Dr. JianLi  Wang

Professor, CIHR Canada Research Chair (Tier I) on Health Data Science and Innovation

CHE Dr. JianLi Wang

Other Information


Email: jianli.wang@dal.ca
Mailing Address: 
Centre for Clinical Research 5790 University Ave Halifax, NS B3H 1V7 Room 402
Research Topics:
  • Psychiatric Epidemiology
  • Health Data Science
  • Risk Predictive Analytics
  • Workplace Mental Health
  • Mental Health Services Research


Post-doctoral fellowship (Dalhousie University)

PhD (University of Calgary)

MSc. (Harbin Medical University, China)

BSc. (Harbin Medical University, China)

Research interests:

Dr. Wang’s research interests are in two areas: psychiatric epidemiology and risk prediction analytics. In the domain of psychiatric epidemiology, Dr. Wang’s research focuses on understanding the determinants of mental health problems (e.g., depression, anxiety), suicide behaviors, and mental health service utilization. He strives to translate the epidemiological knowledge into preventive actions. For example, he has taken a preventive approach and target high risk employees and the working population as a whole, by developing and testing intervention strategies for reducing the risk of having mental health problems and enhancing resilience and self-care. In the domain of risk prediction analytics, Dr. Wang’s research focuses on developing risk predictive models using both statistical and machine learning techniques which may be used to inform risk stratification, early identification, enhance the efficiency of health service delivery, and facilitate population health planning. For example, Dr. Wang’s team developed and validated the first sex-specific prediction algorithms for the risk of developing major depression in the Canadian general population. The tools can inform users in the community about their personalized risk of having depression in the future so that high risk users may take preventive actions at early stage to stop the progression to clinical depression. His team is collaborating with decision makers at provincial and federal levels on developing predictive tools for population risk of suicide , which will enable decision makers to identify high risk communities and mobilize resources in advance.

Selected publications

1.     Wang JL, Eccles H, Schmitz N, Patten SB, Lashewicz BM, Manuel DG. The impact of providing personalized depression risk information on self-help and help-seeking behaviours: Results from a mixed methods randomized controlled trial. Depression and Anxiety. 2021 September, 38(9): 917-924.

2.     Eccles H, Nannarone M, Lashewicz B, Attridge M, Marchand A, Aiken A, Ho K, Wang JL. Barriers to the use of web-based mental health programs to prevent depression: A qualitative study. Journal of Medical Internet Research: Formative Research. 2021, 5(7): e16949. doi: 10.2196/16949

3.     Wang JL, Eccles H, Nannarone M, Schmitz N, Patten SB, Lashewicz BM. Does providing personalized depression risk information lead to increased psychological distress and functional impairment? Results from a mixed-methods randomized controlled trial. Psychological Medicine. In press. doi: 10.1017/S0033291720003955.

4.     Wang JL, Smail-Crevier R, Nannarone M, Manuel D, MacQueen G, Patten SB, Lashewicz B, Schmitz N. The accuracy of depression risk perception in high risk Canadians. Journal of Affective Disorders. 2020, March 15; 265: 410-415.

5.     Eccles H, Nannarone M, Smail-Crevier R, Lashewicz B, Aiken A, Attridge M, Marchant A, Friesen J, Wang JL. Identifying strategies for decreasing work-related stress among working men: An international Delphi consensus study. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 2020 February; 62(2): 171-178.

6.     Nigatu Y, Huang JP, Rao S, Gillis K, Merali Z, Wang JL. Indicated prevention interventions in the workplace for depressive symptoms: A systematic review and meta-analysis. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2019, 56(1): e23-e33.

7.     Huang J, Nigatu YT, Smail-Crevier R, Zhang X, Wang JL. Interventions for common mental health problems among university and college students: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Journal of Psychiatric Research. 2018 Dec; 107:1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2018.09.018.

8.     Wang JL, Patten SB, Sareen J, Bolton J, Schmitz N, MacQueen G. Development and validation of a prediction algorithm for use by health professionals in prediction of recurrence of major depression. Depression and Anxiety. 2014, May; 31(5): 451-457. DOI: 10.1002/da.22215.

9.     Wang JL, Sareen J, Patten SB, Bolton J, Schmitz N, Birney A. A Prediction Algorithm for First Onset of Major Depression in the General Population: Development and Validation. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. 2014, May; 68(5):418-424 doi:10.1136/jech-2013-202845

10.  Wang JL, Manuel D, Williams J, Schmitz N, Gilmour H, Patten SB, MacQueen G, Birney A. Development and Validation of Prediction Algorithms for Major Depressive Episode in the General Population. Journal of Affective Disorders. 2013, August; 151: 39-45. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2013.05.045i

Selected awards & honours

2018 - The Alex Leighton CPA-CAPE Award in Psychiatric Epidemiology

2016 - Pfizer-HBI Depression Research Award

2005-2010 - CIHR New Investigator Award

Service & activity

Member, the World Health Organization/International Labour Organization joint methodology panel for estimating the work-related burden of disease and injury systematic review.

Member at large, Executive Committee of Canadian Academy of Psychiatric Epidemiology (CAPE).

Member, Editorial Board of the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry.

Member, Editorial Board of International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene

Associate Editor, BMC Public Health