SIMID | Simulation Models of Infectious Disease


Founded on the principle of interdisciplinary collaboration, we are a diverse team of researchers, scientists, and public health experts dedicated to advancing the field of infectious disease modeling. From epidemiology to mathematics, computer science to public health, our team brings together a wealth of expertise to tackle complex challenges in disease dynamics and transmission.

By fostering collaboration, innovation, and transparency, we aim to empower communities, policymakers, and healthcare practitioners with the tools and knowledge needed to effectively prevent, control, and manage infectious diseases.

A unique research collaboration

How it all started...

The SIMID project originally started as a five year strategic basic research project in 2006. It was executed by a consortium of the Universities of Antwerp, Hasselt and Leuven, and the Scientific Institute for Public Health. 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.

Meet the team

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.


Philippe Beutels
Professor at University of Antwerp and UNSW Sydney
Niel Hens
Professor at Hasselt University and the University of Antwerp

Senior research scientists

Steven Abrams
Professor at Hasselt University and the University of Antwerp
Ogunjumi Benson
Professor at the University of Antwerp
Joke Bilcke
Professor at the University of Antwerp
Christel Faes
Professor at Hasselt University
Thomas Neyens
Professor at Hasselt University
Andrea Torneri
Professor at the University of Antwerp
Lander Willem
Professor at the University of Antwerp

SIMID partners

SIMID partner
Nicolas Franco
Professor at the University of Namur
SIMID Partner
Pieter Libin
Professor at the VUB

Post-doctoral Researchers:

  • Dr. Hajar Besbassi (UAntwerp)
  • Dr. Maikel Bosschaert (UHasselt)
  • Dr. Marie-Cécile Dupas (UHasselt)
  • Dr. Oswaldo Gressani (UHasselt)
  • Dr. My Ha (UAntwerp)
  • Dr. Nicolas Herman (UNamur)
  • Dr. Cécile Kremer (UHasselt)
  • Dr. Mariia Kuznetsova (UAntwerp)
  • Dr. Xiao Li (UAntwerp)
  • Dr. Zhuxin Mao (UAntwerp)

PhD Students:

  • Leonardo Angeli (UHasselt)
  • Toon Braeye (UHasselt)
  • Irene Garcia-Fogeda (UAntwerp)
  • Alessandro Grosso (UAntwerp)
  • Alejandro Javier (UAntwerp)
  • Kholoud Khemiri (KU Leuven)
  • Liz Limpopo (UHasselt)
  • Neilshan Loedy (UHasselt)
  • Regina Manasala (UAntwerp)
  • Minh Hanh Nguyen (UHasselt)
  • Trang Nguyen (UHasselt)
  • Jane Phiri (UAntwerp)
  • Reza Rahmanian (UAntwerp)
  • Alejandro Rozoposada (UHasselt)
  • Daniele Sartirano (UHasselt)
  • Astrid Sierens (UHasselt)
  • Bart Smets (UAntwerp)
  • Bryan Sumalinab (UHasselt)
  • Achilleas Tsoumanis (ITM)
  • Eline Van Doninck (UAntwerp)
  • Vladimira Varbanova (UAntwerp)
  • Helene Vermeulen (UHasselt)
  • James Wambua (UHasselt)
  • Sebastiaan Weytjens (UHasselt)
  • Zita Zsabokorszky (UHasselt)

Support team:

  • Dr. Lisa Hermans
  • Dr. Sara Vercruysse
  • Dr. Jeroen Wynen

Supporting Research Scientists:

SIMID alumni: