Yulin Hswen, ScD, MPH

Title(s)Assistant Professor, Epidemiology & Biostatistics
SchoolSchool of Medicine
Address490 Illinois Street
San Francisco CA 94158
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    Collapse Education and Training
    Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health ScD2019Social and Computational Epidemiology
    Harvard Medical SchoolPost-Doctoral Fellow2019Computational Epidemiology
    Aix-Marseille School of Economics (AMSE) , FranceVisiting Assistant Professor2020Behavioral Economics
    Collapse Awards and Honors
    Harvard Medical School2019Graduate Research Award
    The Embassy of France and The French National Research 2019Make Our Planet Great Again, President Macron Fellowship for Research in Planetary Sciences
    International Chapter of Philanthropic Educational Organization2018Philanthropic Educational Organization Scholar Award
    Harvard University, the Committee of General Scholarships2018Kennedy Fellowship
    Harvard John A Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences20171st Place Social Entrepreneurship Award - Venture Capital Innovation Challenge
    The Weatherhead Center for International Affairs 2017Dissertation Research Award
    Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health2017The Harvey V. Fineberg Fellowship in Cancer Prevention
    The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CHIR)2015Doctoral Research Award
    The University of Cambridge 2014Cambridge International Scholarship Scheme, Full Tuition and Stipend Scholarship - Declined
    The University of Oxford 2014Clarendon Scholarship, Full Tuition and Stipend Scholarship - Declined

    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse Overview
    Dr. Hswen is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and the Bakar Computational Health Institute at the University of California San Francisco. Dr. Hswen graduated with a Doctoral Degree in social and computational epidemiology at the Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health where she focused on leveraging online big data to uncover social patterns of disease and to inform the development of interventions to improve the health and well-being of the most marginalized subgroups of the population.

    Dr. Hswen is in the pursuit of detecting uncomfortable truths. Dr. Hswen’s current research seeks to identify authentic attitudes, feelings, and beliefs that influence population behavior and health. Through the collection of unconventional and underground online social networks, Dr. Hswen captures unfiltered conversations to further understand the connections between social experiences and health.

    Dr. Hswen is the founder and Principal Investigator of Covidseeker.com a platform that captures geospatial temporal data from Smartphones to better study the risks between human mobility and infectious disease. The purpose of Covidseeker is to develop a digital mobility database that can be used by researchers, public health officials, and policymakers to identify real-time hotspots of SARS-CoV-2 transmission.

    Dr. Hswen’s research has been published in The New England Journal of Medicine, The American Journal of Public Health, Preventive Medicine, Nature npj Digital Medicine, Nature Human Behavior and Nature Scientific Data and her work has been featured in CBC News, Bloomberg News, Nature Magazine, and The Wall Street Journal.

    Dr. Hswen has served as Deputy Editor of the Harvard Public Health Review since 2016 and was previously a Kennedy Fellow at Harvard University and a Chateaubriand STEM Fellow, the Embassy of France, and The French National Research Agency for researchers to study the environment and health in France. Before joining UCSF, Dr. Hswen was a visiting Assistant Professor at Aix-Marseille School of Economics (AMSE) where she conducted research in behavioral economics in relation to the promotion of public health interventions. Dr. Hswen is interested in the application of behavioral economic theories to enhance the acceptance and adherence of healthy behaviors and the willingness to share information.

    Collapse Research 
    Collapse Research Activities and Funding
    DrugMap: Digital surveillance for the opioid epidemic
    National Library of Medicine 3R01LM011965-03S1Sep 1, 2018 - Apr 20, 2019
    Role: Co-Investigator
    Role Description: To build an online platform to identify opioid news-related accounts.
    New Insights into the Federal Calorie Labeling Law
    NIH R01DK115492Jun 20, 2018 - Mar 31, 2023
    Role: Co-Investigator
    Role Description: To examine the impact of a federal nutrition policy on internet and social media discussions regarding calories and labeling.

