Yanfang is a doctoral student in Global Health and Population program at Harvard School of Public Health. She is currently a Desmond and Whitney Shum Fellow at Harvard's Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies. Prior to Harvard, Yanfang was with the Hong Kong Policy and Research Institute as a visiting researcher. She has also been trained by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia on "Program Evaluation".
Yanfang’s research focuses primarily on health systems from a political economy perspective. Through her research in the Program in Health Care Financing (PHCF), Yanfang has firsthand knowledge of the complexities and challenges of health care reform in China. Currently, she is involved with a 5-year social-health experiment in Ningxia, China. Yanfang's other research interests include measures of health status and health inequality, with a particular interest in how non-tax revenues such as oil rents and foreign aid affect health outcomes. Her studies have addressed critical issues including: community and primary healthcare; hospital capacity; cigarette taxation; lead poisoning; and the relationship between taxation, public debt and social welfare.
Yanfang has published journal articles in Journal of the Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, The Study of Finance & Economic, and Chinese Hospitals; book chapters in City Culture & Civilization Research, Cases of Public Policy & Management in China, Non-State Actors & the Diplomacy of Greater China, and Industrial Organization & Regulation; and news articles in People's Daily Overseas Edition, and Hong Kong Economic Journal.
Finally, Yanfang is committed to public service, most recently as a volunteer for post-earthquake reconstruction in Sichuan, China.