Most of the group: November 2014


Principal Investigator and Administration


Jukka-Pekka “JP” Onnela
Assistant Professor of Biostatistics, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

My research focuses on statistical analysis and mathematical and computational modeling of social and biological networks and their connection to human health. My other main research area is digital phenotyping. Prior to joining the Department of Biostatistics at the Harvard School of Public Health in November 2011, I was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Harvard Medical School, a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at the Harvard Kennedy School, and a Junior Research Fellow at Oxford University. I obtained my doctorate at the Helsinki University of Technology in 2006. I received NIH Director’s New Innovator Award in 2013.


Maria headshot

Maria Simoneau
Project Manager, Department of Biostatistics, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

I hold an MBA from Babson College and a BS in Computer Science from Boston College. I am joining the Biostatistics team after five years at the Harvard Chan School Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, where I provided program management for research projects studying determinants of health disparities among racial/ethnic and socioeconomic status groups.  I also worked in private industry in a variety of product marketing and project management roles on highly available networking equipment as well as mobile and communications application platforms.



Kenzie Carlson
Research Assistant, Department of Biostatistics, Harvard T.H.Chan School of Public Health

Prior to joining the Onnela Lab, I graduated from Indiana University in 2013 and worked for Accenture for three and a half years in the digital health technology space. Through my exposure at Accenture to the healthcare field I decided to return to school and complete my medical school prerequisites. I am especially interested in improving patient outcomes through technology and data.



Alice Winkler
Senior Grants Manager, Department of Biostatistics, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
(Joined with Michael Hughes, Curtis Huttenhower, and Marcello Pagano)

Originally from Wilmington, Delaware, I moved to Boston to attend Boston University. After graduation, I worked for the Cardiovascular Research Department of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center as the program administrator. In my free time, I enjoy skiing, cooking and running in road races in the Boston area. I joined in HSPH in 2013, and have greatly enjoyed working with PIs Michael Hughes, Curtis Huttenhower, JP Onnela & Marcello Pagano.


Postdoctoral Students


Ian Barnett
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Biostatistics, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

I received my B.S. in Mathematical and Computational Sciences at Stanford in 2010 before going on to receive my Ph.D. in Biostatistics at HSPH in 2014. I am interested in methods development for digital phenotyping, genomics, networks, and data integration. My most recent interests are in missing data, longitudinal data analysis, signal detection theory, and the analysis of large scale data (genomics, call detail records, GPS, and accelerometer). I particularly enjoy bringing a statistical mindset to problems that have been traditionally handled in other disciplines. For more information please visit my personal website.



Juan Fernández-Gracia (joined with Caroline Buckee)
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Biostatistics and Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

I received my PhD in physics from the University of the Balearic Islands in Spain. My current research interests include complex network theory, temporal networks, statistical physics, physics of complex systems, computational social science, computational biology, ecology, epidemiology and connection of models for social dynamics and empirical data. I also have a strong interest in outreach activities to bring science to broader audiences.


Patrick Staples
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Biostatistics, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

I have a double bachelor’s degree in mathematics and statistics from Brigham Young University, and a PhD in Biostatistics from Harvard University. While my training is in statistics, I am keen on the intersection of a variety of modeling approaches and application areas. I am primarily focusing on digital phenotyping.

Graduate Students

Alison Hwong

Alison Hwong
MD-PhD Candidate, Harvard Medical School and Graduate School of Arts of Sciences, PhD Program in Health Policy

I received a B.S. in Neuroscience from Brown University, then worked in the field of mental health research and policy before coming to Harvard for an MD-PhD (Health Policy). My dissertation focuses on the diffusion of public health interventions across social ties in villages in rural Honduras. I am interested in ways to optimize the spread of new health information and behaviors using network science, especially in low-resource settings.



Mathew Kiang
Doctoral Student in Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Prior to starting the doctoral program in Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, I received my MPH at New York University and BA at San Diego State University. My broad research focus is on health disparities (especially related to socioeconomic position) and my current projects explore ways of using large mobile phone data sets to better understand these issues.



