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

Background and Qualifications

Mario Cortina Borja has been at the UCL Institute of Child Health since October 2000; he was appointed Professor of Biostatistics in the Population, Policy and Practice Programme 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 53 from 10567 citations (google scholar, Dec2019), and his Erdös number is 4. He has published over 250 peer-reviewed papers, contributions to discussions, letters, and book reviews in 115 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, Statistics in Medicine, Statistica Neerlandica, 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 circular responses
  • Transformations in bounded outcome variables
  • Applications of copulae models

Teaching Summary
Mario supervised 13 PG students at Oxford between 1996 and 2000, and 11 MSc students at the UCL Statistical Science Department (all as 1st supervisor). He has supervised 24 PhD students at UCL. 
  1. Linsay Gray: Clinical and biological disease progression in vertically HIV-infected children in Europe, with M-L Newell (MLN) 2003
  2. Susan Cliffe: Estimating HIV prevalence in the general female population in the UK using data from pregnant women, with MLN 2005
  3. Deven Patel: Statistical modelling of virological and immunological patterns in HIV-1 infected pregnant women in Europe, with MLN and C Thorne (CT) 2007
  4. Kirsty Little: Measuring the impact of public health programmes for HIV infected pregnant women and their children, with MLN 2008
  5. Claire Townsend: Antiretroviral therapy and pregnancy outcome in HIV-infected women in the UK and Ireland, with P Tookey (PT), C Peckham (CP) and MLN 2009.
  6. Pia Hardelid: The seroepidemiology of rubella in pregnant women in North Thames, 1st supervisor, with C Dezateux (CD), PT and CP 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 (AW) 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 CD, 2013
  11. Naufil Alam: Body fat alterations and metabolic abnormalities in HIV-infected children and adolescents in Europe, with CT, 2013
  12. Heather Bailey: HIV-infected childbearing women in Europe: health, treatment and care, with CT and CL Townsend (CLT), 2013
  13. Clare French: Sequential pregnancies in HIV-infected women in Europe, with PT and CT, 2015
  14. Francesco Sera: Missing data and dynamic models in life course studies, 1st supervisor with CD and M Geraci, student withdrew.
  15. Eirini Koutoumanou: Copula models for epidemiological research and practice, with AW, 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 (AC), 2015
  17. Dr Laura Byrne: Antiretroviral therapy, drug resistance in pregnancy, and preventing mother-to-child-transmission of HIV in UK and Ireland, with PT, CT and CLT, 3rd year
  18. Helen Harris-Fry, Measuring and explaining intra-household food allocation in rural Nepal, with N Saville (NS) and AC, 2016.
  19. Dr Avi Marks, Functional outcomes in adolescents with osteonecrosis secondary to treatment of developmental dysplasia of the hip, with A Roposch, 4th year, part time
  20. Laura Busert: The relationship between wasting and stunting in early childhood in Nepal, 1st supervisor with J Wells (JW), D Devakumar and NS, 2nd year
  21. Marios Poullas: The association of El Niño Southern Oscillation with intra- and inter- generational changes in height and weight, with JW and M Saunders, 2nd year
  22. Virginia Rasi: ART in HIV-infected pregnant women, with CT, 2nd year
  23. Emma Butcher: A life- course perspective on permanent childhood hearing impairment: cumulative incidence, risk factors, and outcomes, with R Knowles and CD, 2nd year
  24. Zoe Kane: Antimicrobial PK/PD modelling in children, with J Standing, 1st year.

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   Doctor of Philosophy University of Bath
1985   Master of Science Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM)
1984   Bachelor of Science Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM)
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