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.