Mauricio Santillana

Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology

Department of Epidemiology

Mauricio Santillana is the director of the Machine Intelligence Research Lab in the Computational Health Informatics Program, at Boston Children’s Hospital. He is an Assistant Professor at both the Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, and the Department of Epidemiology,  T.H. Chan Harvard School of Public Health. He serves as affiliate faculty at the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics and the Harvard Institute for Applied and Computational Sciences. Dr. Santillana enjoys working with policy makers and clinicians in the design of decision-making support tools.

Dr. Santillana is a physicist and applied mathematician with expertise in mathematical modeling and scientific computing. He has worked in multiple research areas frequently analyzing big data sets to understand and predict the behavior of complex systems. His research modeling population growth patterns has informed policy makers in Mexico and Texas. His research in numerical analysis and computational fluid dynamics has been used to improve models of coastal floods due to hurricanes, and to improve the performance of global atmospheric chemistry models.

In recent years, Dr. Santillana’s main interest has been to design and implement mathematical solutions to healthcare. Specifically, his ongoing research activities can be summarized as follows:

  • He is interested in leveraging information from big data sets from Internet-based services (such as Google, Twitter, Weather, Human mobility/migration) and electronic health records (EHR) to predict disease incidence in multiple locations worldwide
  • He works in close collaboration with Intensive Care (ICU) physicians, mathematicians, computer and data scientists to monitor health indicators and predict outcomes in hospitalized patients in critical care.
  • Dr. Santillana has advised the CDC, Africa CDC, and the White House on the development of population-wide disease forecasting tools.
  • Dr. Santillana and his colleagues have identified previously unknown associations between Antibiotic Resistance incidence in humans and local ambient temperature in the USA and Europe.

Mauricio received a B.S. in physics with highest honors from the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico in Mexico City, and a master’s and PhD in computational and applied mathematics from the University of Texas at Austin. Mauricio first joined Harvard as a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard Center for the Environment and has been a lecturer in applied mathematics at the Harvard SEAS, receiving two awards for excellence in teaching.