Man Kit “Karlo” Lei

Charles B. Knapp Early Career Scholar Award

Photograph of Man Kit “Karlo” Lei

Man Kit “Karlo” Lei, assistant professor in the Department of Sociology, combines interdisciplinary theories and methods to examine the social determinants of health and aging across the lifespan, with a particular focus on minority populations and disadvantaged communities. His research focuses on two research questions: How do social stressors “get under the skin” and affect well-being? Why do some people, but not others, thrive despite facing adversity? He is a rare triple-threat scholar skilled in sociological theories, genetic and biological data, and advanced statistical models. His research has made advances in understanding and addressing social and environmental factors that can become embedded biologically via gene expression and, in turn, foster pathological physiology and onset of illness. A co-investigator on three NIH grants totaling more than $7 million, his revolutionary research blends rigor in basic science and novel approaches to treat and prevent chronic illness.