Kung-Yee is one of the leading biostatistical scholars of his generation. He is best known for the co-development of a widely used analytical method in public health research called generalized estimating equations, a pragmatic approach to the analysis of correlated longitudinal and clustered data. Over the last decade, Kung-Yee has shifted from conducting research to making impactful administrative and policy decisions for Taiwan, his home country. He first served as president of Yang-Ming University, which attracts some of Taiwan’s most promising biomedical students, and now he is president of the National Health Research Institutes (NHRI) that focus on clinical and public health research to build healthier communities.
The COVID-19 pandemic has put an even sharper focus on Kung-Yee’s role as a public health leader. Taiwan has been viewed as a model of effective pandemic response and NHRI played an integral role in this success. Recently, Kung-Yee was appointed by Taiwan’s federal government to lead a research and development group focused on finding COVID-19 vaccines, treatments and diagnostics.