Hester Korthals Altes has modeled diverse aspects of tuberculosis transmission to understand the impact of control measures on the disease dynamics. Models range from simple statistical models in the context of cost-effectiveness studies (BCG vaccination in risk-groups), to dynamic models of spread to quantify the role of immigration versus transmission within the country. She has used time series analysis to identify seasonal patterns in tuberculosis, allowing to study factors associated with the incidence of disease.

More generally, she is interested in unravelling patterns in infectious diseases in space and time to shed light on factors driving disease. She has applied these methods to study MRSA carriage patterns in a livestock-rich area of the Netherlands, and to scrutinize the temporal association between influenza-like-illnesses and pneumonia.

Background

Hester Korthals Altes studied Biology at the University of Leiden (M.Sc. 1996). She obtained her PhD from the University of Oxford, combining benchwork with mathematical modeling to understand the interaction between HIV and the immune system. She used mathematical models to study the impact of alternative HIV-therapies on the immune system, as a postdoc at the University of Paris VI and Utrecht University. She then worked on within-host virus- and immune system dynamics at the University of Amsterdam. She acted as an interface between immunologists and computer scientists in a European project, COMPUVAC (2006-2009), to set up a database on immune responses generated by new vaccine constructs.

Hester holds a position at the Centre for Infectious Disease Control since 2006.

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