Lei Zhang

Adjunct Prof

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Personal profile


Professor Zhang is currently the head of the Artificial Intelligence and Modelling in Epidemiology Program at the School of Translational Medicine, Monash University, Australia.

He completed his Bachelor and Masters in Mathematics at the University of Sydney in 2002. He then pursued his PhD in Medicine at the University of New South Wales in HIV pathology. In 2006, He accepted a postdoctoral position offer at Humboldt University, Berlin and researched topics of bioinformatics. He completed a Master of Public Health in 2009. During 2009-2015, he served as a Lecturer and Senior Lecturer at Kirby Institute, UNSW. He was appointed Associate Professor at the School of Translational, Faculty of Medicine Monash University in 2015 and subsequently Professor in the same institute in 2022.

Prof Zhang is a very experienced modeller and epidemiologist in HIV/STI research. He has cross-disciplinary research experience in mathematics, epidemiology, artificial intelligence, and cost-effectiveness evaluation. He also has a strong background in statistical analysis and computational research. He conducts high-quality HIV/STI research. So far, he has published 266 publications (251 papers, 6 book chapters, 9 technical reports), 181 of which are first/senior authored. He regularly publishes in leading journals (Lancet HIV, Lancet GH, Lancet RH, Lancet ID, Genetics in Medicine, Journal of Infection, International Journal of Epidemiology, PNAS, CID, AIDS and JAIDS). He has led or contributed to six international projects with UNAIDS, the World Bank and the WHO. These findings have been translated into health policies that foster effective HIV interventions in Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia. He has developed and demonstrated his leadership in these projects. His papers have been cited more than 7000 times (>4700 cites in the past five years). He has also given more than 40 oral and post-conference presentations at several national and international conferences. He established the China-Australia Joint Research Center for Infectious Diseases which facilitated a strong collaboration in education and research between Monash University and Xi’an Jiaotong University, China. He has supervised 6 PhD and 15 master students to completion. Currently, he is (co-)supervising 11 PhD and 13 master students. Throughout his career, he has established a strong collaboration with ministries of health from multiple countries in the Western Pacific and international organisations (WHO, UNAIDS, and the World Bank). He also served as a long-time consultant and technical advisor to the WHO Western Pacific Region.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Medicine, Master of Public Health, Hamburger Universität angewandte Wissenschaften (Hamburg University of Applied Sciences)

1 Mar 200831 Aug 2009

Award Date: 31 Aug 2009

Medicine, Doctor of Philosophy, University of New South Wales (UNSW)

1 Mar 200331 Mar 2006

Award Date: 31 Mar 2006

Applied Mathematics, Master of Science, University of Sydney

1 Mar 200131 Mar 2003

Award Date: 31 Mar 2003

Mathematics, Bachelor of Advanced Science, University of Sydney

1 Mar 199731 Mar 2001

Award Date: 31 Mar 2001

External positions

Senior Visiting Scholar, University of New South Wales (UNSW)

1 May 2015 → …

Adjunct Associate Professor, Tsinghua University

1 Apr 201531 Dec 2018

Technical Consultant, WHO - WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific

1 Jul 2014 → …

Technical Consultant, Harm Reduction International

1 Jun 201430 Jun 2016

HIV Consultant, World Bank (United States of America)

1 Jan 201031 Dec 2010

Research area keywords

  • Epidemiology
  • HIV
  • Sexually Transmitted Infections
  • Health Economics
  • Mathematical Modelling
  • Machine Learning
  • COVID-19
  • Diabetes

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or