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

Tao Zou, MD, PhD
Phone: 508-856-7842

Dr. Tao Zou joined UMass Psychiatry as a visiting professor in March 2016. He is primarily involved in the Psychotic Disorders Clinical and Research Program. 

Dr. Tao Zou is a professor of Psychiatry and Chairman of the Medical Psychology Department at Guizhou Medical University and its affiliated hospital, Guizhou Province, China. Located in southwest China, Guizhou Province is a picturesque place with abundant natural scenic spots, and rich and distinctive folk customs and cultures of different ethnic groups.

Dr. Zou has extensive experience in consultation-liaison psychiatry, medical co-morbidity and real life functioning recovery. Dr. Zou’s major clinical and research interests include various psychosocial treatment approaches for major mental diseases such as schizophrenia, mood disorders and anxiety disorders. He is also interested in cultural aspect of psychiatry, particularly mental health issues in minority ethnic groups in China. Dr Zou has a strong interest to explore the role of culture, philosophy, literature, sociology in relation to the development and treatment of mental illness. 

Past visiting scholars


Wenxu Zhuang



Wenxu Zhuang has joined the Psychotic Disorders Clinical and Research Program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) and UMass Memorial Health Care as a visiting scholar. He received his Bachelor degree in psychology from East China Normal University in 2013. He is currently a graduate student from Professor Min Zhao’s research group at the Shanghai Mental Health Center, Shanghai Jiaotong University, China. His research focuses on neuroimaging and neurocognitive function in patients with methamphetamine addiction. 

Yanli Luo, MD, PhD

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, PhD

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, PhD

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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