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Xuejie Ding

Postdoctoral researcher

Xuejie Ding’s main research areas are adopting a sociogenomic approach to bridge the knowledge on contextual, social and biological influences on health, with a focus on life course approach, fertility, chronotype and cognitive functions.


She received her DPhil in Sociology at the University of Oxford in 2018. Since then, she has been working as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Department of Sociology and the Leverhulme Centre for Demographic Science. She is working on the projects funded by the ERC Advanced Grant CHRONO and the ERC Proof of Concept Grant and social business enterprise DNA4Science led by Prof. Melinda Mills.

Ding has published articles in high quality academic journals including Social Science and Medicine, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Preventive Medicine, and International Journal of Public Health. Her research covers a wide range of countries and regions. With data from the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Survey (CHARLS), she found that the association between health and individual-level socioeconomic status is consistent across China.


Provincial variations in economic development, income inequality, and health infrastructure are associated with a range of health outcomes for Chinese midlife and older adults. Using genetic risk scores for education from recent Genome-wide Association Studies (GWAS) as an instrumental variable and data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), she has identified the causal effect between educational attainment and a variety of health outcomes among the American older adults. Her work has also shown that the genetic effects for education on individual differences in cognition become less prominent over the life course.


Her research aims at advancing the understanding of health inequalities by combining sociological theories with approaches from biology, molecular genetics, and medical sciences. Her future research is going to adopt innovative methodologies to understand fertility behaviours via both societal and biological bases.



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Full list of publications at

Data Resource Profile: COVerAGE-DB: a global demographic database of COVID-19 cases and deaths

Tim Riffe, Enrique Acosta, the COVerAGE-DB team (including José Manuel Aburto, Ryohei Mogi)

International Journal of Epidemiology

14 May 2021

Health and inequality: the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic

Jennifer B. Dowd, Xuejie Ding, Evelina T. Akimova and Melinda C. Mills FBA

The British Academy

23 March 2021

Reply: A renewed call for detailed social and demographic COVID-19 data from all countries

Dowd, J.B., Andriano, L., Brazel D.M., Rotondi, V., Block, P., Ding, X., & Mills, M.C.

PNAS: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 117(25): 13884-13885.

22 June 2020

Demographic science aids in understanding the spread and fatality rates of COVID-19

Dowd, J. B., Andriano, L., Brazel, D. M., Rotondi, V., Block, P., Ding, X., Liu, Y., & Mills, M. C.

PNAS: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,
117(18), 9696–9698

4 May 2020

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