Unit | Biostatistics

The Biostatistics unit engages in collaborative, basic and applied statistical research in the fields of epidemiology, parasitology and infection biology. Primary areas of applications involve malaria, anaemia, neglected diseases, HIV, mortality, cancer and environmental epidemiology. Research is mainly funded by Swiss National Foundation (SNSF), Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and a European research Council (ERC) Advance Grant.

Major areas of methodological research

  • Spatio-temporal modelling for disease burden estimation and surveillance
  • Diagnostic error evaluation
  • Cohort data modelling
  • Exposure modelling
  • Causal inference
  • Meta analysis
  • Bayesian computation


The unit leads Swiss TPH's scientific support services. This service is provided in collaboration with the Public Health Computing group and includes consulting for study design, data management support, statistical analysis, consulting in the fields of biomathematics and bioinformatics, and software development. Clients come from within Swiss TPH and externally.

Data Services


The unit is also heavily engaged in teaching Statistics and Epidemiology to medical undergraduates, MSc students and PhD students, both in curricular courses of the University of Basel and in external courses. The Unit is involved in Swiss Master of Public Health Programme, European Course in Tropical Epidemiology and Postgraduate Programme for University Professionals in Insurance Medicine.

Statistics and epidemiology teaching is provided within the programs of the University of Basel. Within this program we organise the following courses:

We also teach on the following courses:

  • Health Care and Management in Tropical Countries (HCMTC) This is an annual three-month diploma course accredited by TropEd for the degree of Master of International Health.
  • Bayesian Disease Mapping in Epidemiology and Public Health, a course for researchers dealing with spatial data in epidemiology and public health.

Bringolf-Isler B et al. Association of objectively measured and perceived environment with accelerometer-based physical activity and cycling: a Swiss population-based cross-sectional study of children. Int J Public Health. 2019(in press). DOI: 10.1007/s00038-019-01206-3

Hansen S et al. Gender differences in the association between life history of body silhouettes and asthma incidence: results from the SAPALDIA cohort study. Respir Med X. 2019;1:100001. DOI: 10.1016/j.yrmex.2019.100001

Meier-Girard D et al. Association of long-term exposure to traffic-related PM10 with heart rate variability and heart rate dynamics in healthy subjects. Environ Int. 2019;125:107-116. DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2019.01.031

Mhimbira F et al. Prevalence and clinical significance of respiratory viruses and bacteria detected in tuberculosis patients compared to household contact controls in Tanzania: a cohort study. Clin Microbiol Infect. 2019;25(1):107 e1-107 e7. DOI: 10.1016/j.cmi.2018.03.019

Müller I et al. Effect of a multidimensional physical activity intervention on body mass index, skinfolds and fitness in South African children: results from a cluster-randomised controlled trial. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019;16(2):232. DOI: 10.3390/ijerph16020232