Don Klinkenberg is infectious disease modeller at the department of Modelling of Infectious Disease. He wants to understand the spread of infectious diseases, to use it for advising on public health. The use of data is essential, and combining different sources and types of data is what he finds most interesting and challenging. He prefers analysis of data by using models that he specifically develops and adjusts for the particular problem that has to be addressed.
Don developed a method for the use of genetic differences between viruses or bacteria sampled from individual patients, to identify whom infected whom during an outbreak. This method is publicly available as a piece of software: an R-package (www.github.com/donkeyshot/phybreak).
During the COVID-19 pandemic he worked on a transmission model for SARS-CoV-2 to make prognoses for hospital and IC-admission, and to evaluate scenarios. He also worked on a model to evaluate CoronaMelder, the app by which users could be notified when they had had contact with an infected person. Other topics are the spread of measles within and between schools, and a better understanding of infectious disease spread by modelling human behaviour.
Don Klinkenberg did his MSc at the University of Amsterdam, in Medical Biology. He got his PhD at Utrecht University, on mathematical models for the spread of Classical Swine Fever. After his graduation, he worked at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Utrecht University, first as a postdoc and then as a Lecturer. In this position he employed mathematical models and statistics to work on various topics: a high diversity of pathogens, and many different applied and fundamental research questions.
At the Center of Infectious Disease Control, Don works on the analysis of infectious disease data using mathematical and statistical methods.