Bei Wu is the Dean’s Professor of Global Health and Vice Dean for Research at New York University (NYU) Rory Meyers College of Nursing. Prior to joining NYU, she was the Pauline Gratz Professor of Nursing and the Director for International Research at Duke University. At NYU, Dr. Wu has also held several other faculty leadership positions, including the Director of Global Health and Aging Research, Director of Research for the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing, and the inaugural co-Director of the NYU Aging Incubator. As an eminent international leader in aging and health, she has increased the knowledge base of the lived experience of frail older adults and their quality of life. She is widely known as the first social scientist to show the links between poor oral health and cognitive loss among older adults. Her focus on the chronicity of illness, social determinants of health, and aging has informed numerous health care professionals and researchers. Dr. Wu has embraced a cross-disciplinary partnership with nurses to inform our nursing knowledge and grow the nursing profession’s ability to have policy impact.
She is currently leading several NIH funded projects including a clinical trial to improve oral health for persons with cognitive impairment, and a large secondary data analysis to examine how the co-occurrence of diabetes and poor oral health may lead to the development of dementia and cognitive decline. She co-leads the NIH-funded Rutgers-NYU Center for Asian Health Promotion and Equity. Through this center, she also leads a 5-year intervention study that focuses on supporting Chinese and Korean dementia caregivers who are at increased risk for high blood pressure and diabetes due to the physical and emotional demands of caregiving.
Dr. Wu is also one of the leaders of the NIH-funded Asian Resource Center for Minority Aging Research. In this role, she has trained dozens of scholars on improving health and wellbeing of older Asian Americans. Her research findings have been featured at numerous international and national media outlets. Dr. Wu has committed herself to linking her social science work with health researchers, especially nurses, around the world.
As a partner with nursing, Dr. Wu has provided extensive mentorship to several dozens of nursing scholars in the US and globally. Dr. Wu is a fellow of the Gerontological Society of America, the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education, and the New York Academy of Medicine. She is an honorary member of Sigma Theta Tau International. She has served on a number of NIH review panels and is a frequent reviewer for multiple international funding agencies. In 2017, she was honored as the Distinguished Scientist in Geriatric Oral Research from the International Association for Dental Research and the Inspiration Award from the China Health Policy and Management Society in 2022. Her dedication to interprofessionalism in the care of older adults as well as her commitment to promoting health equity is laudable.