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Ruiz Pelaez, Juan Gabriel, MD

Title: Professor

Phone: 305-348-7640


Department(s): Medical and Population Health Sciences Research

Since September the 1st, 2015 Dr. Juan G. Ruiz is Associate Professor at the College of Medicine of the Florida International University, where he is also the head of the Division for Faculty and Graduate Students Development and Support, at the Department of Medical and Population Health Sciences Research. He is teaching Clinical Epidemiology, Clinical and Epidemiological Research design and conduction and elements of translational research to graduate students from the College of Medicine and he mentors and coaches 50 research teams (2 to 3 students)while they develop, complete and present their curricular research results. Two of the teams for whom Dr. Ruiz was the primary mentor, received the award for best research papers at the FIU Research Symposium (2016 and 2018). Dr. Ruiz also developed the syllabus for the theoretical topics component of the Research Scholarship Course.

Between 1986 and 2015, he was Professor at the departments of Clinical Epidemiology and Pediatrics at the School of Medicine, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, in Bogotá, Colombia, and attending pediatrician at San Ignacio University Hospital. He has been the co-director of the Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics Unit and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Javeriana School of Medicine, and the first recipient (2015) of Javeriana’s Biannual Award for Lifetime Achievements in Health Sciences Research. 

Dr. Ruiz received his M.D. from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá, DE Colombia in 1980. He completed his residency in Pediatrics at Hospital Universitario San Ignacio (1981-1984) and his Master’s degree in Clinical Epidemiology from the University of Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW, Australia, in 1990. He received further training in Clinical Economics at the Center for Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics, University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine, in Philadelphia, PA, in 1996. Since 1987 he has been the PI and co-PI of several epidemiological and clinical studies, mainly in the area of appropriate care of preterm and low birth weight infants. In 1994 with several research colleagues he founded the Fundación Canguro in Bogotá, an NGO devoted to research, teaching, training and direct medical care related to Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) method for premature infants. The foundation conducts large clinical trials on KMC and actively disseminates the technique in low and middle-income countries in Latin America, South East Asia, India, Africa and Eastern Europe. He continues as a senior research and permanent member of its Board of Directors, and is recognized as one of the world leading experts and clinical researchers in Kangaroo Mother Care.

During his tenure at the School of Medicine, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, he conducted research and taught clinical pediatrics, and health systems science courses. He also developed a Master’s Program in Clinical Epidemiology He tutored more than 25 master’s degree theses and mentored more than 60 pediatric residents in  their curricular research projects.

Recent publications

  1. El-Menshawi M, Castro G, Rodriguez de la Vega P, Ruiz Pelaez JG, Barengo NC. First Time Cannabis Use and Sexual Debut in U.S. High School Adolescents. J Adolesc Health. 2019;64(2):194-200. 
  2. Schmoke NR, Irizarry F, Llaneras J, Ruiz J, Ward-Peterson M. Stroke Outcomes In Sickle Cell Patients: From Children To Adults. Annals of Vascular Surgery. 2018;47:16-7.