Juan Gabriel Ruiz-Pelaez, M.D., MMedSci

Juan Gabriel Ruiz-Pelaez, M.D., MMedSci

Division of Medical and Population Health Sciences Education and Research; Professor

Translational Medicine

Office: AHC1 344

Phone: 305-348-7640

Email: jruizpel@fiu.edu

Languages spoken: English and Spanish

Specialty: Pediatrics and Clinical Epidemiology

Areas of interest: LBW infants care/Kangaroo Mother Care; Teaching Clinical/Epidemiological research designs and research conduction

Juan G. Ruiz, M.D. MMedSci, is a pediatrician and clinical epidemiologist. He teaches Clinical Epidemiology, and mentors and coaches curricular research carried out by medical students.

His main research interest is in Kangaroo Mother Care (appropriate care for preterm infants) involving all translational aspects from clinical studies of effectiveness/safety to worldwide implementation. In 1994 he and his research colleagues started Fundación Canguro in Bogotá, an NGO devoted to research, teaching, training, and direct medical care related to Kangaroo Mother Care 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 has published more than 100 articles in peer-reviewed journals, 12 books, and 13 chapters of books.

Before joining FIU he was professor of Pediatrics and Clinical Epidemiology at Javeriana University in Bogota, Colombia, where he was chair of the Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics Unit (1996-1999) and the Department of Pediatrics (1999 2002), and the first recipient (2015) of Javeriana’s Biannual Award for Lifetime Achievements in Health Sciences Research.

Research interest

  • Appropriate health care of LBW/premature infants and Kangaroo Mother Care.
  • Translational research from early clinical trials to dissemination and measurement of impact.
  • Evidence-based quality assurance/improvement, evidence-based guidelines.
  • Economic evaluation of clinical interventions/clinical economics


  • Clinical Economics training, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, 1996
  • Master of Medical Science (Clinical Epidemiology), University of Newcastle, Newcastle, Australia, 1990
  • Residency in Pediatrics, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana/ Hospital Universitario San Ignacio, Bogota, Colombia, 1984
  • M.D., Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogota, Colombia, 1980


  • Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, 2015 Biannual Award in Research, in the Modality of Lifetime Achievements in Health Sciences Research Award
  • Carlos Slim Health Award 2012 for Exceptional Institution granted to Fundación Canguro*. Mexico City, México January 2012
  • Premio San Valentino un Anno D’amore (San Valentin, a year of Love Award). Awarded by His Holiness Pope John Paul II to Fundación Canguro* for the scientific evaluation of the Kangaroo Mother Care method, and for knowledge transfer to other developing countries. Vatican City, Vatican. March 26th, 1999

* Juan G. Ruiz is senior researcher and founding member of Fundación Canguro, and a permanent (for life) member of Fundación Canguro Board of Directors

Selected Publications

  1. Charpak N, Tessier R, Ruiz JG, Uriza F, Hernandez JT, Cortes D, et al. Kangaroo mother care had a protective effect on the volume of brain structures in young adults born preterm. Acta Paediatr. 2022;111(5):1004-14. Epub 2022/01/25
  2. Charpak N, Ruiz-Pelaez JG. Improving survival of infants with low birthweight cared for outside hospitals.  Lancet 2019;394(10210):1688-90. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(19)32257-3 [published Online First: 2019/10/09]
  3. Cortes D, Maldonado Di, Gallego J, Pico J, Charpak N, Tessier R, Ruiz-Pelaez JG, Hernandez T, Uriza F. Comparing Early Childhood Health Interventions: Long-term Effects on Education Outcomes. Journal of Health Economics. Accepted 2022.
  4. Rubens M, Ramamoorthy V, Saxena A, Zevallos JC, Ruiz-Pelaez JG, Ahmed MA, Zhang Z, McGranaghan P, Veledar E, Jimenez J, Chaparro S. Hospital Outcomes Among COVID-19 Hospitalizations With Myocarditis from the California State Inpatient Database. Am J Cardiol. 2022. Epub 20220917.
  5. Rubens M, Ramamoorthy V, Saxena A, Zevallos JC, Ruiz Pelaez JG, Chaparro S, Jimenez Carcamo J. Management and outcomes of ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction in hospitalized frail patients in the United States. Am J Cardiol. 2022. Epub 2022/05/23.