Santiago was born in Barquisimeto, Venezuela and spent much of his childhood dreaming of becoming a scientist, or a writer, or both, thanks to a healthy diet of science-fiction. He continued to develop his dual passions at the University of Texas at Austin where he was a Health Science Scholar and a Junior Fellow in the College of Liberal Arts. He graduated simultaneously with honors degrees in the humanities and biochemistry. Santiago embarked on the path towards becoming a physician scientist after spending a summer at the National Institutes of Health. He went on to complete an M.Phil in chemistry at the University of Cambridge. Currently, he is an MD/PhD candidate at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
Santiago has ample experience tutoring students in the basic sciences at the collegiate level as a former mentor and teaching assistant in the Freshman Research Initiative at UT Austin. He is also passionate about helping students demystify and conquer medical school admissions and has successfully coached many students applying to MD and MD/PhD programs in addition to going through the process himself.
Outside of academics, Santiago enjoys theatre and expository writing. While at UT, he was awarded the grand prize in the 2015 Worthington essay contest and was an active member of a student theatre troupe. Then, at Cambridge, he acted in a Spanish-language production as a part of the Cambridge International Theatre Festival.