Honglei Chen

Honglei  Chen
  • MSU Foundation Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
  • Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
  • Fee Hall West Wing
  • 909 Wilson Road Room B601
  • East Lansing MI 48824
  • 517.353.8623


In the past twenty years, Chen has been studying the etiology and natural history of Parkinson’s disease, dementia, and related conditions, with the ultimate goal of disease prevention and healthy aging. In pursuit of this goal, Dr. Chen has successfully developed Parkinson’s disease research components in five large prospective cohorts. This approach cost-efficiently capitalizes on decades of extensive environmental / risk factor data collection in cohorts that would be otherwise difficult to collect. As his research deepened, Dr. Chen realized that we cannot fully understand Parkinson’s etiology without studying the poorly understood decades-long prodromal/preclinical stage of disease development and identifying environmental factors that contribute to this process. Around ten years ago, he began to assess key prodromal symptoms of neurodegeneration (e.g., poor olfaction/hyposmia, dream enacting behaviors, daytime sleepiness, constipation) in three of the above cohorts, aiming to gain insights into the “black-box” of prodromal neurodegeneration and identify its triggers and modifiers. More recently, he has developed a novel line of interest to study poor olfaction in older adults as a marker of poor health and accelerated aging.   


Tianjin Medical University, Tianjin, China , M.D., 1993, Public Health  
Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine, Beijing, China, M.Sc., 1996, Nutritional Epidemiology  
Tufts University, Boston, USA, Ph.D., 2001, Nutritional Epidemiology
Harvard School of Public Health, Research Associate & Instructor, 2005, Nutritional and Neuroepidemiology




Dr. Chen at PubMed

Dr. Chen at MSU Scholars