SMIDDY Newsletter (05.09.2013)


1. Final program of SMIDDY 2013 online!
2. PhD position: Microbiology and pharmacodynamic modelling, University of Bern, Switzerland
3. Post-doc: Personalized Medicine, Harvard Medical School, USA
4. M.Sc. position: Mathematical modelling – aquatic parasite dynamics, Memorial University, Canada
5. Swiss Epidemiology Winter School, Jan 20-25 2014, Wengen (including link to website!)

1. Final program of SMIDDY 2013 online!

The final program of the fourth Swiss Meeting for Infectious Disease Dynamics (SMIDDY) can be found here:

The meeting will take place in the CHN building (room C 14) at ETH Zürich (Universitätstrasse 16, 8006 Zürich) on Friday, 13 September 2013.

2. PhD position: Microbiology and pharmacodynamic modelling, University of Bern, Switzerland

We are looking for a highly motivated person to do an interdisciplinary PhD project in microbiology and mathematical modelling of antimicrobial resistance. New antibiotic treatment strategies for the sexually transmitted infection gonorrhoea are urgently needed because of increasing resistance in Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

The position requires skills in both microbiological and quantitative methods. You will use in vitro assays to investigate the pharmacodynamics of N. gonorrhoeae in the presence of different doses and combinations of antibiotics (at the Institute of Infectious Diseases). You will then develop a mathematical model to predict the impact of antibiotic combination treatment using pharmacodynamic models and response surface methodology (at the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine).

You should have a Masters degree in a relevant discipline, such as biology, biotechnology, or pharmaceutical science. Owing to the interdisciplinary nature of the project, we do not expect you to have already acquired all the necessary expertise for this project. The project is funded by (The Swiss Initiative in Systems Biology, with a salary on the doctoral student scale of the Swiss National Science Foundation. The position is available for 3 years from November 2013.

For further information about the project and our research, visit and, or contact Dr. Christian Althaus (

To apply for this position, send a CV and contact information of two referees, accompanied by a letter explaining why you are suited to the post, your current skills and skills that you would like to develop to Natalie Studer ( by 30th September 2013.

3. Post-doc: Personalized Medicine, Harvard Medical School, USA

The Center for Biomedical Informatics (CBMI), Harvard Medical School has one research fellowship available for immediate appointment. The position is part of the Laboratory for Personalized Medicine (LPM, program to reengineer translational science and accelerate the migration of biomedical informatics methodology, analysis and applications into the clinical enterprise in support of personalized medicine.

LPM’s objective is to identify clinically impactful devices, procedures, and biomedical informatics resources; test the clinical validity of those items with likely impact in the personal medicine clinical enterprise; and to execute high priority projects that translate key technologies into the clinical IT enterprise in support of personalized, preventive health care. The long-term goal is to create a translational science method and environment that supports the continuous and systematic testing and translation of highest priority technologies and discoveries into the clinical enterprise. This objective is at the heart of translational science and will support the joint HMS and Harvard Affiliate CTSC efforts.

Role and Duties: As a member of LPM, the Fellow is expected to assume important roles in prioritized LPM projects including: work with LPM project leadership to identify and describe key pilot projects, participate in multidisciplinary project team projects to achieve research milestones, provide teaching assistance to the Bioinformatics Track in the Master of Medical Sciences in Biomedical Informatics program at Harvard Medical School, and support basic science, clinical researchers, and LPM’s healthcare collaborations.

Qualifications: The ideal candidate has received their PhD in biomedical informatics, biomedical science or clinical informatics field and/or MD, RN, or related advance clinical degree within the last three years. Candidate must excel at modern bioinformatics skills such as python, pearl, R, cluster computing or similar. Preference will be given to applicants with demonstrated research aptitude and a driving interest in improving the healthcare system. The diversity of subject matter will require a creative mind, deploying imaginative strategies, dedicated to solving complex and challenging problems. Applicants should be highly motivated and flexible, with excellent communication skills, and work well within an interdisciplinary environment.

How to apply: Email applications including curriculum vitae, summary statement of personal objective and research interests, PDFs of no more than three papers, and the names and email addresses of three references to: Peter J. Tonellato, Ph.D.,, 617-432-7185

For general interest in working at the LPM send CV, statement of objective and interests.

4. M.Sc. position: Mathematical modelling – aquatic parasite dynamics, Memorial University, Canada

I invite applicants for an M.Sc. studentship in Biology involving the mathematical modelling of an aquatic parasite. The research will involve describing the effect of temperature and salinity on developmental rates, determining how temporal trends in temperature and salinity affect population dynamics, and validating the mathematical model with data. A competitive salary will be offered and funding will be available for conference travel and to pursue collaborations. Applicants should email Dr. Amy Hurford. This email should include: (i) a short description of why you are interested in the position, (ii) your CV, and (iii) transcripts pertaining to your previous or ongoing studies (if possible). I will consider applications as they are received. For full consideration applicants should indicate their interest before September 15, 2013, although applications received after this date may be considered. Applicants should be able to begin their studies between January 1, 2014 and September 1, 2014.

Interdisciplinary training in biology, mathematics and/or experience in computer programming is ideal, but only proficiency in one of these areas is necessary where there is an interest to develop further skills in other areas.

Memorial University is located in St John’s, Newfoundland, Canada. The city offers many unique experiences with a vibrant arts community, stunning coastline, and proximity to a variety of outdoor activities (hiking, fishing, cross-country skiing, etc:

5. Swiss Epidemiology Winter School, Jan 20-25 2014, Wengen

The Winter School takes place in January during the week following the International Lauberhorn ski race, when Wengen is calm, with few people on the slopes. Students stay on site and work hard in the mornings. They then have an extended break to review course materials, catch up on emails or (more likely) go skiing or snowboarding. We reconvene at 5 pm for computer or practical sessions.

We offer 6 courses in 2014 which run for 3 days, either from Monday to Wed or Thurs to Sat, during the week of 20-25 January, 2014. Each course earns 1.5 ECTS.

The list of courses and key faculty is as follows:

– Causal inference in observational epidemiology
Prof. Miguel Hernan, Harvard University, Prof. Marcel Zwahlen, University of Bern
20-22 January (Mon-Wed)

– Indirect comparisons and network meta-analysis: Evidence synthesis with multiple treatments
Prof. Julian Higgins, University of Bristol, Dr. Georgia Salanti, University of Ioannina
20-22 January (Mon-Wed)

– Writing a journal article – and getting it published
Dr. Kali Tal, University of Bern
20-22 January (Mon-Wed)

– Statistical analysis with missing data using multiple imputation and inverse probability weighting
Dr. James Carpenter, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Dr. Manuel Koller and Dr. Kurt Schmidlin, University of Bern
23-25 January (Thurs-Sat)

– Applied Bayesian statistics
Prof. Marcel Zwahlen and Dr. Sandro Gsteiger, University of Bern, Dr. Beat Neuenschwander, Novartis
23-25 January (Thurs-Sat)

– Mathematical modeling in infectious disease epidemiology
Prof. Sebastian Bonhoeffer, ETH Zurich, Dr. Christian Althaus and Prof. Nicola Low, University of Bern
23-25 January (Thurs-Sat)

Please visit our website for further information and booking.
The number of participants is limited – book early to avoid disappointment.

We very much look forward to seeing you in Wengen.

With best wishes

Prof. Matthias Egger, ISPM, University of Bern
Director Swiss Epidemiology Winter School