Hester Korthals Altes has modeled diverse aspects of tuberculosis transmission to understand the impact of control measures on the disease dynamics. She has used time series analysis to identify seasonal patterns in tuberculosis, allowing to study factors associated with the incidence of disease. She developed dynamic models of spread to quantify the role of immigration versus transmission within the country.
More generally, she is interested in unravelling patterns in infectious diseases in space and time to shed light on factors driving disease. She is a member of the SiMiLAr consortium, which aims to map the origin and spread of livestock-associated MRSA Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus ) in Dutch hospitals: using pathogen whole genome sequencing data combined with patient information, introduction versus spread in hospitals is investigated.
During the COVID pandemic she assisted the public health advice to the Dutch Caribbean, based on statistical and modelling tools. She currently follows the relationship between work absenteeism and COVID-19.
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.