Lefan joined the University of Birmingham as a research fellow in July 2023. Previously, she was working in China with a teaching role at the University of Nottingham Ningbo China (2015-2023).
She did her PhD at the School of Economics, University of Nottingham, UK 2011-2016. During her PhD, she studied the health of the elderly living in China using household panel data - China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS). Her recent research work looks at health literacy (e.g., do people learn from their chronic diseases), patient trust in physicians (e.g., do people’s health utilization experience change their trust in doctors), and smoking (e.g., do smoking and drinking place a penalty on income). She is interested in using data to inform public policy to promote population health. She likes the notion of “thinking in reverse” and how it can be applied in health and healthcare studies. Daniel Kahneman, the well-known behavior economist put it nicely: instead of asking, “How can I get him or her to do it?” it starts with a question of, “Why isn’t she doing it already?” More recently, she has been fascinated by the advances in causal inferences, including the graphical models (started by Judea Pearl).