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Marcus Alexander


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Marcus Alexander, PhD
Scientist in the Human Nature Lab directed by Nicholas A. Christakis at the Yale Institute for Network Science.

Aspiring MD/PhD physician-scientist, studying medicine at the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine.

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Human Nature Lab
Yale Institute for Network Science
17 Hillhouse Ave
New Haven, CT 06514
Phone: (415) 658 - 5692
Twitter: @mqdicer

04 Papers, Conferences, Talks 


  1. Alexander M, Lambert W, Leclair NK, Swett K, Gonsalves L, Ayers J, Bookland MJ, Martin JE, Hersh DS (2022) CNS/AANS Pediatric Neurosurgery. Social determinants of the interval from symptom onset to diagnosis of pediatric brain tumors, Congress of Neurological Surgeons/American Association of Neurological Surgeons (CNS/AANS) Section for Pediatric Neurosurgery Annual Meeting, Washington, DC.
  2. Alexander M,* Rivier C,* Renedo D, Sheth K, Matouk C, Falcone G (2022) CNS. Genetically-determined lipoprotein(a) and risk of different types of stroke: A Mendelian randomization study. Congress of Neurological Surgeons Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA.
  3. Asuzu D, Alexander M,* Kosanam A, Banasavidi Siddegowda Y, Chittiboina P (2022) CNS. CRISPR-based targeted MGMT promoter methylation reduces glioblastoma fitness. Congress of Neurological Surgeons Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA.
  4. Alexander M,* Goldman J* (2022) CSHL Biology of Genomes. Metabolic Pathways and Survival in Glioblastoma, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, NY.
  5. Chughtai A, Goodman J, Alexander M (2022) ASCO. Machine learning model of tumor metabolism and patient survival in renal cell carcinoma, American Society for Clinical Oncology, Chicago, Il.
  6. Wang K, Alexander M, Goodman J, (2022) AHA BCVS. Single-Cell metabolic reconstruction predicts regenerative capacity in cardiomyocytes, American Heart Association Basic Cardiovascular Sciences, Chicago.
  7. Douglas J, Alexander M, Goodman JA. (2022) ASCO. Modeling breast cancer survival as a function of tumor metabolic pathways, American Society for Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting, Chicago, Il.
  8. Alexander M,* Vishnempet Shridhar S,* Beghini F,* Singh A, Brito IL, Christakis NA. (2022) CSHL Microbiome. Deep metagenomic sequencing study of Mesoamerican highland communities reveals unprecedented gut microbiome diversity and strain sharing. Cold Spring Harbor Labs, NY.
  9. Alexander M* and Goodman J* (2021) CSHL Genome Informationcs. Estimation of metabolic activity profiles across tissues of origin via aggregate and single-cell RNA-seq improve survival prediction, Genome Informatics CSHL Virtual Meeting, Cold Spring Harbor, Nov.
  10. Alexander M* and Goodman J* (2021) Neuroscience. Machine learning identifies metabolic clusters of glioblastoma and predicts prolonged survival within the neuronal subtype, Neuroscience 2021, Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, Chicago, Nov.
  11. Alexander M* and Goodman J* (2021) AMA. A unified metabolic tumor classification system for prediction of prolonged patient survival, Americal Medical Association Student Research Symposium, Oct 22-23.
  12. Alexander M* and Goodman J* (2021) CNS. Differential activation of tumor metabolic pathways is associated with survival in adult low grade glioma, Congress of Neurological Surgeons Annual Meeting, Austin, TX, Oct 16-20.
  13. Alexander M* and Goodman J* (2021) JSM. Tumor classification and survival estimation based on metabolic reaction activity scores from RNA sequencing data. Joint Statistical Meetings, Aug 12.
  14. Liu E, Alexander M, Feng D, Christakis NA. (2021) JSM. Facial Homophily in Human Social Networks. Joint Statistical Meetings, Aug 10.
  15. Alexander M, Chittiboina P (2021) NIH. Single cell resolution multiomic study of sporadic pituitary adenoma pathogenesis, National Institutes of Health, Aug 3.
  16. Vishnempet S, Alexander M, Christakis NA (2021) City University of Hong Kong. Modeling super-spreader behavior at individual and collective levels based on population-level social networks. Workshop on Data Science Approaches to Infectious Disease Surveillance, School of Data Science, City University of Hong Kong, July 10.
  17. Alexander M* and Goodman J* (2021) ASCO. Differential Metabolic Pathway Activity Estimated From Tumor Gene Expression Predicts Prolonged Cancer Survival Across 23 Tissue Types. American Society for Clinical Oncology, Chicago, Jun 10.
  18. Prinster D, Alexander M, Christakis NA (2020) CSHL Biological Data Science. Exact sequence variant analysis of the gut microbiome and human psychometric phenotype conditional on host genetics. Biological Data Science. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Nov 6-8.
  19. Alexander M, Nicoll E, Negron R, Christakis NA (2017) APHA. Characterizing the health of rural elders in social networks: Evidence from Honduras. Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association, Atlanta, GA, Nov 4-8.
*co-first authors, contributed to the work equally

