Akihiro Nishi

Dr. Akihiro Nishi is an associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. He is a social epidemiologist specializing in network sciences and evolutionary game theory (see Nishi, Social Science & Medicine, 2015).

His areas of focus include the improvement of economic inequality and the inequality of well-being in online social networks (e.g. Nishi et al, Nature, 2015); examining health consequences of nationwide policies in aging countries such as Japan (e.g. Tamiya et al, Lancet, 2011); promoting motorcycle helmet use in Thailand (e.g. Nishi et al, Bulletin of WHO, 2018); and developing network interventions to address the COVID-19 pandemic (e.g. Nishi et al, PNAS, 2020: link below).

His research has had broad media attention, including the New York Times, CNN, NBC, PBS NewsHour, NHK News 7, and others. His papers are available through Google Scholar or PubMed (links below). He teaches Intro and Intermediate R (EPI 407A and B) as well as Social Network Analysis (EPI217). Nishi Research Lab is currently looking for creative researchers (postdocs, graduate, undergraduate, and high school students) and collaborators from around the world. Dr. Nishi is also actively looking for new research contracts, donations, and collaborations.


  • DPH, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard University, Boston, MA
  • MPH, Quantitative Methods, Harvard University, Boston, MA
  • MD Equivalent (Igakushi), The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan

Selected Publications

  • Nishi A, Dewey G, Endo A, Neman S, Iwamoto SK, Ni MY, Tsugawa Y, Iosifidis G, Smith JD, Young S. Network Interventions for Managing the COVID-19 Pandemic and Sustaining Economy. PNAS 2020,117,30285-30294
  • Nishi A, Singkham P, Takasaki Y, Ichikawa M, Chadbunchachai W, Shibuya K, Tanasugarn C. Role of motorcycle helmet use in achieving the National Action Plan in Thailand. Bulletin of World Health Organization 2018,96:5 514-514A
  • Nishi A,Christakis NA. Humanbehavior under economic inequality shapes inequality. PNAS 2015,112:52 15781-2
  • Nishi A, Shirado H, Rand DG, Christakis NA. Inequality and visibility of wealth in experimental social networks. Nature 2015,526,426-429
  • Nishi A*. Evolution and social epidemiology. Social Science & Medicine 2015,145, 132-7
  • Nishi A*,McWilliams JM, Noguchi H, Hashimoto H, Tamiya N, and Kawachi I. Health benefits from reduced patient cost sharing in Japan. Bulletin of the World Health Organization 2012,1:90 426-435A
  • Tamiya N, Noguchi H, Nishi A, Reich MR, Ikegami N, Hashimoto H, Shibuya K, Kawachi I, Campbell JC. Population ageing and wellbeing: lessons from Japan’s long-term care insurance policy. Lancet 2011,378:9797 1183-92
  • Google Scholar
  • PubMed