Santiago Schnell William K. Warren Foundation Dean of the College of Science, Professor

Mathematical and Quantitative Biology
Santiago Schnell

Research Interests:

Schnell's research program departs from the premise that there is a continuum between health and disease; if we are capable of measuring this continuum, we will be in the position of detecting disease earlier and understanding it better to intervene more precisely. His research focuses on two broad areas: (i) the development of standard-methods to obtain high quality measurements in the biological and medical sciences, and (ii) the development of mathematical models of complex biomedical systems with the goal of identifying the key mechanisms underlying the behavior of the system as a whole.



  • University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana
  • William K. Warren Foundation Dean of the College of Science, 2021-present
  • Professor of Biological Sciences, 2021-present
  • Professor of Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics, 2021-present
  • University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Department Chair, Molecular & Integrative Physiology, 08/2017-08/2021
  • John A. Jacquez Collegiate Professor of Physiology, 06/2017-08/202
  • Professor of Molecular & Integrative Physiology and Professor of Computational Medicine & Bioinformatics, 09/2015-08/2021
  • Associate Professor of Molecular & Integrative Physiology, and Associate Professor of Computational Medicine & Biology, 05/2008-08/2015
  • Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana
  •  Adjunct Assistant Professor of Physics, Department of Physics, 01/2005-05/2008
  • Assistant Professor of Informatics, Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering, 08/2004-05/2008
  • University of Oxford, Oxford, England, UK
  • Research Fellow in Mathematical Biology, Mathematical Institute, 12/2002-07/2004
  • Junior Research Fellow in Mathematical Biology, Christ Church, 10/2001-07/2004
  • College Lecturer in Applied Mathematics, Brasenose College, 10/2001-12/2001
  • Retained Lecturer in Mathematics, Pembroke College, 10/2000-07/2001



  • License in Biology, Universidad Simón Bolívar, Venezuela (Awarded: 24 Jan 1997), 10/1991-12/1996
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Mathematics), University of Oxford, UK (Awarded: 8 Nov 2003), 10/1998-07/2002


Selected Professional Activities:

  • Editor-in-Chief, Mathematical Biosciences01/2019-present
  • Member of the "Standards for Reporting Enzymology Data" (STRENDA) Commission, 01/2016-present   
  • Editorial Board, Current Opinion in Systems Biology, 01/2016-present
  • Editorial Board, Cancer Research, 02/2016-present
  • Editorial Board, Biophysical Chemistry, 10/2016-present
  • Editorial Advisory Board, Biomolecular Concepts, 07/2019-present
  • Editorial Board, Journal of Theoretical Biology, 02/2019-present
  • President-elect, President and Past-President, Society for Mathematical Biology, 2014-2018


Selected Publications:

  • S. Schnell and C. Mendoza (1997). Closed form solution for time-dependent enzyme kinetics. Journal of Theoretical Biology  187, 207-212.
  • S. Schnell and P. K. Maini (2000). Enzyme kinetics at high enzyme concentration. Bulletin of Mathematical Biology  62, 483-499.
  • S. Schnell and P. K. Maini (2003) A century of enzyme kinetics: Reliability of the KM and vmax estimates.. Comments on Theoretical Biology  8, 169-187.
  • S. Schnell and T. E. Turner (2004). Reaction kinetics in intracellular environments with macromolecular crowding: simulations and rate laws. Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology  85, 235-260.
  • R. Grima and S. Schnell (2006). A systematic investigation of the rate laws valid in intracellular environments. Biophysical Chemistry  124, 1-10.
  • S. M. Hanson and S. Schnell (2008). Reactant stationary approximation in enzyme kinetics. The Journal of Physical Chemistry A  112, 8654–8658.
  • M. L. Wynn, N. Consul, S. D. Merajver and S. Schnell (2012). Logic-based models in systems biology: network analysis method. Integrative Biology  4, 1323-1337.
  • K. D. Walton, A. Kolterud, M. J. Czerwinski, M. J. Bell, A. Prakash, J. Kushwaha, A. S. Grosse, S. Schnell and D. L. Gumucio (2012). Hedgehog-responsive mesenchymal clusters direct patterning and emergence of intestinal villi. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America  109, 15817-15822.
  • S. Schnell (2014). Validity of the Michaelis-Menten equation-steady-state or reactant stationary assumption: that is the question. FEBS Journal  281, 464-472.
  • M. A. Mourao, J. B. Hakim and S. Schnell (2014). Connecting the dots: The effects of macromolecular crowding on cell physiology. Biophysical Journal  107, 2761-2766.
  • K. D. Walton, M. Whidden, Å. Kolterud, S. K. Shoffner, M. J. Czerwinski, J. Kushwaha, N. Parmar, D. Chandhrasekhar, A. M. Freddo, S. Schnell and D. L. Gumucio (2016). Villification in the mouse: Bmp signals control intestinal villus patterning. Development  143, 427-436.
  • W. Stroberg and S. Schnell (2018) Do cellular condensates accelerate biochemical reactions? Lessons from microdroplet chemistry. Biophysical Journal  115, 3-8.
  • S. Pitchiaya, M. D.A. Mourao, A. Jalihal, L. Xiao, X. Jiang, A. M. Chinnaiyan, S. Schnell and N. G. Walter (2019). Dynamic recruitment of single RNAs to processing bodies depends on RNA functionality. Molecular Cell   74, 521-533.
  • J. Eilertsen, S. Schnell (2020). The quasi-steady-state approximations revisited: Timescales, small parameters, singularities, and normal forms in enzyme kinetics. Mathematical Biosciences  325, 108339.
  • J. Cavataio and S. Schnell (2021). Interpreting SARS-CoV-2 fatality rate estimates: A case for introducing standardized reporting to improve communication. Mathematical Biosciences  333, 108545.