I-Min Lee
Secondary Faculty

I-Min Lee

Professor in the Department of Epidemiology


Other Positions

Professor of Medicine

Medicine-Brigham and Women's Hospital

Harvard Medical School


I-Min Lee, MBBS, MPH, ScD, FACSM is Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Professor of Epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She was born and educated in Malaysia prior to receiving her medical degree from the National University of Singapore. She then completed her MPH and ScD degrees at the Harvard School of Public Health. Her primary research interest is in the role of physical activity for promoting health and well-being, and she has published more than 550 scientific articles. One of these, published by the Lancet in 2012 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-18876880), that estimated the impact of physical inactivity on major non-communicable diseases has been highly influential in the field being cited more than 9,700 times to date.

She is editor or co-editor of physical activity epidemiology textbooks that have been translated into the Korean and Chinese languages. She has served on national and international expert panels developing physical activity guidelines including the inaugural 2008 US Physical Activity Guidelines, the 2010 WHO Global Recommendations on Physical Activity for Health, and the 2013 AHA/ACC Guideline on Lifestyle Management to Reduce Cardiovascular Risk, and sits on the Steering Committee of international Lancet Physical Activity Series. She is Principal Investigator of one of the first large-scale epidemiologic studies using accelerometers to measure physical activity and sedentary behavior among 18,000 participants in the Women’s Health Study from 2011 to 2015, who are currently being followed for health outcomes. Using these data, she was one of the first investigators to question whether the conventionally accepted 10,000 steps/day is necessary for health (https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/06/well/move/10000-steps-health.html).


Circulating vitamin D and breast cancer risk: an international pooling project of 17 cohorts.

Visvanathan K, Mondul AM, Zeleniuch-Jacquotte A, Wang M, Gail MH, Yaun SS, Weinstein SJ, McCullough ML, Eliassen AH, Cook NR, Agnoli C, Almquist M, Black A, Buring JE, Chen C, Chen Y, Clendenen T, Dossus L, Fedirko V, Gierach GL, Giovannucci EL, Goodman GE, Goodman MT, Guénel P, Hallmans G, Hankinson SE, Horst RL, Hou T, Huang WY, Jones ME, Joshu CE, Kaaks R, Krogh V, Kühn T, Kvaskoff M, Lee IM, Mahamat-Saleh Y, Malm J, Manjer J, Maskarinec G, Millen AE, Mukhtar TK, Neuhouser ML, Robsahm TE, Schoemaker MJ, Sieri S, Sund M, Swerdlow AJ, Thomson CA, Ursin G, Wactawski-Wende J, Wang Y, Wilkens LR, Wu Y, Zoltick E, Willett WC, Smith-Warner SA, Ziegler RG.

Eur J Epidemiol. 2023 Jan. 38(1):11-29. PMID: 36593337


Evidence mounts on the benefits of strength training

A recent meta-analysis found that people who do muscle-strengthening workouts are less likely to die prematurely than those who don’t, adding to previous evidence that strength training has long-term health benefits.

Walking daily may boost healthy aging

Studies have shown that a regular walking habit can promote weight control, but it may also provide additional health benefits for body and mind as people age.