Fei Li
Doctoral Student, Department of Biostatistics, Harvard University

I’m a second year doctoral student in biostatistics. I got my B.S. in biological science and B.A. in economics from Peking University in 2011. I obtained my M.S. in biostatistics from Harvard University in 2013. My research interest includes social network analysis and causal inference. I’m particularly interested in applying causal inference methods to complicated social network settings, both in methodology and in application to real world datasets. My current focuses are on spillover effect evaluation in networks with interference, where one person’s exposure affects the outcome of another, and also the case where one person’s outcome affects the outcome of another, which is common in social networks. I’m also interested in statistical modeling of social networks and in developing and evaluating intervention programs.



Heather Mattie
Doctoral Student, Department of Biostatistics, Harvard University

I am originally from Southern California, and earned a BS in Mathematics from the University of La Verne in 2008, and an MS in Mathematics from Claremont Graduate University in 2010. I also earned an AM in Biostatistics from the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in 2013. My current research focuses on statistical methods development for large-scale social networks, community detection and other structural characteristics of large-scale social networks, including the role of sampling. I am also interested in patient-sharing networks, and modeling social interaction.


Lab Affiliates

David Kim

David Kim
MD/PhD Candidate, Harvard Medical School and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

I graduated from the University of Toronto in 2007, and enrolled in the MD-PhD program at Harvard Medical School. My dissertation research involved a large-scale randomized trial of network-based public health interventions in rural Honduras. I am currently working with JP (my advisor) on a nationwide analysis of clinical influence and clustering among physicians.



Eric J. Ma
Runstadler Lab, Biological Engineering, MIT

I graduated from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver with a B.Sc. in Integrated Sciences (with Distinction) in 2010. I am currently developing graph-based methods to identify reassortant influenza viruses and the ecological and molecular factors enabling viral reassortment.


Felipe Montes pic

Felipe Montes Jiménez
Ceiba Complex Systems Research Center (Colombia)

After receiving my PhD at Universidad de los Andes (Colombia, 2014), I have been the Director for Quality Assurance of Higher Education at the Ministry of Education of Colombia. As researcher and policy maker, I have been involved in several projects designing and implementing organizational strategies by observing the world using the complex systems paradigm. I am interested in integrating tools and methodologies from four basic pillars: mathematical modelling, construction and analysis of big data, network science, and systems integration in complex environments under uncertainty. I have done research mainly in the education and public health sectors where I have designed strategies aimed to increase quality of higher education and models for assessing and increasing physical activity promotion and obesity prevention.


xiaoyuliXiaoyu Li
Doctoral Candidate in Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

I received a B.A. in sociology from Tsinghua University in 2011 and an M.S. in sociology from University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2013. As a social epidemiology student, my passion specifically lies in social networks’ impacts on various health outcomes and social determinants of sleep.



 Reiko Nishihara
Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

After receiving Ph.D. at Osaka University, I came to the Boston to study colorectal cancer epidemiology. Now, I am an Instructor in Medicine at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, and, at the same time, studying in the program of Computational Biology and Quantitative Genetics at Harvard School of Public Health as a student. Currently, under the supervision of Dr. Onnela, I am studying biological networks in colorectal tumors.


Flora 2

Flora Or
Doctoral Candidate, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

I received my B.A. in psychology from Emory University and my M.H.S. in Mental Health from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. I am particularly interested in leveraging cell phone data to detect early signs of mood disorders.



Yered Pita-Juarez
Doctoral Student, Department of Biostatistics, Harvard University

I received my B.A. in Applied Mathematics from California State University, Sacramento in 2010. Currently, I am a PhD student in the Department of Biostatistics. My research interests are in biological networks and functional genomics.


