Mathuram Santosham

ROTA Council Co-chair, United States

Professor, Departments of International Health and Pediatrics
Director, Center for American Indian Health
Johns Hopkins University

Mathuram Santosham is a professor in the departments of International Health and Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University. He is also the founder and director of the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health.

Dr. Santosham is internationally renowned for his work on childhood vaccines and oral rehydration therapy (ORT). He conducted clinical trials based in the US and abroad on gastroenteritis and the safety and efficacy of ORT. He has conducted numerous clinical trials on pediatric vaccines including rotavirus, H. influenzae type b (Hib) and pneumococcal conjugate vaccines. He was the primary investigator on three rotavirus vaccine clinical trials, and is a global advocate for the dissemination of these vaccines. He was also the principal investigator at the Hib Initiative, which was instrumental in increasing the adoption of Hib vaccines — over 85 percent — in GAVI-eligible countries during the initiative.

In 1980, Dr. Santosham moved to the White Mountain Apache Reservation in Arizona to launch a campaign to end high rates of diarrhea-related deaths in children. The campaign was a success and the scope of Dr. Santosham’s work soon expanded geographically and grew to address a wide-range of infectious diseases. After six years in the field, Dr. Santosham returned to Johns Hopkins and worked with the dean to create the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health. Since then, his work at the center has focused on helping Native American tribes overcome health disparities.

Dr. Santosham serves on numerous national and international committees to promote pediatric vaccines and ORT. He has consulted for international agencies including the WHO, USAID and UNICEF on various aspects of child survival in more than 30 countries. Dr. Santosham is the author of over 200 peer-reviewed journals and is a reviewer for several international scientific journals including The Lancet, Vaccine, The Journal of Pediatrics and The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal. Dr. Santosham has received many awards including the Thrasher Research Fund award for excellence in research in 1998, the 2006 Robert Austrian Research Award for Pneumococcal Vaccinology and was a Research!America Ambassador in 2009.

Dr. Santosham received his Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) from the Jawaharlal Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research in Pondicherry, India. Dr. Santosham obtained a board certification in pediatrics and a MPH from Johns Hopkins University. He also completed his fellowship in pediatric infectious diseases at Johns Hopkins University.