From 1 September, Jacco Wallinga will hold the chair in Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases at the department of Medical Statistics and Bio-informatics of the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC). As an extraordinary Professor, Wallinga will work on the appraisal and effect prediction of public health measures to control infectious diseases. He will continue to work at the National Institute for Public Health and Environmental Protection (RIVM National Institute for Public Health and the Environment ) as Head of the Modelling of Infectious Diseases department.

Jacco Wallinga research focuses on the effect of specific measures on the dynamics of infectious diseases. ‘My objective is to understand the basis of these dynamics, and I use quantitative models to study this issue’, says Wallinga.

In recent years, his main interest covered three themes: making real-time estimates of the pivotal epidemiological variables of infectious disease outbreaks, aimed to help guide decision-making, characterise contact networks using information on social media, and use epidemic models to help interpret molecular sequencing information of pathogens in terms of reservoir and spread.

Background

Jacco Wallinga is a population biologist. In 1992, he graduated from Wageningen University, and obtained his doctoral degree at the same university in 1998. Since 1997, he analysed dynamics of infectious diseases at RIVM National Institute for Public Health and the Environment . He became head of the RIVM department of Modelling of Infectious Diseases in 2005, and published over 100 articles in international peer-reviewed scientific journals and is a member of the editorial committee of Epidemiology. He advices the Dutch government and international organisations concerning vaccination policies. International collaborations include his participation in the Centre for Communicable Disease Dynamics of the Harvard School of Public Health.