Sen Pei

  • Assistant Professor of Environmental Health Sciences
Profile Headshot


Sen Pei is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University. With a background in applied mathematics, network science, and complex systems, he studies the effects of environmental, social, and ecological conditions on infectious diseases using a variety of data sources, including surveillance data, human mobility, climate data, and electronic health records. He develops mathematical models and computational tools to advance surveillance, forecasting, and control of both seasonal and emerging infectious agents. His recent studies focus on respiratory viruses such as influenza and COVID-19 and antimicrobial-resistant pathogens in healthcare systems.

Office Location: 722 West 168th Street, ARB 1104A

Academic Appointments

  • Assistant Professor of Environmental Health Sciences

Administrative Titles

  • Director, Environmental Health Data Science MS

Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • BS, 2010 Beihang University
  • PhD, 2015 Beihang University & City College of New York


Research Interests

  • Biostatistical Methods
  • Infectious Diseases

Selected Publications

Pei, S., Yamana, T., Kandula, S., Galanti, M., Shaman, J. Burden and characteristics of COVID-19 in the United States during 2020. Nature 598, 338-341 (2021).

Pei, S., Liljeros, F., Shaman, J. Identifying asymptomatic spreaders of antimicrobial resistant pathogens in hospital settings. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 118, e2111190118 (2021).

Ma, Y., Pei, S., Shaman, J., Dubrow, R., Chen, K. Role of meteorological factors in the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in the United States. Nature Communications 12, 3602 (2021).

Pei, S., Teng, X., Lewis, P., Shaman, J. Optimizing respiratory virus surveillance networks using uncertainty propagation. Nature Communications 12, 222 (2021).

Xu, X.-K.*, Wang, L.*, Pei, S.* Multiscale mobility explains differential associations between the gross domestic product and COVID-19 transmission in Chinese cities. Journal of Travel Medicine 28, taaa236 (2021). (* Equal contribution)

Pei, S., Kandula, S., Shaman, J. Differential effects of intervention timing on COVID-19 spread in the United States. Science Advances 6, eabd6370 (2020).

Zhou, B.*, Pei, S.*, Muchnik, L., Meng, X., Xu, X., Sela, A., Havlin, S., Stanley, H. E. Realistic modelling of information spread using peer-to-peer diffusion patterns. Nature Human Behaviour, 4, 1198-1207 (2020). (* Equal contribution)

Li, R.*, Pei, S.*, Chen, B.*, Song, Y., Zhang, T., Yang, W., Shaman, J. Substantial undocumented infection facilitates the rapid dissemination of novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV2). Science 368, 489-493 (2020). (* Equal contribution)

Pei, S., Morone, F., Liljeros, F., Makse, H. A., Shaman, J. Inference and control of the nosocomial transmission of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. eLife 7, e40977 (2018).

Pei, S., Kandula, S., Yang, W., Shaman, J. Forecasting the spatial transmission of influenza in the United States. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 115, 2752-2757 (2018).