Preprints, Working Papers

  1. Alexander M,* Vishnempet Shridhar S,* Beghini F,* Brito IL, Christakis NA. Environmental, socioeconomic, and health factors associated with gut microbiome species and strains in isolated Honduras villages. medRxiv 2023.04.11.23288404. [link]
  2. Alexander M,* Pullman J,* Beghini F,* Vishnempet Shridhar S, Brito IL, Christakis NA. Detailed social network interactions and gut microbiome strain-sharing within isolated Honduras villages.  bioRxiv 2023.04.06.535875. [link]
  3. Prinster D, Alexander M, Christakis NA. Exact sequence variants analysis of the gut micro- biome and human personality traits, submitted for review.
  4. Markov G, Alexander M, Christakis NA. Chromatic properties of human social networks correlate with social efficacy and belief diversity, working paper.
  5. Alexander M, Bookland MJ, Martin JE, Hersh DS. Metabolic variation in pediatric brain tumors: Evidence from the St. Jude’s Genomic Cloud, paper in preparation for submission.
  6. Alexander M,* Goodman JA.* Differential metabolic states in glioblastoma associated with survival, paper in preparation for submission.
  7. Dennis D, Halloran P, Alexander M, Paro M, Mcneill I. Factors impacting length of stay within adult hydrocephalus patients following VP shunt placement, paper in preparation for submission.
  8. Paro M, Alexander M, Rankin BE, Bray C, Athar D, Bookland MJ, Martin JE, Hersh DS. Training simulators for fetoscopic myelomeningocele closure: A Systematic review, paper in preparation for submission.
  9. Alexander M,* Oles W,* Negron R, Nelson J, Iriarte E, Christkis NA, Forastiere L. Maternal and child health intervention to promote behavior change: a population-level cluster-randomized controlled trial in Honduras, under review.
  10. Kumar N, Forastiere L, Zhang T, Yang F, Li KT, Tang W, Tucker JD, Christakis NA, Alexander M. Human sexuality conditions the activation of altruism: Evidence from pay-it-forward experiments to improve health of a marginalized community, submitted for review.
*co-first authors, contributed to the work equally*co-first author


