Invited Speakers

Niel Hens is Assistant Professor of Biostatistics holding a shared position at Hasselt University and the University of Antwerp. He obtained  a master in mathematics at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium in 1999, a master of science in biostatistics and a PhD in statistics in 2005 at Hasselt University. Next to his interest in models for missing data and flexible multivariate models, his main research area is the modeling of infectious diseases. He is the central actor in the close and very fruitful collaboration between the Center for Statistics, Hasselt University, Belgium and the Centre for Health Economic Research and Modelling Infectious Diseases, Vaccine and Infectious Diseases Institute at the University of Antwerp, Belgium. He is holder of the Chair of Evidence-based Vaccinology. Whereas his research in the area of infectious diseases has mainly focused on the estimation of epidemiological parameters such as the force of infection and the basic reproduction number, he is now extending both centers’ expertise to the area of stochastic and simulation models, network models, etc.


Marcel Salathé is a Branco Weiss: Society in Science Fellow and Assistant Professor of Biology in the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics at Penn State University. He's generally interested in how human dynamics affect disease dynamics (and vice versa). After receiving his PhD from the ETH in Zürich, Switzerland, he spent two years as a postdoctoral research fellow at Stanford University where he studied the effect of human contact network structure on infectious disease spread. His research group currently uses large-scale data sets from online social media sites to analyze the spread of health behaviors on social networks. For more information, please visit