Guohua Li, DrPH, MD

Contact information

Interim Chair and Professor of Epidemiology
Finster Professor of Epidemiology and Anesthesiology


Dr. Li is working on projects aimed at understanding and controlling the epidemic of drug overdose and drugged driving, and uncovering the dynamics of injury risk and injury-disease interaction during the process of aging. Currently, he is the principal investigator of the Longitudinal Research on Aging Drivers project, or LongROAD. Launched by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, LongROAD is a longitudinal multi-site study by researchers at Columbia University, University of Michigan, the Urban Institute, Bassett Research Institute, Johns Hopkins University, University of California San Diego, and University of Colorado Denver.  Overall, the study will involve 3000 active drivers aged 65-79 years who will be followed over time through annual assessments and interviews in an attempt to answer five questions about older drivers:

    • What are the main protective and risk factors of safe driving in older drivers?
    • What medications are most strongly associated with driving performance and behavior?
    • How do drivers self-regulate their driving behaviors to cope with physical and cognitive declines?
    • What is the role of new vehicle technology and post-market vehicle adaptations in driving safety?
    • What are the determinants and impacts of driving cessation (eg. on health and quality of life)?

To learn about their driving patterns, researchers will fit each driver’s vehicle with a GPS device. Data from this project will allow researchers to better understand the role of physical and cognitive functions, medical conditions, medications, and vehicle technologies in driving safety. Researchers will also examine how older drivers self-regulate to avoid difficult driving conditions, and the causes and consequences of driving cessation.

The study spans five sites in California, Colorado, Maryland, Michigan and New York and begins recruiting seniors 65-79 in 2015. Columbia Aging Center affiliated-faculty member Dr. Thelma Mielenz is a co-principal investigator of the New York site. To read more about the study, visit the official website (

In addition to his research endeavors, Dr. Li also teaches Clinical Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health, directs the clinical research program in postoperative care and critical care at the Department of Anesthesiology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, and currently serves at the interim chair of the department of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health. He received his MD from Beijing University and his DrPH from John Hopkins University.


Education and Training: 
DrPH, 1993, Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, Maryland)
MS, 1987, Tongji Medical University (Wuhan, China)
MD, 1984, Beijing Medical University (Beijing, China)


Honors and Awards:
Excellence in Science Award, APHA/ICEHS, 2015
John Paul Stapp Award, 2009
Guggenheim Fellowship, 2005
Kenneth Rothman Epidemiology Prize, 1999
William Haddon Jr. Fellowship, 1989


Selected Publications: 
Li G, Brady JE, Chen Q. Drug use and fatal motor vehicle crashes: a case-control study. Accident Analysis and Prevention 60: 205-210; 2013.
Li G, Baker SP, ed. Injury Research: Theories, Methods, and Approaches. New York, NY: Springer, 2012.
Li G, Baker SP, Zhao Q, Brady JE, Lang BH, Rebok GW, DiMaggio C. Drug violations and aviation accidents: Findings from the US mandatory testing program. Addiction 106:1287-92; 2011.
Li G, Gebrekristos H, Baker SP. FIA score: a simple risk index for predicting fatality in aviation crashes. Journal of Trauma 65:1278-1283; 2008.
Li G, Baker SP. Crash risk in general aviation. JAMA: Journal of American Medical Association 297: 1596-1598; 2007.
Li G, Baker SP, Grabowski JG, Qiang Y, McCarthy ML, Rebok GW. "Age, flight experience, and risk of crash involvement in a cohort of professional pilots." American Journal of Epidemiology 157: 874-880; 2003.

For more information about Dr. Li, please see his Mailman School of Public Health page.