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Prof Mario Cortina Borja
WTB 1.01
UCL Institute of Child Health
30 Guilford Street
Tel: 020 7905 2113
Fax: 020 7905 2381
  • Professor of Biostatistics
  • ICH Pop, Policy & Practice Prog
  • UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
  • Faculty of Pop Health Sciences

Background and Qualifications

Mario Cortina Borja has been at the Centre for Paediatric Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the UCL Institute of Child Health since October 2000; he was appointed Professor of Biostatistics in 2015. Mario has a BSc in Actuarial Science and an MSc in Statistics from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, and a PhD in Statistics from the School of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Bath for a thesis entitled Graph-theoretic nonparametric multivariate procedures.

Before coming to UCL Mario was a statistician at the Instituto de Investigaciones Antropológicas at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, a research officer in applied mathematics at the School of Chemical Engineering in the University of Bath, a lecturer, then senior lecturer, in Statistics at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México, and, for five years, consulting and teaching officer in the Department of Statistics, University of Oxford.


Mario’s h-index is 45 from 7354 citations (3899 from 2012) according to google scholar, (Feb 2017), and his Erdös number is 4. He has published over 230 peer-reviewed papers, contributions to discussions, letters, and book reviews in 113 different periodical publications and contributes to peer-reviewing for many academic journals, notably Archives of Disease in Childhood, The Lancet, Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, Psychiatryc Bulletin, Statistics in Medicine, Metrika, and Biostatistics.

Research Groups
Research Themes
Research Summary

Mario is an applied statistician with a background in Actuarial Science and Mathematics; he has worked in many scientific areas. 

His present research involves:

  • Epidemiology of infectious disease, particularly HIV and Hepatitis C
  • Modelling physical activity using accelerometry data
  • Seasonal patterns, especially birthdays and the effect of date of birth on adult health
  • Record linkage methods
  • Modelling discrete, long-tailed  data
  • Modelling multivariate circular responses
  • Transformations in bounded outcome variables
  • Applications of copulae models

Teaching Summary

Mario supervised 13 PG students in Applied Statistics in Oxford between 1996 and 2000.  In UCL he has been 1st supervisor to nine MSc students at the Statistical Science Department..

PhD Students (UCL Institute of Child Health)

1. Linsay Gray: Clinical and biological disease progression in vertically HIV-infected children in Europe, with M-L Newell 2003
2. Susan Cliffe: Estimating HIV prevalence in the general female population in the UK using data from pregnant women, with M-L Newell 2005
3. Deven Patel: Statistical modelling of virological and immunological patterns in HIV-1 infected pregnant women in Europe, with M-L Newell and C Thorne 2007
4. Kirsty Little: Measuring the impact of public health programmes for HIV infected pregnant women and their children, with M-L Newell 2008
5. Claire Townsend: Antiretroviral therapy and pregnancy outcome in HIV-infected women in the UK and Ireland, with P Tookey and M-L Newell 2009.
6. Pia Hardelid: The seroepidemiology of rubella in pregnant women in North Thames, 1st supervisor, with C Dezateux, P Tookey and C Peckham 2009
7. Pamela Leighton: Monitoring blood stream infection in neonatal ICUs, with R Gilbert 2010
8. Fiona McElduff: Models for discrete epidemiological and clinical data, 1st supervisor with A Wade 2012
9. Diane Berry: Vitamin D and health: modelling threshold effects and seasonal variations, with E Hyppönen, 2012
10. Carly Rich: Accelerometer-based assessments of children’s habitual physical activity, with L Griffiths and C Dezateux, 2013
11. Naufil Alam: Body fat alterations and metabolic abnormalities in HIV-infected children and adolescents in Europe, with C Thorne, 2013
12. Heather Bailey: HIV-infected childbearing women in Europe: health, treatment and care, with C Thorne and Dr Townsend, 2013
13. Clare French: Sequential pregnancies in HIV-infected women in Europe, with P Tookey and C Thorne, 2015
14. Francesco Sera: Missing data and dynamic models in life course studies, 1st supervisor with C Dezateux and M Geraci, student withdrew.
15. Eirini Koutoumanou: Copula models for epidemiological research and practice, with A Wade, 4th year, part time

16. Dr Nadine Seward: The influence of clean delivery practices and clean delivery kit use on maternal and neonatal mortality in South Asia, with A Prost, L Li and A Costello, 2015

18. Dr Laura Byrne: Antiretroviral therapy, drug resistance in pregnancy, and preventing mother-to-child-transmission of HIV in UK and Ireland, with P Tookey, C Thorne and Dr Townsend, 3rd year

19. Dr Helen Harris-Fry, Measuring and explaining intra-household food allocation in rural Nepal, with Dr Saville and A Costello, 2016.

20. Dr Avi Marks, Functional outcomes in adolescents with osteonecrosis secondary to treatment of developmental dysplasia of the hip, with A Roposch, 3rd year, part time

01-OCT-2015 Professor of Biostatistics Population, Policy and Practice Programme Institute of Child Health, University College London, United Kingdom
01-OCT-2000 – 30-SEP-2015 Senior Lecturer Centre for Paediatic Epidemiology and Biostatistics Institute of Child Health, University College London, United Kingdom
01-JAN-1996 – 30-SEP-2000 Consulting and Teaching Officer Department of Statistics University of Oxford, United Kingdom
01-MAY-1992 – 31-DEC-1995 Lecturer, then Senior Lecturer in Statistics Departamento de Estadística Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México, Mexico
01-APR-1991 – 31-MAR-1992 Research Officer Department of Chemical Engineering University of Bath, United Kingdom
Academic Background
1992 PhD Doctor of Philosophy – Statistics University of Bath
1985 MSc Master of Science – Mathematics Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM)
1984 BSc Bachelor of Science – Actuarial Science Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM)
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