  1. Feltham EM, Forastiere L, Alexander M, Christakis NA (2023) Nature Hum Behav. Mass gatherings for political expression and the local course of the COVID-19 pandemic in the USA in 2020 and 2021, Nature Human Behaviour, forthcoming. [arXiv version]
  2. Alexander M, Forastiere L, Gupta S, Christakis NA. (2022) Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 119(3): e2120742119. A Randomized, controlled trial of two social network targeting algorithms to maximize adoption of public health interventions. [link] [PubMed]
  3. Wang K, Alexander M, Goodman J. (2022) Circulation Res 131:AP1023. Single-Cell metabolic reconstruction predicts regenerative capacity in cardiomyocytes. [link]
  4. Vishnempet Shridhar S, Alexander M, Christakis NA (2021) Philos Trans A Math Phys Eng Sci. Characterizing super-spreaders using population-level weighted social networks in rural communities, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A. 380:20210123. doi: 10.1098/rsta.2021.0123. [link] [PubMed]
  5. Alexander M,* Oles W,* Kumar N, O’Connor P, Madden L, Barry D. (2022) BMC Psychiatry 22:236. Characterizing the social support and functioning of a low-threshold medication for opioid use disorder treatment cohort at intake. [link] [PubMed]
  6. Sung A, Zhang TP, Huang W, Tang W, Alexander M, Forastiere L, Kumar N, Hall BJ, Ransome Y, Dieckhaus KD, Wu D, Tucker JD, Yang F (2022) Sex Transm Dis 49(9):628-634. Development of a psychometric tool to measure community solidarity among sexual minorities: Evidence from a pay-it-forward randomized controlled trial. [link] [PubMed]
  7. Kumar N, Oles W, Howell BA, Janmohamed K, Lee ST, Funaro MC, O'Connor PG, Alexander M. (2021) J Subst Abuse Treat 127:108367. The role of social network support in treatment outcomes for medication for opioid use disorder: A systematic review. [link] [medRxiv version] [PubMed]
  8. Kumar N, Forastiere L, Janmohamed K, Yang F, Zhang T, Sha Y, Yang L, Tucker JD, Tang W, Alexander M. (2021) BMC Public Health 21:2127. Blocking and being blocked on gay dating apps: Implications for online sexual health interventions from a study of Chinese MSM. [link] [PubMed]
  9. Kumar N, Forastiere L, Janmohamed K, Yang F, Zhang T, Sha Y, Tucker JD, Tang W, Alexander M. (2021) AIDS Behav 25(6):1984-1992. Improving HIV Self-Testing Social Network Interventions: The Role of Sexual Behavior Disclosure Among Chinese Men Who Have Sex with Men. [link] [PubMed]
  10. Yang F, Zhang TP, Tang W, Ong JJ, Alexander M, Forastiere L, Kumar N, Li KT, Zou F, Yang L, Mi G, Wang Y, Huang W, Lee A, Zhu W, Luo D, Vickerman P, Wu D, Yang B, Christakis NA, Tucker JD. (2020) Lancet Infect Dis 20(8):976-982. Pay-it-forward gonorrhoea and chlamydia testing among men who have sex with men in China: a randomised controlled trial. [link] [PubMed]
  11. Kumar N, Forastiere L, Zhang T, Yang F, Li KT, Tang W, Tucker JD, Christakis NA, Alexander M. Lack of sexual behavior disclosure may distort STI testing outcomes. BMC Public Health. 2020 May 4;20(1):616. doi: 10.1186/s12889-020-08768-5. PMID: 32366241; PMCID: PMC7197169. [link]
  12. Iwamoto SK, Alexander M, Torres M, Irwin MR, Christakis NA, Nishi A. Mindfulness Meditation Activates Altruism. Sci Rep. 2020 Apr 16;10(1):6511. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-62652-1. PMID: 32300129; PMCID: PMC7162971. [link]
  13. Nishi A, Alexander M, Fowler JH, Christakis NA. Assortative mating at loci under recent natural selection in humans. Biosystems. 2020 Jan;187:104040. doi: 10.1016/j.biosystems.2019.104040. Epub 2019 Oct 1. PMID: 31585150; PMCID: PMC7471337. [link]
