Zhen Lei

Directory Info

Zhen Lei

Assistant Professor of Energy and Environmental Economics

125 Hosler Building


Biographical Sketch: 

Zhen Lei is currently an Assistant Professor of Energy and Environmental Economics. He has expertise in both economics and science, holding a Ph.D. degree in Economics and a Ph.D. degree in Chemistry. His research interests include economics of innovation, intellectual property, science and technology policy, energy and environmental economics, and applied econometrics.

Educational Background: 

Ph.D. (Agricultural and Resource Economics), University of California at Berkeley, 2009
Ph.D. (Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences), Peking University Health Sciences Center, 2000
M.S. (Organic Chemistry), Chinese Academy of Sciences, 1997
B.S. (Chemistry), Wuhan University, 1993

Research Interests: 
  • Economics of innovation, intellectual property policy and entrepreneurship
  • Energy and environmental economics
  • Science and technology policy
  • Empirical econometrics
Active Research Projects: 

Zhen Lei’s research interests include economics of innovation and intellectual property, entrepreneurship, science and technology policy, energy and environmental economics, and applied econometrics. There are two major thrusts in his research. The first one is on economics and policy of technological investment and innovation in energy and environment, particularly in the U.S. and China. The second research thrust is to examine more general economics and policy issues related to incentives, institutions and policies for innovation. These issues include the patent systems, university patenting and licensing, technology adoption and diffusion, innovation networks, etc.

Selected Publications: 
  1. Drivas, Kyriakos, Zhen Lei, Steve Merrill and Brian D. Wright, “Technology Transfer: Industry-funded Academic Inventions Boost Innovation,” Nature, 2014, 507, 297-299.
  2. Oh, Sooyoung, Zhen Lei, Wang-Chien Lee, and John Yen. “Patent Evaluation Based on Technological Trajectory Revealed in Relevant Prior Patents,” The 18th Pacific-Asia Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (PAKDD 2014), Tainan, Taiwan, May 13-16, 2014.
  3. Oh, Sooyoung, Zhen Lei, Wang-Chien Lee, Prasenjit Mitra and John Yen. “CV-PCR: A Context-Guided Value-Driven Framework for Patent Citation Recommendation,” ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM 2013), San Francisco, CA, U.S.A., Oct. 2013.
  4. Graff, Gregory D., Devon Phillips, Zhen Lei, Sooyoung Oh, Carol Nottenburg, and Philip G. Pardey. “Not Quite a Myriad of Gene Patents: Assessing the Potential Impact of the U.S. Supreme Court on the Changing Landscape of U.S. Patents that Claim Nucleic Acids,” Nature Biotechnology, 2013, 31(5), 404-410.
  5. Daniel R. Cahoy, Joel Gehman and Zhen Lei, “Fracking Patents: The Emergence of Patents as Information Containment Tools in Shale Drilling,” Michigan Telecommunications and Technology Law Review, 2013, 2013, 19(2), 279-330.
  6. Sooyoung Oh, Zhen Lei, Prasenjit Mitra and John Yen, “Evaluating and Ranking Patents Using Weighted Citations,” in Proceedings of The ACM/IEEE-CS Joint Conference on Digital Libraries (JCDL 2012), 281-284, Washington D.C., U.S.A., 2012.
  7. Zhen Lei, Rakhi Juneja and Brian Wright, "Patents vs. Patenting: Implications of Intellectual Property Protection for Biological Research", Nature Biotechnology, 2009(1), 27, 36-40.
  8. Steven E. Sexton, Zhen Lei and David Zilberman, "The Economics of Pesticides and Pest Control", International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics, 2007, 1(3), 271-326.
  9. Zhen Lei, Weiguo Chen, Min Zhang and Joseph L. Napoli, "Reduction of all-trans-retinal in the mouse liver peroxisome fraction by the short-chain dehydrogenase/reductase RRD: induction by the PPARa-ligand clofibrate", Biochemistry, 2003, 42, 4190-4196.
  10. Zhen Lei, Ling Zhang, Liang Ren Zhang, Jun Chen, Jimei Min and Lihe Zhang, "Hybrid Characteristics of oligonucleotides consisting of isonucleoside 2',5'-anhydro-3'-deoxy- 3'-(thymin-1-yl)-D-mannitol with different linkage modes", Nucleic Acids Research, 2001, 29(7), 1470-1475.
  11. Zhen Lei, Jimei Min, Lihe Zhang, "Synthesis of 3-deoxy-3-nucleobase -2,5-anhydro-D -mannitol: a novel class of hydromethyl-branched isonucleosides", Tetrahedron Asymmetry, 2000, 11, 2899-2906.
  12. Weisheng Tian, Zhen Lei, Ling Chen, Ying Huang, "Some new reactions of per(poly)alkyl sulfonyl floride with steriodic molecules", Journal of Fluorine Chemistry, 2000, 101, 305-308.