Alexis Raúl Santos (Santos-Lozada) Facebook LinkedIn Twitter

Alexis Raúl Santos (Santos-Lozada)

Director, Graduate Program in Applied Demography

Assistant Teaching Professor, Department of Sociology and Criminology

Research Affiliate, Population Research Institute (2015-2019)

901 Oswald Tower
University Park , PA 16802
Office Phone: (814) 863-9718

Office Hours:

  • Monday: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Friday: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Curriculum Vitae

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  1. Post-Doctoral Fellow in Demography/Epidemiology, United States Army Institute for Surgical Research (2015)
  2. Ph.D. Applied Demography, University of Texas at San Antonio (2015)
  3. M.A. Economics, University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras (2012)
  4. B.A. Economics, University of Puerto Rico, Cayey (2010)


I am an Assistant Teaching Professor of Sociology and Criminology, and Director of Graduate Studies in Applied Demography Program at Penn State. I teach Demographic Techniques, Principles of Demography, and other courses in Applied Demography. As Director of Graduate Studies, I supervise course development and lecturers who work for the M.P.S. and Certificate program. 

I also serve as Chair for Capstone Projects for students enrolled in the Masters in Geographic Information Systems at the Department of Geography. 

Before Penn State

I was a post-doctoral fellow funded by the U.S. Department of Energy at the Brooke Army Medical Center in Fort Sam Houston, Texas (San Antonio). As a postdoc, I provided analytical expertise to projects in the areas of Military Health and Burn Rehabilitation. I have a PhD in Applied Demography (U. of Texas at San Antonio, 2015), MA in Economics (U. of Puerto Rico, 2012) and BA in Economics with a Statistics minor (U. of Puerto Rico at Cayey, 2010). I was a funded by the Texas State Data Center during my PhD and was an affiliate of the Institute for Demographic and Socioeconomic Research (IDSER). Demography has been a part of my life since early on, I was born in Connecticut to Puerto Rican parents. My family moved to Puerto Rico when I was two years old, where I spent the majority of my life.

What do I do?

I am an applied demographer, population health scientist, and quantitative sociologist interested in the application of demographic techniques to policy relevant discussions (applied demography). 

As a population health scientist I work with health disparities and the measurement of physiological dysregulation using biomarker data, and to explore the implications of alternative measurements of this concept to our understanding of health disparities in health and demographic outcomes. As a quantitative sociologist, I study measurement bias attributable to the validity of data collection methods and the implications this bias may have when studying health disparities among diverse populations. 

My work incorporates advanced statistical, spatial and multilevel methods in the study of these topics and of other demographic outcomes. 

Current Research Projects

I have several ongoing research collaborations. I just initiated a project to study the effects of Hurricane María in Puerto Rico. I conducted the Puerto Rican Diaspora Study, an online survey for the Puerto Rican Diaspora where they talk about the strategies employed by their families to deal with the conditions associated with the hurricane. In addition, I am studying the number of deaths attributable to Hurricane Maria based on historical patterns of deaths for the post-2010 period. Currently, I plan to launch two projects: (1) to assess the role of religious organizations in providing aid to the congregations and general public, and the effect of the Hurricane in the composition/congregation, and finances of these organizations and (2) to assess the dynamics of Post-Hurricane María Migration for Puerto Ricans who moved to Florida. In another line of research, I focus on the use of biomarkers to measure physiological dysregulation, and the implications of different measurement specifications for racial/ethnic disparities in health and mortality. A third line of research is studying the effect of language of interview in self-reported health for the population in the United States; as well as the implications for the study of racial/ethnic disparities. The last line of research deals with the application of demographic techniques for policy and business decision making processes. 

Media attention

My research has been covered by international media outlets including: CNN, New York Times, Washington Post, Vox, Huffington Post, Los Angeles Times, CBS, and BBC London. 

Research Interests:

Applied Demography; Demography; Health and Mortality; Race/Ethnicity; Puerto Rico; Health Economics; Spatial Demography; Quantitative Methods;