Congratulations to Dr. Yang Yang, who has been selected to receive a 2012 Ruth and Phillip Hettleman Prizes for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement. The award is one of the University’s most prestigious acknowledgments of faculty excellence. The selected committee felt that Yang’s contributions to research on aging while bridging social science and health affairs are outstanding.
The Hettleman Prize comes with a $5,000 cash award Yang will receive at the first Faculty Council meeting in September. She will also be recognized at the ceremony on University Day in October. As the benefactor who created the endowment stipulated, Hettleman Prize winners will also be required to deliver a lecture during the 2012-2013 academic year.
Yang Yang explains her research as, “My research crosscuts a range of areas in demography, medical sociology, cancer, and quantitative methodology. My overarching goals are to understand social and biological mechanisms generating trends in and patterns of health disparities among subpopulations. My perspective, drawing upon theories of social change and social stratification, is to examine the processes by which individual lives (particularly health) unfold with age and are shaped by historical time and social biological context (particularly cohort). My approach is to bring this theoretical perspective to bear on the analyses of data on these topics and development of statistical models and methods.
My recent research includes: demographic trends of health and mortality; social disparities in health and co-morbidity over the life course; sociodemographic differentials in subjective quality of life and longevity; and new statistical models and methods for cohort analysis. This body of research serves as a triage to help locate important (age and cohort) variations to be explained and suggests the importance of biological processes in explaining the susceptibility to disease and mortality. My current research focuses on integrative social and biodemographic approaches to understanding important questions on aging and survival. These include sex differences in health and longevity, the impact of obesity epidemic and similar cohort related phenomena on future mortality decline, trends and social differentials in cancer related mortality, and life course trajectories of cancer development and social disparities therein. My research on happiness and quality of life (the feature article in the April Issue of American Sociological Review 2008) has been featured at NBC evening news, CNN news, Associated Press, Reuters, Washington Post, United Press International, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, and more than 300 other media outlets across the country and also reported at the NSF.”
For more information on Dr. Yang’s research you can visit her website here.