Yan came to DGHI in July 2014 from China, where she served as the Deputy Director at The George Institute for Global Health at Peking University Health Science Center and Director of the China International Center for Chronic Disease Prevention.
Her main areas of research are chronic disease prevention and control (cardiovascular disease and diabetes in particular), economic evaluations in health care, and integrated health management. She is the Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator on a number of NHLBI-funded and China-funded research grants. She has published dozens of peer-reviewed scientific papers some of which in leading medical journals such as JAMA (3 first-authored papers and 2 co-authored papers), Circulation, and Archives of Internal Medicine. As the Director of the Chronic Disease Center, she oversaw the research, capacity development, and advocacy activities for a large network of five international academic institutions and seven Chinese institutions in their concerted efforts to combat chronic diseases in China. The flagship project of the Center is the China Rural Health Initiative (LifeSeeds Program).
A bachelor's degree holder from Peking University and a doctoral graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, she has experience working in several American and Chinese academic institutions including the National Bureau of Economic Research, Northwestern University, and Peking University.