Yuelin Li, PhD

Associate Attending Behavioral Scientist

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Columbia University

Current Research Interests


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Dr. Li is a behavioral statistician with a joint appointment in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences and the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics.  His applies the following statistical techniques in understanding complex human behaviors; social network analysis, random walk on a network using discrete time Markov chains, Bayesian hierarchical linear models, latent regression, and Item Response Theory modeling. Dr. Li received funding from the NCI to use cellular phones as social network sensors to examine social network influences of smoking in young adults. This project is the first of its kind to use mobile sensing technology to study smoking behaviors in real time. Highlights of his publications include a book on behavioral research data analysis (with Jon Baron) and Bayesian IRT (with Ray Baser).  The Bayesian IRT paper was one of the most downloaded articles in Statistics in Medicine in 2010-2012.  He is also actively conducting research on statistical methods that best elucidate the genetic determinants of mild cognitive impairment after chemotherapy (with Dr. Ahles, Psychiatry) and Bayesian statistical methods to examine intervention fit (with Dr. Ostroff, Psychiatry).


Li Y and Baron J.  Behavioral Research Data Analysis in R.  Springer.

Li Y and Baser R.  Using R and WinBUGS to fit a generalized partial credit model for developing and evaluating patient-reported outcomes assessments. Stat Med. 15;31(18):2010-26. doi: 10.1002/sim.4475.

Li Y, Rapkin B.  Classification and regression tree uncovered hierarchy of psychosocial determinants underlying quality-of-life response shift in HIV/AIDS.  J Clin Epidemiol. 2009 Nov;62(11):1138-47. doi:10.1016/j.jclinepi.2009.03.021.

Ahles TA, Saykin AJ, McDonald BC, Li Y, Furstenberg CT, Hanscom BS, Mulrooney TJ, Schwartz GN, Kaufman PA. Longitudinal assessment of cognitive changes associated with adjuvant treatment for breast cancer: impact of age and cognitive reserve.  J Clin Oncol. 2010 Oct 10;28(29):4434-40. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2009.27.0827.

Ostroff JS, Burkhalter JE, Cinciripini PM, Li Y, et al. (in press). Randomized Trial of a Pre-Surgical Scheduled Reduced Smoking Intervention for Patients Newly Diagnosed with Cancer.