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Alexis Santos
Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Studies
  • Human Development and Family Studies - HDFS
  • Research
  • Adulthood and Aging
  • Graduate Program
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  • 2015 Ph.D. in Applied Demography, University of Texas at San Antonio
  • 2012 M.A. Economics, University of Puerto Rico Rio Piedras
  • 2010 B.A. Economics, University of Puerto Rico at Cayey
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Currently Accepting Graduate Students
Office Address
226 Health and Human Development Building

Core Areas:

  • Individual Development - Adult and Aging
  • Developmental Research Methodology


  • Determinants and Promotion of Well-Being Healthy Aging Influences of Stress on Development and Aging Socio-cultural and Economic Diversity
Professional Experience
  • 2015-2018             Director of Graduate Studies in Applied Demography, Department of Sociology and Criminology, The Pennsylvania State University
  • 2015-2017             Postdoctoral Research Fellow, United States Army Institute for Surgical Research (USAIR)
Grants and Research Projects

My primary research interest lies in the study of social disparities in stress, health, and mortality. As a population health scientist, I work with health disparities and the measurement of physiological dysregulation and stress. Using biomarker data, I explore the implications of alternative measurements of physiological dysregulation in our understanding of health disparities.

My health and mortality projects are focused on post-climate disasters disparities and vulnerabilities due to different socioeconomic status. Following Hurricane María, I initiated a series of projects to study its effect in the population of Puerto Rico. First, I conducted the Puerto Rican Diaspora Study, an online survey for the Puerto Ricans living in the United States where they provide information about the strategies employed by their families to deal with post-Hurricane disaster conditions.

My second project, deals with the appropriate count of the number of deaths attributable to Hurricane Maria based on historical patterns of deaths for the post-2010 period. My aim is to use these results to inform policy makers and Emergency Managers and aid in the formulation of new protocols to prevent deaths in the future.

  • Santos-Lozada, Alexis R. and Howard, Jeffrey T. 2018. Using allostatic load to validate self-rated health for racial/ethnic groups in the United States. Biodemography and Social Biology, Vol. 64, No. 1, pp. 1-14.
  • Santos-Lozada, Alexis R. (2018).  Counting deaths and making deaths count: why getting the number right matters for public policy. Health Affairs, Vol. 37, No.4, pp. 520-522.
  • Santos-Lozada, Alexis R. and Daw, Jonathan. 2018. The Contribution of Three Dimensions of Allostatic Load to Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Poor/Fair Self-Rated Health. SSM – Population Health, Vol. 4, pp. 55-65.
  • Howard, Jeffrey T., Kotwal, Russ S., Santos-Lozada, Alexis R., Martin, Matthew J. and Stockinger, Zsolt T. 2018. Re-Examination of a Battlefield Trauma Golden Hour Policy. Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery. Vol. 84 (1), pp. 11-18 /li>
  • Santos-Lozada, Alexis R. and Martínez, Matthew J. Forthcoming. How are you? or ¿Como estás?: Does language of interview influences self-rated health among Hispanic subgroups? Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health.