Ying-Ying Meng

Ying-Ying Meng, DrPH, is the Director of Research at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. Meng has also served as a senior research scientist and co-director of the Chronic Disease Program at the Center for over 20 years. She has worked to establish the Center as a recognized source of important analyses of population-based data for understanding the relationship between physical and social environments and chronic disease morbidities. As the Director of Research, Meng facilitates and guides the center’s research endeavors, supports research staff, and builds on the Center’s nearly 30-year history of innovative research by promoting research partnerships. She has been the principal investigator/project director for numerous ground-breaking studies to examine the complex relationships between health and social position (e.g., poverty level, race/ethnicity), environmental context (e.g., policy, traffic/air pollution, access to care), and behavior (e.g., smoking); as well as heterogeneities in their relationships. Meng is currently leading a five-year statewide evaluation of the Priority Populations Initiative, which is funded by the California Department of Public Health California Tobacco Control Program (CDPH/CTCP), including 25 regional projects and 5 statewide coordinating centers, focused on African American and Black; Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander; Hispanic/Latino; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ); and rural populations. She is also a principal investigator for various grants, including a high-impact research project studying state and local policies on smoking behaviors and disparities, and a study that evaluates the impacts of short-term particulate matter exposures on work loss days in normal times or during and after wildfires. Meng has advanced expertise in using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to link health (i.e. survey and medical claim) and environment data for describing geographic patterns of inequity, using advanced geostatistical exposure modeling (e.g. land-use regression) to better characterize a living environment, and using a multi-level spatial logistic model to account for spatial correlations between social (e.g. policy and system) and physical environments. Meng has used the difference in difference (DD) analyses, multilevel mediation model, and propensity score matching to draw the causal inferences of the policy actions. Meng is on the editorial board of Frontiers in Environmental Health. She also served as a grant reviewer for the National Institutes of Health and the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Meng is also actively involved in student training and mentoring by creating learning opportunities for students via post-doctoral scholars, graduate student researchers, internships, and volunteers.

Before joining UCLA CHPR, Meng was the vice president of Wildflowers Institute. She worked as a senior researcher in the Quality Initiatives Division of Foundation Health Systems and as the director of programs at the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO). She also provided consultations to private, government, and international agencies. Meng received awards for her work, including a Kellogg Health Fellowship and World Health Organization Fellowship.

Meng has doctoral and master's degrees in health policy and administration from the University of California, Berkeley. She received her undergraduate education in English and literature from Fudan University and completed Chinese traditional medicine and Western medicine coursework in Shanghai, China.