HomeAboutFaculty DirectoryCHEN Huijun Cynthia

CHEN Huijun Cynthia

While growing old is inevitable, many spend their twilight years in good physical and mental health. With the impending demographic shift, the population of Singaporeans aged 65 and above will triple to 900k by 2030. This has major implications for the young and old. Are we prepared? Can we do better?

Cynthia's passion for ageing research started a decade ago where she soon realised gaps in her knowledge and skills. Thus, she went on to learn Health Economics through the NUS-Overseas Postdoctoral Fellowship. For her postdoc, she was privileged to learn under the mentorship of Dana Goldman, John Rowe and Julie Zissimopoulos at the University of Southern California, Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics. Her research projects were supported by prominent private philanthropy in the USA. She is also involved in multiple grants in Singapore and the National Institute on Ageing (USA).

She specialises in the economics of ageing in Asia. She is interested in patients' outcomes, health care utilisation and expenditures and the likely impact of policies. She also enjoys running, skiing, scuba diving, and most outdoor sports. She also likes to explore nature, where she marvels at the immensity of Creation.


  • Assistant Professor, Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health (Primary)
  • Fellow, University of Southern California

Research Areas:

  • Economics of Ageing
  • Healthcare Financing
  • Public Health and Ageing
  • Biostatistics

Teaching Areas:

  • Public Health Economics
  • Public Health and Ageing
  • Applied Statistical Courses

Academic/Professional Qualifications:

  • PhD in Public Health (2014), NUS
  • MSc in Statistics and Applied Probability (2011), NUS
  • BSc in Statistics & minor in Mathematics (2009), NUS


  • NUS Overseas Postdoctoral Fellowship (2015-2018)
  • NUS PhD Research Scholarship (2012-2014)
  • Best Oral Presentation, Universitas 21, Graduate Research Conference, University of Auckland, New Zealand (2014)
  • Best Oral Presentation Runner Up (Singapore International Public Health Conference) (2012)

Career History:

  • Postdoctoral Scholar, University of Southern California (2015-2017)
  • Research Scholar, Washington University in St. Louis (2014)
  • Analyst, National Population of Talent Division, Prime Minister's Office (2011)
  • Research Assistant, National University of Singapore (2009-2011)

Selected Publications:

  • Chen C*, Cervero-Liceras F*, Flasche S, Sidharta S, Yoong J, Sundaram N, Jit M (2019). Effect and cost-effectiveness of pneumococcal conjugate vaccination: a global modelling analysis. The Lancet Global Health; 7: e58–67; doi:10.1016/S2214-109X(18)30422-4.
  • Chen C, Goldman DP, Zissimopoulos J, Rowe JW; Research Network on an Aging Society (2018). A Multi-dimensional Comparison of Countries' Adaptation to Societal Aging. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115 (37) 9169-9174; doi:10.1073/pnas.1806260115
  • Chen C, Zissimopoulos J (2018). Racial and ethnic differences in trends in dementia prevalence and risk factors in the United States. Alzheimer's & Dementia: Translational Research & Clinical Interventions. 2018 Oct 5;4:510-520; doi:10.1016/j.trci.2018.08.009.
  • Goldman DP, Chen C, Zissimopoulos J, Rowe JW; Research Network on an Aging Society (2018). Opinion: Measuring how nations adapt to societal aging. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115 (3) 435-437; doi:10.1073/pnas.1720899115.
  • Sundaram N, Chen C, Yoong J, Luvsan ME, Fox K, Sarankhuu A, LaVincente S, Jit M. Cost-effectiveness of 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccination in Mongolia. Vaccine. Vaccine. 2017 Feb 15;35(7):1055-1063. doi:10.1016/j.vaccine.2016.12.070.
  • Cher BP, Chen C, Yoong J (2016). Prevalence-based, disease-specific estimate of the social cost of smoking in Singapore. BMJ Open. 2017 Apr 7;7(4):e014377. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-014377.
  • Lim RBT, Chen C, Naidoo N, Gay G, Tang WE, Seah D, Chen R, Tan NC, Lee J, Tai ES, Chia KS, Lim WY. Anthropometric indices of obesity, all-cause and cardiovascular disease-related mortality in an Asian cohort with T2DM. Diabetes Metab 2015 Sep;41(4):291-300. doi: 10.1016/j.diabet.2014.12.003
  • Chen C, Sia I, Ma HM, Tai BC, Cheong A, Fong NP, Chan KM, Tan BY, Menon E, Ee CH, Lee KK, Ng YS, Teo YY, Koh CHG. The synergistic effect of functional status and comorbidity burden on mortality: a 16-year survival analysis. PLoS One. 2014 Aug 29;9(8):e106248. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0106248
  • Chen C, Naidoo N, Er BHD, Cheong A, Fong NP, Chan KM, Tan BY, Menon E, Ee CH, Lee KK, Ng YS, Teo YY, Koh CHG. Factors associated with nursing home placement of all patients admitted for inpatient rehabilitation in Singapore community hospitals from 1996 to 2005: a disease stratified analysis. PLoS One. 2013 Dec 23;8(12):e82697. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0082697

View her detailed CV here

Assistant Professor
Tel (65) 6601 5526
Email: ephchc@nus.edu.sg


Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health
Tahir Foundation Building
National University of Singapore
12 Science Drive 2
Singapore 117549
For all visitors, kindly proceed to Level 10 Reception Area at MD1
Telephone: (65) 6516 4988
Fascimile: (65) 6779 1489

Connect With Us:     

© National University of Singapore. All Rights Reserved.
Legal   Branding guidelines