort of Chinese Older Adults.” Journal of American Medical Directors Association, 2020 DOI: 10.1016/j.jamda.2020.04.026


Ji John S*, Chen Runsen, Zhao Bin. Megacity, Microscale Livable Space, and Major Depression. JAMA Network Open, 2021 DOI: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.30941

John S. Ji*, “Origins of MERS-CoV, and lessons for 2019-nCoV.” The Lancet Planetary Health, 2020. DOI: 10.1016/S2542-5196(20)30032-2

John S. Ji*, “The IMO 2020 sulphur cap: a step forward for planetary health?” The Lancet Planetary Health, 2020 DOI: 10.1016/S2542-5196(20)30002-4

John S. Ji*, “Time for Health to Enter China’s Climate Action Framework.” The Lancet Public Health, 2019 DOI: 10.1016/S2468-2667(19)30159-8

John S. Ji*, “China’s Air Pollution and Ageing Society.” The Lancet Public Health, 2018 DOI: 10.1016/S2468-2667(18)30179-8

We are actively recruiting graduate students, post-doctoral researchers, and visiting scientists to join us.

MPH: <https://vsph.tsinghua.edu.cn/jyjx/ggwsyjk_ssxm.htm>

IMPH: <https://vsph.tsinghua.edu.cn/jyjx/gjggws_IMPH_ssxm.htm>

PhD: <https://vsph.tsinghua.edu.cn/jyjx/bsxm.htm>

Post-doctoral fellow: <https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/SrqZeDfW44pe3HDe6Cww7Q>

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