Sternberg Family Distinguished University Professor

Alessandro Vespignani, PhD

Health Sciences


PhD, University of Rome, La Sapienza, Rome, Italy

Research Interests

Network science and computational epidemiology


Prof. Vespignani received his undergraduate degree and Ph.D., both in physics, from the University of Rome “La Sapienza.” He completed his postdoctoral research at Yale University and Leiden University. Prof. Vespignani worked at the International Center for Theoretical Physics (UNESCO) in Trieste and at the University of Paris-Sud in France as a member of the National Council for Scientific Research (CNRS). From 2004 to 2011, Vespignani was J.H.Rudy Professor of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University and the founding Director of the Center for Complex Networks and Systems Research and Associate Director of the Pervasive Technology Institute. Vespignani is elected fellow of the American Physical Society, member of the Academy of Europe, and fellow of the Institute for Quantitative Social Sciences at Harvard University. Recently Vespignani’s research activity focuses on the data-driven computational modeling of epidemic and spreading phenomena and the study of biological, social and technological networks.


Director of the Network Science Institute

Selected Publications

Dynamical processes on Complex Networks. A. Barrat, M. Barthelemy and A. Vespignani. Cambridge University Press (2008). 4th reprint in 2012 Paperback publication by Cambridge University Press in 2013.

Epidemic spreading in scale-free networks. R. Pastor-Satorras and A. Vespignani. Physical Review Letters. 86: 3200-3203, (2001).

Epidemic Processes in Complex Networks. R. Pastor-Satorras, C. Castellano, P. Van Mieghem, and A. Vespignani. Rev. Mod. Phys. 87, 925, (2015)

The effect of travel restrictions on the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. M. Chinazzi, J. T Davis, M. Ajelli, C. Gioannini, M. Litvinova, S. Merler, A. Pastore y Piontti, K. Mu, L. Rossi, K. Sun, C. Viboud, X. Xiong, H. Yu, M. Elizabeth Halloran, I. M Longini, A. Vespignani. Science 368 (6489), 395-400 (2020)

Modeling the impact of social distancing, testing, contact tracing and household quarantine on second-wave scenarios of the COVID-19 epidemic. Aleta, D. Martin-Corral, A. Pastore y Piontti, M. Ajelli, M. Litvinova, M. Chinazzi, N. E Dean, M. Elizabeth Halloran, I. M Longini Jr, S. Merler, A. Pentland, A. Vespignani, E. Moro, Y. Moreno. Nature Human Behavior 4 (9), 964-971 (2020)

Selected Honors and Awards

Knighted with the Order of the Star of Italy by the President of the Italian Government, June 6, 2021.

Euler Award for outstanding research discoveries in the field of network science, Network Science Society 2020.

John Graunt Award for extraordinary achievements in one of the population sciences, Radboud Institute for Health Sciences, The Netherlands, 2018.

Senior Scientific Award for outstanding contributions to Complex Systems & Network sciences, Complex Systems Society, 2018.

Fellow, Network Science Society, 2018.

Selected Public Service

Conference Chair, CompleNet 2018, Northeastern University, March 5-8, 2018, Boston, MA

Organizer, Digital Epidemiology and Surveillance, CCS2018 Satellite Workshop, September 26th 2018, Thessaloniki, Greece

WHO Blueprint meeting, Northeastern University, Boston, October 30-November 1st, 2017.

DELVE 2017 – Second Workshop on Digital Epidemiology and Surveillance, Satellite of CCS2017, Cancún, Mexico, September 17-22 2017

Organizing committee, Complex Systems Society, 2016 Conference on Complex Systems Satellite Workshop, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, September 20, 2016, “Digital Epidemiology and Surveillance.”


PHYS 7335: Dynamical Processes in Complex Networks
PHYS 1125: Introduction to Network Science


Contact Information


Room 1007, 177 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02118


[email protected]



Curriculum Vitae