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Man Kit Lei

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Associate Professor

Man Kit (Karlo) Lei is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology and a core faculty member of the Center on Biological Embedding of Social Events and Relationships. He holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Georgia. Dr. Lei's teaching and research areas encompass diverse topics, including the sociology of health, criminology, structural inequality, family and neighborhood studies, and quantitative methods.

Dr. Lei's research stands at the intersection of various disciplines, as he employs diverse theories and methodologies to explore the social determinants of health, aging, and well-being throughout the human lifespan. His particular focus lies in studying minority populations and disadvantaged neighborhoods. Recently, he has been driven by three fundamental questions that shape his endeavors: 1. How does a deeper understanding of the social determinants influence overall well-being? 2. What are the mechanisms and reasons behind the impact of early adversity experiences on well-being across one's life journey? 3. Why do specific individuals, when exposed to social adversity, experience adverse outcomes while others do not?

His contributions to the field have been acknowledged through numerous publications in esteemed social science journals, including American Sociological Review, the Journals of Gerontology, Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Justice Quarterly, Social Science and Medicine, Psychological Medicine, Journal of Family Psychology, and Family Process. Furthermore, Dr. Lei has been recognized with several prestigious awards, such as the Gene Carte Award, the Joan Petersilia Outstanding Article Award from the American Society of Criminology, the Donal MacNamara Award from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, and the Best Paper Award from the American Sociological Association's Section on Evolution, Biology & Society. Most recently, he was honored with the Charles B. Knapp Early Career Scholar Award from the University of Georgia. This distinguished award, named in memory of the University's 20th President, acknowledges exceptional accomplishments and demonstrates the potential for future success in scholarship, creative work, or research by an early-career faculty member in the social and behavioral sciences.

  • Ph.D., Sociology, University of Georgia, 2013
  • M.A., Sociology, National Taiwan University, 2001
  • LL.B., College of Law (Economic and Financial Law Division), National Taiwan University, 1999
  • 2022-2025. Co-Investigator, "Stress, Weathering, and Blood-Based Biomarkers of Alzheimer's Disease: A Longitudinal Study of Low Income, Aging African Americans." National Institute on Aging.
  • 2018-2023. Co-Investigator, "Using a Randomized Prevention Trial to Understand the Health Benefits of Supportive Couple Relationships among Rural African American Adults." National Institute on Aging.
  • 2018-2023. Co-Investigator, "Contextual and Health Behavior Effects on Epigenetic Aging Among African Americans." National Cancer Institute.
  • 2020-2022. Principal Investigator, Workgroup on Families, Communities, and Health, Office of Research, University of Georgia.
  • 2017-2022. Co-Investigator, "Psychosocial Context and the Biological Clock: Changes in Weathering during Middle Age." National Institute on Aging.
  • 2019-2021. Co-Investigator, “Childhood Stressors and Cardiovascular Disease Risk in Adulthood: A Longitudinal Investigation of Divergent Explanatory Models.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 
Selected Publications:
Of Note:


  • 2022 Charles B. Knapp Early Career Scholar Award, University of Georgia
  • 2022. Donal MacNamara Award, Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences
  • 2014. B. O. Williams Award for Dissertation Research, Department of Sociology, University of Georgia.
  • 2013. Joan Petersilia Outstanding Article Award, American Society of Criminology.
  • 2013. Certificate of Excellence, Department of Sociology, University of Georgia.
  • 2012. First Prize, Gene Carte Student Paper Award, American Society of Criminology.
  • 2012. The Best Graduate Student Paper Award, Evolution, Biology & Society Section, American Sociological Association.
  • 2011.  B. O. Williams Award for Thesis Research, Department of Sociology, University of Georgia.

Elected Offices and Editorial Experience

  • 2021-present. Associate Editor, Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine
  • 2023-present. Editorial Board Member, Journal of Health and Social Behavior
Courses Regularly Taught:
Articles Featuring Man Kit Lei

Man-Kit (Karlo) Lei received the Charles B. Knapp Early Career Scholar Award from the Office of Research in recognition of his outstanding research accomplishments.