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Full-time Academic Staff: Teaching Staff

Professor Yanjia Cao


Room 10.17

391 77451

Assistant Professor 

MS (SUNY- Buffalo); PhD (UMaryland/UIowa)




HKU Scholar Hub

Professor Yanjia Cao received her PhD in Geography from University of Maryland, and MS in Geography from University at Buffalo-SUNY. As a health geographer, she had cross-disciplinary training in public health science during her postdoctoral scholarship, at Stanford University School of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases and Geographic Medicine, and also University of California San Diego, School of Public Health. Her current projects cover a variety of world-wide locations, concentrating on food environment and diabetes in San Diego, access to COVID-19 vaccine in England, and hospital facility functionality in Malawi. She serves board of directors (BOD) for the Health and Medical Geography specialty group at AAG since 2019. She was also the BOD member for the International Association of Chinese Professionals in Geographic Information Sciences during 2019-2020.

Research Interests
  • Health geography

  • Spatial data science

  • Health disparities

  • Spatial epidemiology

  • Space-time data mining

  • Data visualization



Map Use, Reading and Interpretation



Annual; 2nd Semester


Geography and Global Health



Annual; 1st Semester


Health, Wellbeing, Place and GIS



Annual; 1st Semester

Selected Publications


  • Cao, Y., Jankowska, MM., Yang, JA., Shi, Y. (2022) Spatial and temporal pattern of cannabis use disorder in California, 2010-2019. Spatial and Spatiotemporal Epidemiology 42, 100520.


  • Cao, Y., Karthikeyan, A., Krishna, S., Raju, R., Sindh, C., Srinivasan, M., Ramanujam, K., Mohan, V., Kang, G., John, J., Andrews, J., Lo, N. (2021) Geospatial pattern of typhoid fever in India: a model-based estimate of cohort and surveillance data. Journal of Infectious Diseases 224 (Sppl_5), S475-S483. doi:10.1093/infdis/jiab187

  • Yang, X., Cao, Y., Liu R., Guo, M., Tang, L. (2021) Accessibility assessment of buildings based on multi-source spatial data: taking Wuhan as a case study. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information, 10(10), 701.


  • Tamrakar, D., Vaidya, K., Yu, A., Aiemjoy, K., Naga, S. R., Cao, Y., Bern, C., Shrestha, R., Karmacharya, B., Pradhan, S., Qamar, F., Saha, S., Date, K., Longley, A., Hemlock, C., Luby, S., Garrett, D., Bogoch, I., Andrews, J. (2020) Spatial heterogeneity of enteric fever in 2 diverse communities in Nepal. Clinical Infectious Diseases 71 (Sppl_3), S205-S213.

  • Cao, Y., Stewart, K., Factor, J., Billing, A., Massey E., Artigiani, E., Wagner, M., Dezman, Z., Wish, E. (2020). Using socially-sensed data to infer ZIP level characteristics for the spatial temporal analysis of drug-related health problems in Maryland. Health & Place, 63, 102345.


  • Cao, Y., Stewart, K., Wish, E., Artigiani, E., Sorg, M. (2019). Determining spatial access to opioid use disorder treatment and emergency medical services in New Hampshire. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 101, 55-66.


  • Stewart, K., Cao, Y., Hsu, M. H., Artigiani, E., & Wish, E. (2017). Geospatial Analysis of Drug Poisoning Deaths Involving Heroin in the USA, 2000-2014. Journal of Urban Health, 94, 4, 572-586.


  • Cao, Y., Stewart, K., & Kalil, R. (2016). Geographic patterns of end-stage renal disease and kidney transplants in the Midwestern United States. Applied Geography, 71, 133–143. doi:10.1016/j.apgeog.2016.05.001

BOD Services
  • Board of Directors, Health and Medical Geography Specialty Group, American Association of Geographers, 2019 – 2022

  • Board of Directors, International Association of Chinese Professionals in Geographic Information Sciences, 2019 – 2020

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