Muling He researched the urban history of Central Asia and wrote his thesis on political and spatial changes in the mahallas during the Soviet period. He is also broadly interested in Eurasian history, ethnography, and literature. 

Before joining the Davis Center, He studied philosophy and Russian at Carnegie Mellon University, where he completed a thesis exploring Sino-Soviet relations during Khrushchev’s era. He has worked at The Moscow Times and the Charhar Institute. He is also an affiliate of the law school at Columbia University.