Yurun Cai

Assistant Professor
Health & Community Systems


Dr. Cai’s research focus is aging, chronic musculoskeletal pain, accelerometer measured physical activity, mobility, and falls in community-dwelling older adults. She has led several projects exploring the mechanisms underlying the relationships between chronic pain, cognition, and falls. She was also involved in National Institute on Aging R01-funded research projects examining the associations of sensorimotor function with mobility, physical activity, and cognitive impairment. She also has experience in analyzing large-scale longitudinal datasets using SAS and Mplus software. Dr. Cai has demonstrated a record of productive research publications in aging research. Her ultimate research goal is to help older adults enhance mobility and cognition and maintain functional independence.

Dr. Cai earned her BSN from Peking University Health Science Center and PhD in Nursing – Population Health track from the University of Massachusetts Boston in 2019. Her dissertation focused on the longitudinal association between chronic musculoskeletal pain and risk of injurious falls and circumstances of falls in older adults enrolled in the MOBILIZE Boston study. In 2021, Dr. Cai completed her 2-year postdoctoral training in the Department of Epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Dr. Cai has presented her research in national and international research conferences. She is a member of the Gerontological Society of America, Eastern Nursing Research Society, and Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. She has served as a reviewer in several peer-reviewed journals (BMC Public Health, BMC Geriatrics, American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias, etc.) and an abstract reviewer for the annual meeting of the Gerontological Society of America.

Scholarly Emphasis

aging, physical activity, mobility, cognitive impairment, and falls