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Revealing the invisible dynamics of infectious diseases

It’s usually easy to tell when you’re sick – after all, sneezes and coughs can be quite loud. But could you pinpoint the exact moment when you were infected by the virus or bacteria responsible for those symptoms? Was it on the bus Monday morning? At a party last Friday? At home during the weekend?

I’m sure you would intuitively suspect some moments more than others, but the fact remains: when they move around, infectious diseases are essentially invisible. And yet, to implement effective public health interventions, we need to overcome this problem. If we don’t understand how diseases spread at a local, national, or even global level, then we’re never going to be able to prevent them from doing so. Thankfully, with a few tricks combining biology and mathematics, epidemiologists can reveal the secret rules governing the dynamics of infectious diseases. In this Masterclass, we discuss the challenges posed by infectious diseases in modern society and the solutions we devise to tackle them, illustrated by examples of research conducted at the Institut Pasteur.

Quentin Leclerc

Quentin Leclerc is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Institut Pasteur and the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers. His research is centred around the epidemiology of infectious diseases; in other words, how diseases spread, and what we can do to prevent this. He is an expert in designing mathematical models to reveal, understand, and predict the dynamics of infectious diseases. His current focus is on infections caused by bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, but he has also worked on malaria, influenza, and COVID-19.

Previously, he obtained a BSc in Microbiology and an MSc in Epidemiology from Imperial College London, as well as a PhD in Infectious Diseases Epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Quentin is an alumnus of the British Section of the Lycée International de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, where he graduated in 2014.

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