Wan Yang, PhD

  • Assistant Professor of Epidemiology
Profile Headshot


Wan Yang, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health. Dr. Yang's research combines health data, mathematical modeling, and statistical inference methods to improve understanding of mechanisms governing disease systems and devise prevention and intervention strategies. For infectious diseases, she studies the transmission dynamics of infections including influenza, Ebola, measles, and COVID-19. She is also developing modeling and forecast systems to predict infectious disease outbreaks and test intervention strategies. In addition, she studies how environmental factors influence the transmission of respiratory infections and seasonality. For chronic diseases, Dr. Yang studies risk factors underlying the recent rise in early onset cancers.


Academic Appointments

  • Assistant Professor of Epidemiology


  • Female

Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • BS, 2006 South China University of Technology
  • MS, 2009 Tsinghua University
  • PhD, 2012 Virginia Tech


Research Interests

  • Biostatistical Methods
  • Infectious Diseases

Selected Publications

Yang W, Shaff J, Shaman J. Effectiveness of non-pharmaceutical interventions to contain COVID-19: a case study of the 2020 spring pandemic wave in New York City. Journal of The Royal Society Interface. 2021;18(175):20200822. doi:10.1098/rsif.2020.0822.

Yang W, Kandula S, Huynh M, Greene SK, Van Wye G, Li W, Chan HT, McGibbon E, Yeung A, Olson D, Fine A, Shaman J. Estimating the infection-fatality risk of SARS-CoV-2 in New York City during the spring 2020 pandemic wave: a model-based analysis. The Lancet Infectious Diseases. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(20)30769-6.

Yang W. Transmission Dynamics of and Insights from the 2018-2019 Measles Outbreak in New York City: A Modeling Study. Science Advances. 2020;6(22):eaaz4037. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aaz4037.

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 16 Mar 2020: eabb3221. doi: 10.1126/science.abb3221

Yang W, Terry MB. Do temporal trends in cancer incidence reveal organ system connections for cancer etiology? Epidemiology. 2020 Mar 25. doi: 10.1097/EDE.0000000000001192. [Epub ahead of print].

Yang W, Kehm RD, Terry MB. Survival model methods for analyses of cancer incidence trends in young adults. Statistics in Medicine. First published: 05 February 2020. https://doi.org/10.1002/sim.8458

Yang W, Zhang W, Kargbo D, Yang R, Chen Y, Chen Z, Kamara A, Kargbo B, Kandula S, Karspeck A, Liu C, Shaman J. 2015. Transmission network of the 2014-2015Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone. Journal of the Royal Society Interface. Published 11 November 2015. DOI: 10.1098/rsif.2015.0536.

Yang W, Lipsitch M, Shaman J. 2015. Inference of seasonal and pandemic influenza transmission dynamics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112: 2723-2728.

Yang W, Karspeck A, Shaman J. 2014. Comparison of filtering methods for the modeling and retrospective forecasting of influenza epidemics. PLoS Computational Biology 10: e1003583