China Initiatives

The transition-to-market economy has radically transformed the society and people’s daily life in China during the past 2-3 decades. Along with the rapid economical development, the burden of mental and behavioral problems appears to be growing. China has at least 100 million people suffering from mental illness, according to the Chinese National Center for Mental Health. Mental illness has now overtaken heart disease and cancer as the biggest burden on the Chinese health system.

One major challenge with mental health in China is that the country faces a drastic shortage of qualified mental health professionals. Only in the past several decades has psychiatry in China emerged as an important scientific enterprise. Only a limited number of leading academic mental health institutions have developed research infrastructure, and therefore are able to provide rigorous training in research, especially in clinical research.

As a national leader in public sector psychiatry, The UMass Psychiatry Department is committed to global health and has the capacity to help address mental health challenges in China. Under the visionary leadership of Dr. Douglas Ziedonis, the China Mental Health Program within the UMass Psychiatry Department has been growing, and has led to collaborative relationships with several leading academic mental health institutions in China. For more information about the program, click here.

Current visiting scholar

Wenxu Zhuang
Phone: 508-410-4957


Past visiting scholars

Yanli Luo, MD, PhD
Phone: 508-856-7842

Dr. Yanli Luo has joined Department of Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) and UMass Memorial Health Care as a visiting scholar. She is collaborating with Xiaoduo Fan, MD, MPH, MS, Director of the UMass Psychotic Disorders Clinical and Research Program. Dr. Luo is Vice Chair of Department of Psychiatry, Tongji Hospital, Shanghai, China, and associate professor of Psychiatry at Tongji University.

Dr. Luo's research interests include the mechanisms and treatment of persistent somatoform pain disorder, as well as clinical pain in patients with schizophrenia or other major mental disorders. Dr. Luo has practiced psychodynamic psychotherapy for many years, and also has extensive experience in consultation-liaison psychiatry. Dr. Luo is also interested in cross-cultural psychiatry; she is passionate about educating the general public on mental illness awareness and treatment.

Dr. Luo completed her medical degree at Tongji University Medical School. She was then trained by Professor Mingyuan Zhang, and earned her PhD degree from Shanghai Jiaotong University Medicine School, Shanghai, China.


Dr Song Xueqin Song, MD 

Dr. Song is an associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Zhengzhou University. She earned her MD at Central South University, China.

The author and co-author of many studies in her field, Dr. Song is a member of the Henan Medical Association and vice-chair of the Henan Pharmacological Association.

Dr Li Jie Li, MD

Dr. Jie Li is a Professor of Psychiatry at Tianjin Medical University and Chief Psychiatrist at Tianjin General Hospital in China. She earned her MD at Wuerzburg University, Germany.

Dr. Li’s research focuses on the biological mechanisms, genetic risk factors and pharmacotherapy for schizophrenia and depression.

During her stay at UMass, Dr. Li was involved in a study examining the effect of intranasal insulin treatment on body metabolism in patients with schizophrenia.

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