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.

Barda B et al. Evaluation of two DNA extraction methods on the detection of Strongyloides stercoralis infection. J Clin Microbiol. 2018;56(4):e01941-17. DOI: 10.1128/JCM.01941-17

Boillat Blanco N et al. Hyperglycaemia is inversely correlated with live M. bovis BCG-specific CD4+ T cell responses in Tanzanian adults with latent or active tuberculosis. Immun Inflamm Dis. 2018;6(2):345-353. DOI: 10.1002/iid3.222

Bringolf-Isler B et al. Sedentary behaviour in Swiss children and adolescents: disentangling associations with the perceived and objectively measured environment. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018;15(5):918. DOI: 10.3390/ijerph15050918

Chitnis N, Schapira A, Schindler C, Penny M, Smith T. Mathematical analysis to prioritise strategies for malaria elimination. J Theor Biol. 2018;455:118-130. DOI: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2018.07.007

Dos Santos Goncalves K et al. Development of non-linear models predicting daily fine particle concentrations using aerosol optical depth retrievals and ground-based measurements at a municipality in the Brazilian Amazon region. Atmos Environ. 2018;184:156-165. DOI: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2018.03.057