Faculty Information

Vivian Santiago, PhD, MPH

Research Assistant Professor
Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Radiology & Medicine
137th East 25th Street, Rm 731
New York, NY 10010
Email: vs1555@nyu.edu
Tel: +1 212 998 9419


PhD, Epidemiology, Columbia University, NY, 2009
MPH, Epidemiology, Columbia University, NY, 2003
BA, Sociology, Columbia University, NY, 1998


  • Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholars Program (Post-doctoral), Department of Population Health, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health (2009-2011)
  • Psychiatric Epidemiology Training Program -NIMH 5-T32-MH13043 (Pre-doctoral), Department of Epidemiology, Columbia University (2004-2009)
  • The Anna C. Gelman Award for Excellence in Epidemiology, Columbia University (2009)
  • Trailblazer Award, Latino Alumni Association of Columbia University (2006)  

Research Interests, funding and select publications

I am a psychiatric epidemiologist motivated to help relieve human suffering by improving the quality and validity of research on chronic pain. I have multidisciplinary population health training and broad-based experience in both applied and academic research settings. My research centers on the conceptualization and translation of pain-related health outcomes in clinical, epidemiological and population health studies. Specifically, I focus on:

  • Neurobiological mechanisms of myofascial temporomandibular disorder and co-occurring pain conditions such as fibromyalgia
  • The conceptualization of pain as disorder versus pain as symptom of other conditions including oral health
  • Construct and diagnostic validity in pain research
  • Population health approaches to the study of pain that promote health equity by considering construct validity, bioethics and unintended consequences.

Current funding

2019-2024 Mechanisms of myofascial pain: Endogenous pain modulation & beyond (5K01DE028292) NIH-NIDCR $769,230

2021-2022 Administrative Supplement to Mechanism of Myofascial Pain (3K01DE028292-03S1) NIH-NIDCR $54,000

Representative Publications

Complete listing available on the NYU Health Sciences Library site.

Raphael KG, Janal MN, Tadinada A, Santiago V, Sirois DA, Lurie AG. Effect of multiple injections of botulinum toxin into painful masticatory muscles on bone density in the temporomandibular complex. J Oral Rehabil 47:1319-1329, 2020. doi:10.1111/joor.13087.

Santiago V, Raphael KG. Absence of joint pain identifies high levels of sleep masticatory muscle activity in myofascial temporomandibular disorder. J Oral Rehabil 2019; 46:1161-1169. doi:10.1111/joor.12853.

Santiago V, Raphael KG. Perceived helpfulness of treatments for myofascial TMD as a function of comorbid widespread pain. Clinical Oral Investigations. 2019;23:2929-2939. PMID: 30623307. doi:10.1007/s00784-018-02797-6.

Santiago V, Raphael KG. Single-item, self-rated health is a useful indicator of health in myofascial TMD. Journal of Oral & Facial Pain and Headache 2019;33:260-268. PMID: 30371685. doi:10.11607/ofph.2045.

Raphael KG, Santiago V, Lobbezoo F. Is bruxism a disorder or a behavior? Rethinking the international consensus on defining and grading of bruxism. Journal of Oral Rehabilitation. 2016;43:802-803. doi:10.1111/joor.12413.