Dr. Weng Kee Wong, professor of biostatistics at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, has been named a Yushan Scholar by the Taiwan Ministry of Education. Wong is one of 43 international scholars to receive the award, which supports a three-month-per-year exchange program for three years to conduct research in Taiwan.

Wong’s award will take him to the National Cheng Kung University in Tainan, Taiwan. There, he will continue his current research to construct large-scale model-based optimal designs for health care studies using nature-inspired metaheuristic algorithms.

Wong has a long and successful record of working with statisticians and students in Taiwan and also mentoring doctoral students across Europe, Asia and North America.

Wong’s earlier research projects have been supported by the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Cancer Institute, the Robert Wood Foundation, the Scleroderma Foundation and the Lupus Foundation of America. His research areas include environmental health science, nutrition for breast cancer patients, health disparities issues and intervention programs to fight obesity in African American, Asian American and Latino communities in southern California.

Wong teaches multiple biostatistics classes at the graduate level, and he has supervised, co-supervised or served as a committee member on more than 90 doctoral theses and master’s reports at UCLA and other universities. He is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Institute of Mathematical Statistics and the American Statistician Association, and he was elected chair of the Fielding School’s Faculty Executive Committee from 2014 to 2016.