Infectious diseases remain a major contributor to the global burden of disease, with HIV, malaria, measles, diarrhoeal disease and respiratory infections responsible for over 50% of premature deaths worldwide. However the availability of resources for interventions is limited in comparison with the scale of the challenges faced. Over the last decade there has been increasing recognition of the value of epidemiological analysis and mathematical modelling in aiding the design and interpretation of clinical trials from a population perspective and, downstream, to guide implementation, monitoring and evaluation of intervention effectiveness. The Epidemiology, Evolution and Control of Infectious Diseases (EECID) stream provides a research-based training in infectious disease epidemiology, mathematical modelling and statistics, genetics and evolution, and computational methods. The focus of the course is inter-disciplinary, with a strong applied public health element.
Based in the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology in the Faculty of Medicine, the stream provides an opportunity to learn, in a supportive and stimulating environment, from leaders in the field who are actively engaged in research and advise leading public health professionals, policy-makers, governments, international organisations and pharmaceutical companies, both nationally and internationally, on a range of diseases include pandemic influenza, HIV, TB, malaria, polio and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs).
This stream is linked to the Wellcome Trust 4-year PhD programme in the Epidemiology, Evolution and Control of Infectious Diseases which includes up to 5 funded studentships each year. Up to 3 further 1+3 MRC studentships are also available each year.
The emphasis of the course will be to provide a thorough training in epidemiology, mathematical modelling and statistics, and genetics and evolution, as applied to infectious diseases. This research-orientated training will incorporate taught material, practical sessions in statistical software (R) and C programming as well as wider generic training in the research and communication skills needed to interact with public health agencies. Through the two research-based projects students will be exposed to the latest developments in the field and will gain first-hand experience in applying the methods they are taught to questions of public-health relevance.
Individuals who complete the course will have developed the ability to:
-Describe the biology, epidemiology and control of major global infectious diseases
-Interpret and present epidemiological data
-Undertake statistical analysis of infectious disease data including applying modern methods for statistical inference
-Develop and apply mathematical models to understand infectious disease dynamics, evolution and control
-Analyse genetic data using modern techniques and interpret their relevance to infectious disease epidemiology
-Critically evaluate research papers and reports
-Write and defend research reports and publications
-Communicate effectively through writing, oral presentations and IT to facilitate further study or employment in epidemiology and public health
-Exercise a range of transferable skills
This will be achieved through a course of lectures, seminars, tutorials and technical workshops. Please note that Postgraduate Diplomas and Certificates for part-completion are not available for this course.
The stream will be based in the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology on the St Mary’s campus of Imperial College London
Each student chooses two projects over the course of the year from the wide range available. Students are guided in this choice by the stream organiser and their personal tutor and are advised to take contrasting projects to ensure a balanced training.