Infectious Disease Dynamics

Research Overview

Infectious diseases pose a continuing threat to global public health, exemplified by the COVID-19 pandemic and its whole-of-society impacts. Our team develops and applies model-based methods in mathematical epidemiology and statistics to identify the key determinants of infectious disease transmission, project likely disease burden and identify high-impact control strategies.

The Infectious Disease Dynamics Unit (previously called Modelling and Simulation Unit) was established in 2005 through a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Capacity Building Grant focused on developing national infectious diseases modeling capability to inform control policy. Since that time, it has expanded its remit to include methodological research in mathematical epidemiology and Bayesian statistical methods for infectious disease analytics, infectious disease surveillance, decision-science and pandemic planning and response. We are a key node in the Parkville precinct-wide infectious diseases modelling and analytics network (Melbourne School of Population and Global Health; Doherty Institute; School of Mathematics and Statistics; School of Computing and Information Systems; Doherty Institute; WEHI)

We have a national leadership role in viral respiratory disease surveillance, forecasting and pandemic preparedness. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have led Australia’s national consortium providing 'situational assessment' to all states and territories. In partnership with Doherty Institute colleagues, our work on influenza pandemic preparedness and response has influenced national and international policy.

Our team represents expertise in modern methods in infectious diseases epidemiology, public health, mathematics, statistics and computer science. Our research is supported by the NHMRC, Australian Research Council and multiple government departments.


Prof James McCaw (unit head)

Dr Freya Shearer (Deputy unit head)

Dr Rob Moss

Dr David Duncan

Dr Camelia Walker

Dr Oliver Eales

Ruarai Tobin

Lucy Harrison

Prof John Mathews

Dr Rebecca Chisholm


From the Telethon Kids Institute:

Prof Nick Golding

Dr August Hao

Dr Gerry Ryan

Research Projects

Faculty Research Themes

Infection and Immunology

School Research Themes

Data science, health metrics and disease modeling, Disparities, disadvantage and effective health care

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact Unit Head Professor James McCaw

Department / Centre

Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Unit / Centre

Infectious Disease Dynamics

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