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Li Liu, PhD

  • Associate Professor

Departmental Affiliations

Center & Institute Affiliations

Contact Information

615 N. Wolfe Street
Room E4144
Baltimore, Maryland 21205


For a full list of publications and their citations, please see my Google Scholar page

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PhD, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2008
MHS, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2006
MB, Peking University Health Science Center, 2001


Dr. Liu is a population health researcher dedicated to study and address the leading causes of child mortality. She has multidisciplinary background in medicine, maternal and child health, epidemiology, biostatistics, and demography. Her research focuses on applying interdisciplinary quantitative strategies to measure and estimate all-cause and cause-specific child mortality, to strengthen civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) systems to improve child mortality estimation, and to investigate biosocial etiologies of leading causes of child mortality and morbidity. Dr. Liu practices to disseminate evidence on reducing child mortality due to leading causes and advocate to improving child survival. She also teaches introductory and advanced quantitative population health and demographic methods. Dr. Liu currently serves as the Lead of Population and Health Area of Interest and the Associate Director of Hopkins Population Center.

Dr. Liu has been investigating methodological and substantive issues to improve the estimation and estimates of all-cause and cause-specific child mortality, particularly in settings with inadequate CRVS, and has been generating high impact scientific evidence in this area. As an extension of this work, she has also been working on strengthening CRVS in low- and middle-income countries. Recently, Dr. Liu has become increasingly interested in the complex and joint effects of biosocial etiologies of the leading causes of child mortality, e.g. preterm birth. Her research has collectively received more than 13,000 citations to date and has been reported by major media outlets, such as New York Times and BBC News. Dr. Liu’s research has been and continues to be supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Global Affairs Canada, Johns Hopkins University, National Institute of Health, and World Health Organization.

Honors and Awards

• First authored one of the 25 most cited Lancet articles published since 2012 (based on Scopus, available at:, accessed on May 24, 2017)

• Co-author, the most cited Lancet research article in 2011

• The Fellowship in Family Planning and Reproductive Health: 2006-2007, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD

• Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health Tuition and Stipend Fellowship: 2004-2006, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD

• Josephine Kohn and Family Fund Award: 2002-2004, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD

  • child causes of deaths
  • child mortality
  • causes of child mortality
  • cause-specific mortality rates
  • under-five mortality
  • neonatal mortality
  • verbal autopsy
  • vital registration
  • sample registration system
  • civil registration and vital statistics
  • preterm birth
  • pneumonia
  • diarrhea
  • reproductive health
  • maternal health
  • neonatal health
  • child health
  • burden of diseases

Selected peer-reviewed publications from 44 papers published to date. Those include 35 peer-reviewed papers, 3 invited articles or editorials, and 6 chapters/monographs/books. Dr. Liu has first-authored 17 of the 44 papers. Thirteen appeared in The Lancet. According to Google Scholar, by December 20 2017, Dr. Liu's publications have received 9,007 citations with an h-index of 18 and an i10-index of 27. For a full list of her publications, please see Dr. Liu's Google Scholar page:

  • Li Liu, Shefali Oza, Daniel Hogan, Jamie Perin, Igor Rudan, Joy E Lawn, Simon Cousens, Colin Mathers, Robert E Black. 2015. “Global, regional, and national causes of child mortality in 2000–13, with projections to inform post-2015 priorities: an updated systematic analysis”. Lancet. 385:430-440. (IF: 45.217; citations: 353)
  • Li Liu, Hope L. Johnson, Simon Cousens, Jamie Perin, Susana Scott, Joy Lawn, Igor Rudan, Harry Campbell, Richard Cibulskis, Mengying Li, Colin Mathers, and Robert E. Black, for the Child Health Epidemiology Reference Group (CHERG) of WHO and UNICEF. 2012. “Global, regional, and national causes of child mortality: an updated systematic analysis for 2010 with time trends since 2000”. Lancet. 379: 2151-61. (IF: 45.217; citations: 1606; ranks number 9 among the 25 most cited Lancet articles published since 2011 based on Scopus, available at:, accessed on April 22, 2016)
  • Li Liu, Mengying Li, Lirong Ju, Li Yang, Xiuqin Tan, Neff Walker, Jennifer Bryce, Harry Campbell, Robert E. Black, and Yan Guo. 2013. “Measuring coverage in MNCH: A validation study linking population survey derived coverage to maternal, newborn, and child health care records in rural China”. PLoS ONE 8(5): e60762. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0060762. Available at: (IF: 3.234; citations: 12)
  • Saifuddin Ahmed, Qingfeng Li, Li Liu, and Amy O. Tsui. 2012. “Maternal deaths averted by contraceptive use: an analysis of 172 countries”. Lancet. 380: 111-25. (IF: 45.127; citations: 215)
  • Li Liu, Rosanna Setse, Neil R Powe, and Wanda K Nicholson. 2013. “The Effect of Depression Symptoms and Social Support on Black-White Differences in Health-Related Quality of Life in Early Pregnancy: The Health Status in Pregnancy (HIP) Study”. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 13:125 doi:10.1186/1471-2393-13-125. Available at: (IF: 2.190; citations: 5)