What We Do

Institute for Disease Modeling

Strategy Overview


our goal:

to support global efforts to eradicate infectious diseases and achieve permanent improvements in health by developing, using, and sharing computational modeling tools and promoting quantitative decision-making.

The Challenge

The control and eradication of infectious diseases is a pressing and complex problem that engages diverse contributors, from health workers on the ground to funding agencies that provide resources and support. Data modeling and statistical analysis make fundamental contributions that inform intervention strategies, resource allocation, and research into the causes and transmission of disease.

The Opportunity

At A Glance

We apply a variety of data modeling and statistical approaches to guide and inform disease eradication programs and other global health endeavors.

We create open-source disease modeling tools to freely share with the global research community.

We collaborate with universities, NGOs, government ministries, and other research and public health institutions to find new ways to understand and combat diseases.

The Institute for Disease Modeling is led by Robert Hart, director, and is part of the foundation’s Global Health Division.

Disease modeling benefits the entire global health community by providing new insight into old problems, testing novel combinations of strategies, and enabling the collection of more valuable data in the field. The Institute for Disease Modeling (IDM) grew from a focus on malaria eradication to an institution working on multiple diseases, health care programs, and associated systems within the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Our advancements in modeling provide powerful, state-of-the-art guidance and information for public health workers and institutions around the world.

Our Strategy

IDM is currently working on disease transmission dynamics for malaria, measles, polio, tuberculosis, HIV, pneumonia, typhoid, COVID-19, and many other diseases. Other areas of study include maternal, newborn, and child health conditions and interventions; health delivery strategies; health system access and effectiveness; family planning interventions; genomic surveillance; pathogen evolution; drug resistance; and other phenomena.

We believe collaboration can magnify the impact of our work, so we work to build collaborations with partners worldwide, including universities, nongovernmental organizations, government ministries, and other research and public health institutions to achieve positive, important, and long-lasting impacts on the health of people most in need.

To achieve our goals, we develop deep expertise in the topics we work on and we develop customized high-fidelity and high-performance computer models. Our dedicated software team develops the tools researchers at IDM and our collaborating institutions need to answer policy questions, inform investments, and achieve our long-term research goals. These tools are flexible, fast, and robust. One example is our Epidemiological MODeling (EMOD) software platform, which enables large-scale agent-based models to run on cloud services, on-premise devices, and supercomputers. This software is open source and is made freely available to the global scientific community.

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