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    Collapse Publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help. to make corrections and additions.
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    Altmetrics Details PMC Citations indicate the number of times the publication was cited by articles in PubMed Central, and the Altmetric score represents citations in news articles and social media. (Note that publications are often cited in additional ways that are not shown here.) Fields are based on how the National Library of Medicine (NLM) classifies the publication's journal and might not represent the specific topic of the publication. Translation tags are based on the publication type and the MeSH terms NLM assigns to the publication. Some publications (especially newer ones and publications not in PubMed) might not yet be assigned Field or Translation tags.) Click a Field or Translation tag to filter the publications.
    1. Estimating the incidence of cocaine use and mortality with music lyrics about cocaine. NPJ Digit Med. 2021 Jun 30; 4(1):100. Hswen Y, Zhang A, Brownstein JS. PMID: 34193959.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:
    2. Real-time geospatial surveillance of localized emotional stress responses to COVID-19: A proof of concept analysis. Health Place. 2021 Jun 01; 70:102598. Edry T, Maani N, Sykora M, Elayan S, Hswen Y, Wolf M, Rinaldi F, Galea S, Gruebner O. PMID: 34107445.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    
    3. Influenza forecasting for French regions combining EHR, web and climatic data sources with a machine learning ensemble approach. PLoS One. 2021; 16(5):e0250890. Poirier C, Hswen Y, Bouzillé G, Cuggia M, Lavenu A, Brownstein JS, Brewer T, Santillana M. PMID: 34010293.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    
    4. Public attitudes toward COVID-19 vaccination: The role of vaccine attributes, incentives, and misinformation. NPJ Vaccines. 2021 May 14; 6(1):73. Kreps S, Dasgupta N, Brownstein JS, Hswen Y, Kriner DL. PMID: 33990614.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:
    5. Estimation of Asthma Symptom Onset Using Internet Search Queries: Lag-Time Series Analysis. JMIR Public Health Surveill. 2021 May 10; 7(5):e18593. Hswen Y, Zhang A, Ventelou B. PMID: 33970108.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:
    6. Association of "#covid19" Versus "#chinesevirus" With Anti-Asian Sentiments on Twitter: March 9-23, 2020. Am J Public Health. 2021 05; 111(5):956-964. Hswen Y, Xu X, Hing A, Hawkins JB, Brownstein JS, Gee GC. PMID: 33734838.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 2     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    7. Early detection of COVID-19 in China and the USA: summary of the implementation of a digital decision-support and disease surveillance tool. BMJ Open. 2020 12 10; 10(12):e041004. Hswen Y, Brownstein JS, Xu X, Yom-Tov E. PMID: 33303453.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
    8. Person-based machine learning: Accounting for patient experience to explain the nature of schizophrenia. Schizophr Res. 2021 02; 228:619-620. Naslund JA, Hswen Y. PMID: 33229226.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
    9. Geographic access to United States SARS-CoV-2 testing sites highlights healthcare disparities and may bias transmission estimates. J Travel Med. 2020 Nov 09; 27(7). Rader B, Astley CM, Sy KTL, Sewalk K, Hswen Y, Brownstein JS, Kraemer MUG. PMID: 32412064.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 23     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
    10. Framework for a Community Health Observing System for the Gulf of Mexico Region: Preparing for Future Disasters. Front Public Health. 2020; 8:578463. Sandifer P, Knapp L, Lichtveld M, Manley R, Abramson D, Caffey R, Cochran D, Collier T, Ebi K, Engel L, Farrington J, Finucane M, Hale C, Halpern D, Harville E, Hart L, Hswen Y, Kirkpatrick B, McEwen B, Morris G, Orbach R, Palinkas L, Partyka M, Porter D, Prather AA, Rowles T, Scott G, Seeman T, Solo-Gabriele H, Svendsen E, Tincher T, Trtanj J, Walker AH, Yehuda R, Yip F, Yoskowitz D, Singer B. PMID: 33178663.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:
    11. Factors Associated With US Adults' Likelihood of Accepting COVID-19 Vaccination. JAMA Netw Open. 2020 10 01; 3(10):e2025594. Kreps S, Prasad S, Brownstein JS, Hswen Y, Garibaldi BT, Zhang B, Kriner DL. PMID: 33079199.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 59     Fields:    Translation:HumansCellsPHPublic Health
    12. Online negative sentiment towards Mexicans and Hispanics and impact on mental well-being: A time-series analysis of social media data during the 2016 United States presidential election. Heliyon. 2020 Sep; 6(9):e04910. Hswen Y, Qin Q, Williams DR, Viswanath K, Subramanian SV, Brownstein JS. PMID: 33005781.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:
