Content description

We organize a modelling course where participants can choose between mathematical and health economic models for airborne and close-contact diseases or network models for epidemics. The course is arranged as 2 parallel tracks:

[Track 1a]* Mathematical Infectious Disease Models (Monday-Wednesday)
Mathematical models are increasingly used to study infectious disease transmission and reactive strategies. In this track, we handle basic concepts of disease transmission models, parameter estimation and social contact patterns. The tutorials in R range from deterministic compartmental models up to stochastic individual-based models.

[Track 1b]* Health Economics for Vaccines (Thursday-Friday)
How to evaluate health interventions with the objective to obtain maximum health outcomes for a given health budget? In this track, we elaborate on cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit analysis for infectious disease interventions. We demonstrate how to deal with different types of uncertainty and discuss differences to evaluate preventive versus curative health care technologies. 

[Track 2] Network Modelling for Epidemics (Monday-Friday)
This track introduces deterministic- and stochastic models though focuses on the theory, methods of network models with applications for e.g. HIV. The course uses a mix of lectures, tutorials and projects in small groups using the EpiModel software package in R. On the final day, participants develop a prototype model.

Evaluation: To award ECTS credits, participants are evaluated on a report of a case-study linked to the course material, which has to be send in one month after the course.

A certificate of attendance will be provided for each participant.

(*Tracks 1a and 1b can be followed separately)

Experience with R is a plus, though we provide basic info upfront and are there to help you.



  [1a] Mathematical Models Infectious Disease Models  [2] Network Modelling for Epidemics
Introduction to mathematical modeling for infectious diseases Introduction to epidemic modelling and descriptive network analysis
Inferring model parameters from serological data Cross-sectional and dynamic statistical network analysis (ERGMs and STERGMs)
Meta-population and individual-based models Epidemic models with fixed populations and network dynamics
  [1b] Health Economics for Vaccines  
Introduction to health economic evaluation and dealing with uncertainty Epidemic models with interactions between networks, demographics and infection
Specific issues for economic evaluation of vaccination programs Extending EpiModel for original research projects




Instructors and funding

The instructors have published an influential body of methodological and applied work on modelling infectious diseases and health economics:

  • Prof. Philippe Beutels (University of Antwerp)
  • Prof. Niel Hens (Hasselt University)
  • Prof. Chris Kenyon (Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp)
  • Prof. Joke Bilcke (University of Antwerp)
  • Prof. Martina Morris (University of Washington)
  • Prof. Steven Goodreau (University of Washington)
  • Prof. Samuel Jenness (University of Washington)
  • Dr. Pietro Coletti (Hasselt University)
  • Dr. Lander Willem (University of Antwerp)

This interdisciplinary initiative is organized and funded by

  • Antwerp Summer University
  • Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp
  • University of Antwerp
  • Hasselt University
  • FWO Scientific Research Community “Network Statistics for Sexually Transmitted Infections Epidemiology” 
  • Quetelet Society