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2 postdoctoral positions in modelling of infectious diseases at Institut Pasteur, Paris with Cauchemez and Salje


The Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases Unit at Institut Pasteur was created in 2013. The research focus of the Unit is to develop state-of-the-art mathematical and statistical methods to tackle the many challenges epidemiologists and microbiologists face when analysing infectious disease data.
Our primary focus is the study of infectious disease dynamics, both in long-term endemic settings and in outbreaks. We aim to better understand how pathogens spread in human populations with a view to support policy-making and optimize control strategies. These analyses benefit from a strong network of collaborators in the field (in particular within the large International Network of Pasteur Institutes that consist of 34 institutes spread across the world) but also of strong connections with other Centres of Excellence in mathematical modelling. Our approach is therefore highly multidisciplinary, looking at infectious diseases through multiple perspectives (epidemiology, surveillance, Public Health, policy making, microbiology), multiple scales and multiple data streams.

Job description

We are seeking two postdocs to work on a portfolio of research projects. The portfolio includes the development of mathematical and statistical models to analyse infectious disease data with complex structures for a wide range of applications.
In an ambitious project funded by DARPA, the first postdoc will collaborate with a multidisciplinary team of experimentalists (led by Dr Marco Vignuzzi and Dr Carla Saleh), entomologists (led by Dr Anna-Bella Failloux) and epidemiologists (Dr Moritz Kraemer) to better identify emerging arbovirus threats. The study will focus on arboviruses that have already spilled over in humans; but have not yet led to major epidemics. Detailed laboratory experiments will be conducted in mosquitoes and mammalians to monitor viral populations and identify minority variants with a competitive advantage for emergence. Experimental transmission studies between mosquitoes and mammalians will be performed. Entomological and surveillance data will also be available for multiple sites. The postdoc role will be to develop mathematical models of within-host infection and between-host transmission to integrate these diverse data collected at very different scales with a view to assess the potential for emergence of the different variants while also accounting for real-world complexities.
The second postdoc will work on a portfolio of projects aiming to use spatial approaches to better characterize the emergence, spread and control of pathogens. For example, in a first project, the postdoc will collaborate with ICDDR,B and Johns Hopkins (Dr Emily Gurley) to better understand the complex dynamics of Nipah circulation in bats and subsequent spillover events in humans in Bangladesh from the analysis of detailed bats data and human case data. In a second project, the postdoc will collaborate with Imperial College (Dr Neil Ferguson) and the World Mosquito Program (Dr Cameron Simmons) to assess the impact of a largescale deployment of Wolbachia infected mosquitoes on dengue incidence in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The postdocs will be expected to develop state-of-the-art statistical and mathematical methodology that may involve Markov Chain Monte Carlo Sampling (MCMC), Sequential Monte Carlo sampling, Particle MCMC, Approximate Bayesian Computation or phylogenetic techniques. The exact projects the successful applicants will undertake will be determined in discussion with the team, taking into account the applicants’ interests and experience.
The postdocs will be co-supervised by Dr Simon Cauchemez and Dr Henrik Salje. Applicants will be given a one-year contract with possibility to extend it for another 2 years, should both parties agree.
Interested candidates should contact email Cécile Limouzin ( with a CV, statement of interest and contact details of two referees that will be contacted directly after the interviews. The deadline for applications is 19 September 2018, with contracts expected to start in January 2019.

Salary: Depending on education and experience.

Location: Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases Unit, Institut Pasteur, 28 rue du Dr Roux, 75724 Paris Cedex 15, France.

Person specification:
• Research experience of working with mathematical and/or statistical models.
• A strong interest in infectious disease epidemiology.
• Ability to collate and analyse data, interpret and present results to a high standard using a range of specialised research techniques.
• Programming experience in C, C++ or Java.
• Good knowledge of the R statistical programming language.
• Excellent verbal and written communication skills. The working language of the laboratory is English.
• Experience in communicating research findings to a non-specialist audience.
• Ability to work independently but also as part of a larger interdisciplinary research team.
• PhD in one of the following areas: infectious disease epidemiology, mathematics, statistics, physics, computer science, population biology or a similarly quantitative discipline.

Institut Pasteur
Closing date
September 19th, 2018
Posted on
August 29th, 2018 14:02
Last updated
August 31st, 2018 08:01