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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 core faculty of the Center on Biological Embedding of Social Events and relationships. He received a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Georgia. His teaching and research interests include sociology of health, criminology, structural inequality, family and neighborhood studies, and quantitative methods.

Lei's research combines theories and methods across disciplinary boundaries to examine the social determinants of health, aging, and well-being across the life span, with a particular focus on minority populations and disadvantaged neighborhoods. Recently, his efforts have been guided by three questions: 1. How does a better understanding of the social determinants impact well-being? 2. How and why do early adversity experiences impact well-being across the life course? 3. Why do only some, and not all people, exposed to social adversity develop negative outcomes?

His work has been published in the top journals in social science, including the American Sociological Review, Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Social Science and Medicine, Psychological Medicine, Journal of Family Psychology, and Family Process. He has received 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. Recently, he received the Charles B. Knapp Early Career Scholar Award from the University of Georgia. Named in honor of the University of Georgia's 20th President, this award recognizes "outstanding accomplishment and evidence of potential 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, University of Georgia, 2010
  • M.A., Sociology, National Taiwan University, 2001
  • LL.B., Law (minor in Sociology), 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
Tuesday, January 4, 2022 - 2:40pm

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.