    13. Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Patient Experiences in the United States: 4-Year Content Analysis of Twitter. J Med Internet Res. 2020 08 21; 22(8):e17048. Hswen Y, Hawkins JB, Sewalk K, Tuli G, Williams DR, Viswanath K, Subramanian SV, Brownstein JS. PMID: 32821062.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    14. Investigation of Geographic and Macrolevel Variations in LGBTQ Patient Experiences: Longitudinal Social Media Analysis. J Med Internet Res. 2020 07 31; 22(7):e17087. Hswen Y, Zhang A, Sewalk KC, Tuli G, Brownstein JS, Hawkins JB. PMID: 33137713.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    15. Digital Surveillance for Monitoring Environmental Health Threats: A Case Study Capturing Public Opinion from Twitter about the 2019 Chennai Water Crisis. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 07 14; 17(14). Xiong J, Hswen Y, Naslund JA. PMID: 32674441.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
    16. Evaluation of Volume of News Reporting and Opioid-Related Deaths in the United States: Comparative Analysis Study of Geographic and Socioeconomic Differences. J Med Internet Res. 2020 07 10; 22(7):e17693. Hswen Y, Zhang A, Freifeld C, Brownstein JS. PMID: 32673248.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    17. The relationship between Jim Crow laws and social capital from 1997-2014: A 3-level multilevel hierarchical analysis across time, county and state. Soc Sci Med. 2020 10; 262:113142. Hswen Y, Qin Q, Williams DR, Viswanath K, Brownstein JS, Subramanian SV. PMID: 32893046.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
    18. Mapping global variation in human mobility. Nat Hum Behav. 2020 08; 4(8):800-810. Kraemer MUG, Sadilek A, Zhang Q, Marchal NA, Tuli G, Cohn EL, Hswen Y, Perkins TA, Smith DL, Reiner RC, Brownstein JS. PMID: 32424257.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 7     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    19. Leveraging black-market street buprenorphine pricing to increase capacity to treat opioid addiction, 2010-2018. Prev Med. 2020 08; 137:106105. Hswen Y, Zhang A, Brownstein JS. PMID: 32353575.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
    20. Use of social media to assess the impact of equitable state policies on LGBTQ patient experiences: An exploratory study. Healthc (Amst). 2020 Jun; 8(2):100410. Hswen Y, Zhang A, Sewalk K, Tuli G, Brownstein JS, Hawkins JB. PMID: 32241681.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 2     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    21. Epidemiological data from the COVID-19 outbreak, real-time case information. Sci Data. 2020 03 24; 7(1):106. Xu B, Gutierrez B, Mekaru S, Sewalk K, Goodwin L, Loskill A, Cohn EL, Hswen Y, Hill SC, Cobo MM, Zarebski AE, Li S, Wu CH, Hulland E, Morgan JD, Wang L, O'Brien K, Scarpino SV, Brownstein JS, Pybus OG, Pigott DM, Kraemer MUG. PMID: 32210236.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 82     Fields:    Translation:HumansCellsPHPublic Health
    22. Lymelight: forecasting Lyme disease risk using web search data. NPJ Digit Med. 2020; 3:16. Sadilek A, Hswen Y, Bavadekar S, Shekel T, Brownstein JS, Gabrilovich E. PMID: 32047861.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:
    23. Real-Time Digital Surveillance of Vaping-Induced Pulmonary Disease. N Engl J Med. 2019 10 31; 381(18):1778-1780. Hswen Y, Brownstein JS. PMID: 31539466.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 16     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
    24. Detecting reports of unsafe foods in consumer product reviews. JAMIA Open. 2019 Oct; 2(3):330-338. Maharana A, Cai K, Hellerstein J, Hswen Y, Munsell M, Staneva V, Verma M, Vint C, Wijaya D, Nsoesie EO. PMID: 31984365.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:
    25. Social capital and physical health: An updated review of the literature for 2007-2018. Soc Sci Med. 2019 09; 236:112360. Rodgers J, Valuev AV, Hswen Y, Subramanian SV. PMID: 31352315.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 15     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    26. Comparing Three Methods for Reducing Psychotropic Use in Older Demented Spanish Care Home Residents. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2019 07; 67(7):1444-1453. Weeks WB, Mishra MK, Curto D, Petersen CL, Cano P, Hswen Y, Serra SV, Elwyn G, Godfrey MM, Soro PS, Tomás JF. PMID: 30848834.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 2     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    27. Using Twitter to Detect Psychological Characteristics of Self-Identified Persons With Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Feasibility Study. JMIR Mhealth Uhealth. 2019 02 12; 7(2):e12264. Hswen Y, Gopaluni A, Brownstein JS, Hawkins JB. PMID: 30747718.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 5     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    28. Feasibility of using social media to monitor outdoor air pollution in London, England. Prev Med. 2019 04; 121:86-93. Hswen Y, Qin Q, Brownstein JS, Hawkins JB. PMID: 30742873.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 4     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
