About us

The SIMID consortium

Goals and objectives

The SIMID project originally started as a five year strategic basic research project in 2006. It was executed by a consortium of the University of Antwerp (UA), Hasselt University (UH), the Catholic University of Leuven (KU Leuven) and the Scientific Institute for Public Health (WIV). Philippe Beutels designed the project and was Principal Investigator. He incepted the Centre for Health Economics Research & Modelling Infectious Diseases (CHERMID) at the University of Antwerp in 2008 as part of this project. The project’s main aim was to further develop the capacity in infectious disease modelling in Flanders. Modelling of infectious diseases is far more complex than modeling non-infectious diseases, as interventions aimed at infectious diseases also have an impact on people who are not targeted by these interventions.

In general terms, with this project we hoped to:

  • Expand and deepen the expertise in Flanders to a level of international excellence with regards to estimating infectious diseases parameters and infectious (and indirectly also non-infectious) disease modelling.
  • Raise the bar to improve the overall quality of health economic evaluation as applied in the Belgian context, specifically with regards to treating uncertainty and transparency in model-based evaluations.

This project was constructed around four central themes:

  • Modeling control and prevention options for endemic infectious diseases
  • Modeling population threats from emerging infectious diseases
  • New methods and data to improve dynamic infectious disease models
  • Further development of data collection tools and infectious disease databases in Flanders

The project was funded by the governmental institute for the Promotion of Innovation by Science and Technology in Flanders (IWT), project number 060081. CHERMID (Vaxinfectio, UA) and CenStat (I-Biostat, UHasselt) continue this highly fruitful collaboration and organize thematic workshops and courses on mathematical and statistical models for infectious diseases and its economic evaluation.


(Part of the team in 2019)

The SIMID team is a highly interdisciplinary research group with expertise in medical sciences, physics, statistics, mathematics, economics, computer sciences, biology, philosophy and sociology. We believe in the philosophy of engaging in interdisciplinary research.


  • Prof. Dr. Philippe Beutels (UAntwerp, University of New South Wales)
  • Prof. Dr. Niel Hens (UHasselt, UAntwerp)

Senior Research Scientists:

  • Prof. Dr. Steven Abrams (UHasselt, UAntwerp)
  • Prof. Dr. Joke Bilcke (UAntwerp)
  • Prof. Dr. Christel Faes (UHasselt)
  • Prof. Dr. Thomas Neyens (UHasselt)
  • Prof. Dr. Pieter Libin (UHasselt, VUB)
  • Prof. Dr. Lander Willem (UAntwerp)
  • Prof. Dr. Andrea Torneri (UHasselt)
  • Prof. Dr. Nicolas Franco (UNamur,UHasselt)

Post-doctoral Researchers:

  • Dr. Benny Borremans (UHasselt, UCLA)
  • Dr. Pietro Coletti (UHasselt)
  • Dr. Nicolas Hermans (UNamur)
  • Dr. Oswaldo Gressani (UHasselt)
  • Dr. Sereina Herzog (UHasselt, MUGraz)
  • Dr. Dieter Heylen (UHasselt, Princeton)
  • Dr. Zhuxin Mao (UAntwerp)
  • Dr. Xiao Li (UAntwerp)

PhD Students:

  • Achilleas Tsoumanis (UAntwerp, ITM)
  • Vladimira Varbanova (UAntwerp)
  • Helene Vermeulen (UHasselt)
  • James Wambua (UHasselt)
  • Regina Manasala (UAntwerp)
  • Irene Garcia-Fogeda (UAntwerp)
  • Trang Nguyen (UHasselt)
  • Minh Hanh Nguyen (UHasselt)
  • Njeri Kamau (UHasselt)
  • Neilshan Loedy (UHasselt)
  • Leonardo Angeli (UHasselt)
  • Bryan Sumalinab (UHasselt)
  • Alejandro Rozoposada (UHasselt)
  • Allesandro Grosso (UAntwerp)
  • Jane Phiri (UAntwerp)
  • Eline Van Doninck (UAntwerp)
  • Bart Smets (UAntwerp)

Supporting Research Scientists:

  • Prof. Dr. Marc Aerts (UHasselt)
  • Prof. Dr. Ziv Shkedy (UHasselt)
  • Prof. Dr. Pierre Van Damme (UAntwerp)
  • Prof. Dr. Benson Ogunjimi (UAntwerp, UZA)

Research & Innovation Managers:

  • Dr. Sarah Vercruyse (UHasselt)
  • Dr. Lisa Hermans (UHasselt)
  • Dr. Jeroen Wynen (UHasselt)

Office Administrators

  • Brenda Janssens (UAntwerp)
  • Martine Machiels (UHasselt)
  • Xenia Mikulla (UAntwerp)