Cohort 
2017

Yue Leng, MD, PhD

Epidemiologist

We need to take a holistic approach but start from everyday practice—eat well, sleep tight, quit smoking, and get more exercise.

Current Work

Yue is an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Her research is focused on the relationship between sleep and brain aging including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Personal Hero

Her grandfather

Words of Strength

Making connections

Vision

To reduce the scale and impact of dementia, Yue believes we need to take a holistic approach but start from everyday practice—eat well, sleep tight, quit smoking, and get more exercise.

Strategy

Yue is developing a non-pharmacological sleep intervention program for people with mild cognitive impairment and sleep disturbances. She plans to pilot test its feasibility and effects on sleep and cognition, with the ultimate aim of decreasing risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Motivation

China is facing a rapidly aging society and increasing dementia incidence. Identifying modifiable risk factors for dementia in the Chinese population is key to the prevention of dementia and risk reduction in this population.

Education & Experience

Yue received her medical school training (major in Preventive Medicine) from Sun-Yat Sen University School of Medicine, China. She received an MPhil and PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Cambridge, UK. After completing her PhD studies, she joined the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) as a postdoctoral fellow, before she was appointed as an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at UCSF. Her research is focused on the relationship between sleep and brain aging including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. As an epidemiologist specializing in the research of sleep and aging, Yue is committed to improving sleep and aging outcomes in older populations. Sleep problems are very common in older adults and have a significant impact on brain health. Yue is interested in identifying sleep characteristics that are closely related to brain health and cognitive aging and understanding the mechanisms that underpin the relationship between sleep and cognition. Yue has had training across three continents, and she brings her experience in sleep and epidemiology research to the GBHI network. She has published over 20 first-author peer-reviewed papers in leading journals including Lancet Neurology, JAMA Neurology, etc. Her research is funded by a K99/R00 award from the NIH, and has also received awards from the Alzheimer's Association, Alzheimer's Research UK, etc. Her work has been featured many times in mass media including the BBC, the CNN, the Reuters, etc.

Sun-Yat Sen University School of Medicine, China
Preventive Medicine
MD
University of Cambridge, UK
Epidemilogy
MPhil and PhD
University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)
Postdoctoral Fellowship

Awards & Honors

UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences
2020
Weill Pilot Award for Junior Investigators in the Neurosciences
Purdue Engineering Student Council
2020
PESC Scholar Award
AAIC Satellite Symposium
Sao Paulo
2019
Lightning Presentation Award
Global Brain Health Institute
2018
Pilot Award for Global Brain Health Leaders
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
2017
Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00)
Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC)
2018 & 2019
Travel fellowship
Global Brain Health Institute (GBHI)
2018
Atlantic Fellowship
UCSF
Department of Psychiatry
2018
Trainee Research Award
Northern California Alzheimer's Association
2017
Annual meeting poster award
UCSF
Postdoc Slam Competition
2017
Top 10 speakers
Bay Area Postdoc Symposium
2017
Invited speaker
Northern California Alzheimer's Association
2016
Awards for Excellence in Alzheimer's Research