35 delegates from across the world attended this annual 2-week short course run by the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology. Bringing together policy makers, clinicians, economists, veterinarians, mathematicians, and biologists, the course provides a thorough, but accessible and demystifying introduction to the essential elements of mathematical modelling with an emphasis on the use of mathematical models for policy making. With infectious diseases frequently dominating news headlines, public health professionals, policy makers and infectious disease researchers increasingly need to understand the transmission patterns of infectious diseases. This allows them to interpret and critically evaluate both epidemiological data and the findings of mathematical modelling studies.
Highlights of an intense first week of lectures and practicals included a trip on the London Eye followed by the course dinner, and a taste of British culture with a pub quiz to end the week.
Delegates chose two projects in the second week, applying methods and concepts taught in week one to build their own disease-specific models. This year’s invited lecture was given by Dr Chris Dye, Director of Strategy in the Office of the Director General at the World Health Organization, addressing “What will the Sustainable Development Goals do for health?”.