The Department of Public Health plans to appoint three postdoctoral researchers on mathematical modelling of neglected tropical diseases to support elimination programmes.
The neglected tropical diseases (NTD) are a group of poverty-related diseases caused by various types of infective agents that affect over a billion people worldwide and have been targeted for control or elimination by 2020, 2025, or 2030, depending on the disease. The main intervention strategies for these diseases encompass preventive chemotherapy through targeted or mass drug administration or innovative and intensified diseases management. However, it is anticipated that with current drugs and intervention strategies control or elimination may not be achieved everywhere for all NTD’s. For on-going efforts to achieve these goals, there is an urgent need to understand where we stand now in terms of progress towards control and elimination and what we can expect to achieve in the coming decade with current or alternative interventions strategies.
The postdoctoral researcher will work on evaluating the current global status of NTD control and predicting elimination prospects, with a particular focus on lymphatic filariasis and onchocerciasis. The research will involve working with various established individual-based and deterministic models for transmission and control of NTD’s, developed at the Department of Public Health. The researchers will quantify these models for relevant scenarios, based on geospatial epidemiological data and programmatic data on interventions, and will predict the impact of various intervention scenarios. The work may also involve further refine of the models, based on literature and expert opinion available through our broad network in NTD research. The research will provide important information on where and for which NTD’s additional efforts are necessary to achieve control and elimination, as well as an assessment of the extent to which new types of interventions could support these goals.
Enthusiastic postgraduate with a PhD in Medicine, Epidemiology, Biology, Mathematics, Econometrics, Biostatistics or related field, with proven experience in mathematical modelling and data manipulation and visualisation. Previous experience with individual-based or stochastic modelling and statistical programming in R are preferred. The candidate has a strong curiosity-driven attitude and is able to quickly adopt new subject matter. The candidate should have good command of the English language, both verbally and in writing (i.e. command of the Dutch language is not required).
Being able to present a certificate of good conduct is a condition to be appointed.