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John S. Santelli

Chair, Population and Family Health
Harriet and Robert H. Heilbrunn Professor of Population and Family Health

Professor of Pediatrics, College of Physicians and Surgeons

Dr. John Santelli, Chair of the Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health, is a pediatrician and adolescent medicine specialist who joined the School of Public Health at Columbia University in 2004.

Prior to joining the faculty at Columbia, he served as the Chief of the Applied Sciences Branch in the Division of Reproductive Health at U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) where he directed CDC efforts to prevent teen pregnancy. Dr. Santelli has conducted research on HIV/STD risk behaviors, programs to prevent STD/HIV/unintended pregnancy among adolescents and women, school-based health centers, clinical preventive services, and research ethics. He has been a national leader and advocate in ensuring that adolescents are appropriately included in health research. Dr. Santelli serves as a senior consultant for the Alan Guttmacher Institute and is on the editorial board for the Journal of Adolescent Health and AIDS Education and Prevention. In March 2012, Dr. Santelli was named President of the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM).
Education & Training:

    MPH, 1986, Johns Hopkins University

    MD, 1982, Buffalo School of Medicine


Mailman School Affiliations:

  • Center for Community Health and Education

Additional Affiliations:

  • Chair, Science Board, American Public Health Association
  • Member, ACOG Committee on Adolescent Health
Honors and Awards:
  • Healthy Tenn Network, Researcher of the Year. 2009
  • James Virgil Peavy Workforce Development Award. 2005
  • Outstanding Unit Citation, HHS Terrorist Response Team, 2002
  • Outstanding Service Medal, US Public Health Service, 2001
  • Distinguished Service Award, American School Health Association, 1997
  • Selected Editorial Boards

    • Editorial Board, Journal of Adolescent Health
    • Editorial Board, AIDS Education and Prevention
    Rakai Youth Project
    Research examining HIV risk and prevention strategies among young people in the Rakai region of Uganda.
    Countries: Uganda

Selected Publications:
  • JS Santelli, AF Abraido-Lanza, AJ Melnikas Migration, Acculturation and Sexual and Reproductive Health of Latino Adolescents J Adolescent Health 44(1) 3-4 2009
  • Santelli JS, Abma J, Ventura S, Lindberg L, Morrow B, Anderson JE, Lyss S, Hamilton BE Can changes in sexual behaviors among high school students explain the decline in teen pregnancy rates in the 1990s? J Adolescent Health 35 80-90 2004
  • JS Santelli Medical Accuracy in Sexuality Education: Ideology and the Scientific Process Am J Public Health 98(10) 1786-1792 2008
  • Santelli JS, Kaiser J, Hirsch L, Radosh A, Simkin L, Middlestadt S Initiation of sexual intercourse among middle school adolescents: the influence of psychosocial factors Journal of Adolescent Health 34 200-208 2004
  • JS Santelli, TGM Sandfort, M Orr Transnational Comparisons of Adolescent Contraceptive Use. What Can We Learn From These Comparisons? Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 162(1) 92-94 2008
  • Santelli JS, Smith Rogers A, Rosenfeld WD, DuRant RH, Dubler N, Morreale M, English A, Lyss S, Wimberly Y, Schissel A Guidelines for adolescent health research. A position paper of the Society for Adolescent Medicine. Journal of Adolescent Health 32 443-451 2003
  • LD Lindberg, R Jones, JS Santelli Noncoital sexual activities among adolescents J Adolescent Health 43(3) 231-238 2008
  • Santelli JS, Nystrom RJ, Brindis C, Juszczak L, Klein JD, Bearss N, Kaplan DW, Hudson M, Schlitt J Reproductive health in school-based health centers: findings from the 1998-99 census of school-based health centers Journal of Adolescent Health. 32 443-451 2003
  • Santelli JS, Rochat R, Hatfield-Timajchy K, Gilbert BC, Curtis K, Cabral R, Hirsch J, Schieve L, and other members of the Unintended Pregnancy working group. The measurement and meaning of unintended pregnancy Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 35 94-101 2003
  • Santelli JS, Klein JD, Graff CA, Allan MJ, Elster AB Reliability in adolescent reporting of clinician counseling, health care use, and health behaviors Medical Care 40 26-37 2002

Contact Information


60 Haven Avenue, B-2

New York, NY 10032