    29. Monitoring Online Discussions About Suicide Among Twitter Users With Schizophrenia: Exploratory Study. JMIR Ment Health. 2018 Dec 13; 5(4):e11483. Hswen Y, Naslund JA, Brownstein JS, Hawkins JB. PMID: 30545811.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:
    30. Using Twitter to Examine Web-Based Patient Experience Sentiments in the United States: Longitudinal Study. J Med Internet Res. 2018 10 12; 20(10):e10043. Sewalk KC, Tuli G, Hswen Y, Brownstein JS, Hawkins JB. PMID: 30314959.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 7     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    31. Online Communication about Depression and Anxiety among Twitter Users with Schizophrenia: Preliminary Findings to Inform a Digital Phenotype Using Social Media. Psychiatr Q. 2018 09; 89(3):569-580. Hswen Y, Naslund JA, Brownstein JS, Hawkins JB. PMID: 29327218.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 7     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    32. Investigating inequities in hospital care among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals using social media. Soc Sci Med. 2018 10; 215:92-97. Hswen Y, Sewalk KC, Alsentzer E, Tuli G, Brownstein JS, Hawkins JB. PMID: 30219749.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 5     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    33. A Preliminary Evaluation of a School-Based Media Education and Reduction Intervention. J Prim Prev. 2018 06; 39(3):229-245. Bickham DS, Hswen Y, Slaby RG, Rich M. PMID: 29721652.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
    34. County-level assessment of United States kindergarten vaccination rates for measles mumps rubella (MMR) for the 2014-2015 school year. Vaccine. 2017 11 07; 35(47):6444-6450. Kluberg SA, McGinnis DP, Hswen Y, Majumder MS, Santillana M, Brownstein JS. PMID: 29037574.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
    35. Exploring online communication about cigarette smoking among Twitter users who self-identify as having schizophrenia. Psychiatry Res. 2017 11; 257:479-484. Hswen Y, Naslund JA, Chandrashekar P, Siegel R, Brownstein JS, Hawkins JB. PMID: 28841509.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 4     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    36. Use of a Digital Health Application for Influenza Surveillance in China. Am J Public Health. 2017 07; 107(7):1130-1136. Hswen Y, Brownstein JS, Liu J, Hawkins JB. PMID: 28520492.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 10     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
    37. Vaccine compliance and the 2016 Arkansas mumps outbreak. Lancet Infect Dis. 2017 04; 17(4):361-362. Majumder MS, Nguyen CM, Cohn EL, Hswen Y, Mekaru SR, Brownstein JS. PMID: 28346168.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 4     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
    38. Improving Physician Recommendations for Human Papillomavirus Vaccination: The Role of Professional Organizations. Sex Transm Dis. 2017 01; 44(1):42-47. Hswen Y, Gilkey MB, Rimer BK, Brewer NT. PMID: 27898573.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 12     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
    39. Media use and depression: exposure, household rules, and symptoms among young adolescents in the USA. Int J Public Health. 2015 Feb; 60(2):147-55. Bickham DS, Hswen Y, Rich M. PMID: 25586816.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 19     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    40. Differences in media access and use between rural Native American and White children. Rural Remote Health. 2014; 14(3):2922. Hswen Y, Naslund JA, Bickham DS. PMID: 25169711.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
    41. Feasibility of an Online and Mobile Videogame Curriculum for Teaching Children Safe and Healthy Cellphone and Internet Behaviors. Games Health J. 2014 Aug; 3(4):252-9. Hswen Y, Rubenzahl L, Bickham DS. PMID: 26192373.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    
    42. VIRTUAL AVATARS, GAMING, AND SOCIAL MEDIA: DESIGNING A MOBILE HEALTH APP TO HELP CHILDREN CHOOSE HEALTHIER FOOD OPTIONS. J Mob Technol Med. 2013; 2(2):8-14. Hswen Y, Murti V, Vormawor AA, Bhattacharjee R, Naslund JA. PMID: 25419244.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:
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