  14. Zhang TP, Yang F, Tang W, Alexander M, Forastiere L, Kumar N, Li K, Zou F, Yang L, Mi G, Wang Y, Huang W, Lee A, Zhu W, Vickerman P, Wu D, Yang B, Christakis NA, Tucker JD. Pay-it-forward gonorrhea and chlamydia testing among men who have sex with men in China: a study protocol for a three-arm cluster randomized controlled trial. Infect Dis Poverty. 2019 Aug 16;8(1):76. doi: 10.1186/s40249-019-0581-1. PMID: 31426869; PMCID: PMC6700988.v. [link]
  15. Alexander M, Christia F. Context modularity of human altruism. Science. 2011 Dec 9;334(6061):1392-4. doi: 10.1126/science.1202599. PMID: 22158815. [link] [MIT News article]
  16. Alexander M, Harding MC, Lamarche C. Quantile Regression for Time-Series-Cross-Section Data. International journal of statistics and management system. 2011; 6(1-2):47-72
  17. Alexander M, Harding MC. Quantifying the impact of economic crises on infant mortality in advanced economies. Applied economics. 2011; 43(24):3313-3323. [link]
  18. Day CS, Alexander M, Lal S, Horton H, Ahn CS, Pauyo T, Rozental TD. Effects of workers' compensation on the diagnosis and surgical treatment of patients with hand and wrist disorders. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2010 Oct 6;92(13):2294-9. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.I.00158. PMID: 20926723. [link]
  19. Alexander M, Bradbury BD, Kewalramani R, Barlev A, Mohanty SA, Globe D. Chronic kidney disease and US healthcare resource utilization in a nationally representative sample. Am J Nephrol. 2009;29(5):473-82. doi: 10.1159/000178816. Epub 2008 Nov 27. PMID: 19039210. [link]
  20. Franko OI, Lal S, Pauyo T, Alexander M, Zurakowski D, Day C. Validation of an objective device for assessing circumductive wrist motion. J Hand Surg Am. 2008 Oct;33(8):1293-300. doi: 10.1016/j.jhsa.2008.03.012. PMID: 18929191. [link]
  21. Alexander M, Christakis NA. Bias and asymmetric loss in expert forecasts: a study of physician prognostic behavior with respect to patient survival. J Health Econ. 2008 Jul;27(4):1095-1108. doi: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2008.02.011. Epub 2008 Mar 18. PMID: 18539349. [link]
  22. Alexander M, Franko OI, Makhni EC, Zurakowski D, Day CS. Validation of a modern activity hand survey with respect to reliability, construct and criterion validity. J Hand Surg Eur Vol. 2008 Oct;33(5):653-60. doi: 10.1177/1753193408093810. PMID: 18977836. [link]
  23. Alexander M. Democratization and Hybrid Regimes: Comparative Evidence from Southeast Europe. East European Politics & Societies. 2008; 22(4):928-954. doi: 10.1177/0888325408327634. [link]
  24. Alexander M, Kewalramani R, Agodoa I, Globe D. Association of anemia correction with health related quality of life in patients not on dialysis. Curr Med Res Opin. 2007 Dec;23(12):2997-3008. doi: 10.1185/030079907X242502. PMID: 17958944. [link]
  25. Alexander M. Determinants of Social Capital: New Evidence on Religion, Diversity and Structural Change. British journal of political science. 2007; 37(02):368-377. doi: 10.1017/S000712340700018X. [link]
  26. Alexander M. The Internet and Democratization: The Development of Russian Internet Policy. Demokratizatskiya. 2004 October; 12(4):607-627. doi: 10.3200/DEMO.12.4.607-627. [link]
  27. Fjell J, Hjelmström P, Hormuzdiar W, Milenkovic M, Aglieco F, Tyrrell L, Dib-Hajj S, Waxman SG, Black JA. Localization of the tetrodotoxin-resistant sodium channel NaN in nociceptors. Neuroreport. 2000 Jan 17;11(1):199-202. doi: 10.1097/00001756-200001170-00039. PMID: 10683857. [link]


  1. Introduction to Sexual and Gender Minority Health, Cornell Scott Hill Community Health Center, New Haven, CT, June, 2021.
  2. Gender Prounous and LGBTQ+ Health, Sex Workers and Alies Network, New Haven, CT, June, 2021
  3. Neurobiology of Addiction, Miriam House, Los Angeles, February, 2016.
  4. Histone Modificiations in Glioblastoma Stem Cells, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Chevy Chase, MD, April, 2012.