Melanie Prague

Mélanie Prague
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Biostatistics, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

I graduated in Bordeaux, France and I moved to Boston for a postdoctoral fellowship. My research focuses on the development of statistical methods for robust and efficient treatment effect estimation, with a focus on semi-parametric methods for randomized clustered trials in presence of missing data. I draw motivation for the methods from examples in sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV. Main examples come from intervention studies in South Africa. Beforehand, my PhD work focused on modeling the dynamic of HIV for treatment monitoring and optimization using dynamical models such as ordinary differential equation with random effects.


Joel Salinas

Joel Salinas, M.D., M.B.A.
Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychiatry Fellow, Departments of Neurology and Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School

I am a fellow in behavioral neurology and neuropsychiatry with expertise in epidemiology and social determinants of neurologic disease outcomes.  My long-term goal is to develop and deploy strategies to prevent the development of devastating chronic brain disease.  My work in the lab focuses on investigating predictors and modifiable risk factors of age-related neurologic disease and its sequelae using social networks from large epidemiologic cohorts.  After graduating from Cornell University, I completed medical school at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine followed by neurology residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital.


John T

John Torous, M.D.
Resident Physician in the Department of Psychiatry, Brigham and Women’s and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School

I received my bachelors degree in electrical engineering and computer sciences from U.C Berkeley, completed medical school at U.C San Diego, and am currently a resident in psychiatry at the Harvard Longwood Psychiatry Residency Training Program. I am interested in researching the applications of mobile technologies such as smartphones to complement and enhance care for patients with psychiatric illnesses. My areas of interest include application development, clinical studies of new technologies, and integration of such into the clinical workflow.




Clare Rosenfeld Evans
Faculty Fellow, Department of Sociology, University of Oregon

I am a Faculty Fellow in the Department of Sociology at the University of Oregon and an alumna of the Onnela Lab.  I received my doctorate from the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.  I am a quantitative social epidemiologist and medical sociologist, and I am particularly interested in developing and applying innovative methodological approaches to study the social determinants of health and health inequalities. My research interests and projects involve social networks, place and environment, segregation and stratification, and intersectionality.  For more information please visit my academic website:



Seth Greenwood
Masters Student, Department of Biostatistics, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

I went to the University of Minnesota and graduated with Bachelor’s degrees in Microbiology and Statistics. I’m interested in increasing the use of quantitative methods in public health fields. My current research is investigating the correlation between social networks and geography.



Guy Harling (joined with Till Bärnighausen)
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

I completed my doctoral studies in Social and Behavioral Sciences at HSPH and also completed an MPH at the University of Cape Town and an MA in Economics at McGill University. My research examines social and economic risk factors for the acquisition of infectious diseases, including HIV, other STIs and tuberculosis. I use various methods that account for non-independence of data, including multilevel and spatial regression models and mass-action and network-structured state-transition models. I am learning to live in Python.

Jeffrey Lienert
NIH OxCam Scholars Program (D.Phil in Network Science at Oxford University)

I have a BA in biochemistry from Franklin and Marshall College, and an MS in epidemiology from HSPH. I am currently a D.Phil candidate at the University of Oxford with Drs. Felix Reed-Tsochas and Laura Koehly at the NIH. Together, we are hoping to understand the processes driving dynamic processes on temporal networks, particularly in the case of hospital outbreaks of infectious disease.



Jeanette Lorme
MD Candidate at Rush Medical College

I am currently pursuing an MD at Rush Medical College in Chicago, IL.  As a former Research Assistant for the Onnela Lab from 2014-2016, I worked to implement the Beiwe Research Platform with initial collaborators in the digital phenotyping realm.  I completed the post-baccalaureate program in Premedical Studies at the Harvard Extension School and served as a teaching assistant for the Fundamentals of Biostatistics course at the Extension school.  I hold a BA in Political Science, International Studies, and Global Health from Northwestern University. Prior to my time with the Onnela Lab, I worked in a variety of roles including healthcare revenue cycle consultant and emergency medical technician.