Epidemiology conducts research on health and disease at the population level – infection epidemiology is concerned with contagious diseases. Their tools and methods are systematic queries, clinical examinations and laboratory diagnostic documentation for both healthy and afflicted individuals, as well as statistical analysis of the compiled data. Causes and risk factors for infections can thus be identified. Infectious diseases epidemiology contributes to the development of preventive measures, early detection and therapy for diseases. Moreover, it examines the efficacy of such measures. Thus epidemiology ties in with scientific findings in basic research as well as medicine, and examines these processes at the population level.



Dr Stéphane Ghozzi


Curriculum Vitae

Stéphane Ghozzi graduated from the École normale superieure (ENS) in Paris with an M.Sc. in theoretical physics and a specialization in particle physics. He did his Ph.D. in theoretical and experimental biology (gene-expression dynamics) at ENS and later joined the Institute for Theoretical Physics in Cologne, on modeling the fitness effects of mutations in bacteria and influenza. Stéphane has been for four years a data scientist in the Signale team of the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin and developed machine-learning methods, automated processes and interactive visualizations for infectious-disease epidemiology, especially outbreak detection. He was seconded to the World Health Organization in Geneva for six months in 2019, where he developed methods and tools for event-based surveillance and the investigation of outbreaks of unknown origin.



[1] O. Stojanovic, J. Leugering, G. Pipa, S. Ghozzi, and A. Ullrich, “A Bayesian Monte Carlo approach for predicting the spread of infectious diseases,” PLOS ONE, vol. 14, no. 12, pp. 1–20, 12 2019. [Online]. Available: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0225838

[2] A. Abbood, A. Ullrich, R. Busche, and S. Ghozzi, “EventEpi — A Natural Language Processing Framework for Event-Based Surveillance,” medRxiv, 2019. [Online]. Available: https://doi.org/10.1101/19006395

[3] B. Zacher, A. Ullrich, and S. Ghozzi, “Supervised Learning for Automated Infectious-Disease-Outbreak Detection,” Online Journal of Public Health Informatics, vol. 11, no. 1, 2019. [Online]. Available: https://doi.org/10.5210/ojphi.v11i1.9770

[4] F. Eckelmann, S. Ghozzi, and A. Ullrich, “Dashboards as strategy to integrate multiple data streams for real time surveillance,” Online Journal of Public Health Informatics, vol. 11, no. 1, 2019. [Online]. Available: https://doi.org/10.5210/ojphi.v11i1.9701


[5] N. Sarma, A. Ullrich, H. Wilking, S. Ghozzi, A. K. Lindner, C. Weber, A. Holzer, A. Jansen, K. Stark, and S. Vygen-Bonnet, “Surveillance on speed: Being aware of infectious diseases in migrants mass accommodations - an easy and flexible toolkit for field application of syndromic surveillance, Germany, 2016 to 2017,” Eurosurveillance, vol. 23, no. 40, 2018. [Online]. Available: https://doi.org/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2018.23.40.1700430


[6] L. Perfeito, S. Ghozzi, J. Berg, K. Schnetz, and M. Lässig, “Nonlinear Fitness Landscape of a Molecular Pathway,” PLOS Genetics, vol. 7, no. 7, pp. 1–10, 07 2011. [Online]. Available: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1002160


[7] S. Ghozzi, J. Wong Ng, D. Chatenay, and J. Robert, “Inference of plasmid-copy-number mean and noise from single-cell gene expression data,” Phys. Rev. E, vol. 82, p. 051916, Nov 2010. [Online]. Available: https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevE.82.051916


[8] S. Ghozzi, “Expression Dynamics of a Genetic Regulatory Network: the Lysis/Lysogeny Decision of Bacteriophage Lambda,” Theses, Université Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris VI, Dec. 2009. [Online]. Available: https://tel.archives-ouvertes.fr/tel-00515109


[9] S. Ghozzi and F. Jegerlehner, “Isospin violating effects in e+e− vs. _ measurements of the pion form factor |F_|2(s),” Physics Letters B, vol. 583, no. 3, pp. 222 – 230, 2004. [Online]. Available: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physletb.2004.01.021


Internship enquiries to the Department of Epidemiology are requested to be addressed directly to Dr. Stefanie Castell.


  • SORMAS - the future of epidemic surveillance

    Epidemiologists and IT experts from Germany and Nigeria have jointly developed an innovative app to help fight epidemics like ebola or cholera - the Surveillance Outbreak Response Management and Analysis System (SORMAS). This video explains why a tool like SORMAS is urgently needed and introduces the unique approach that makes SORMAS so powerful.

  • Fighting epidemics in Nigeria with SORMAS-App

    German scientists from the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) and the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF) in Braunschweig and Nigerian researchers are applying the new mobile information system for the first time to combat a monkeypox outbreak in Nigeria. The monkeypox epidemic has spread since September 2017 and, by now, afflicts 128 patients in 14 federal states in Nigeria. The name of the system, SORMAS, stands for "Surveillance, Outbreak Response Management and Analysis System".

  • MuSPAD - the nationwide antibody study of the HZI on the spreading of SARS-CoV-2 infections

    How many people in Germany have already been infected with the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and how is the pandemic developing? These and other questions are being investigated by the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research with the MuSPAD project (Multilocal and Serial cross-sectional Prevalence Study on Antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in Germany). In different regional samples, blood is taken from selected volunteers and tested for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies.
    In the video, HZI scientists explain the study design, as well as the procedure & objectives of the project.

  • How is the HZI contributing to the management of the coronavirus pandemic?

    Since the beginning of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) in Braunschweig has focused its research activities on the novel coronavirus. Representative for the diverse research projects at HZI, three scientists present their contributions to coping with the pandemic. Prof Michael Meyer-Hermann is developing mathematical models for the course of the pandemic. Prof Melanie Brinkmann has investigated transmission pathways in a large coronavirus outbreak and shown that the pathogen can be spread via aerosols. Prof Gérard Krause is leading an antibody study to monitor the development of the pandemic and is developing digital tools such as the SORMAS system to support the public health service in pandemic response.

Audio Podcast

  • Staphylococcus aureus – ein Leben in der Nase2000 zufällig ausgewählte Braunschweiger Bürger haben in diesem Juni Post vom HZI erhalten – mit der Bitte, an einer Studie über die Verbreitung von Staphylococcus aureus teilzunehmen. Varianten des Bakteriums sind unter dem Kürzel MRSA als Krankenhauskeime zu trauriger Berühmtheit gelangt. Unsere Wissenschaftler wollen nun erforschen, wie viele Gesunde – außerhalb von Krankenhäusern – mit diesem Keim Leben. Und sie suchen nach Risikofaktoren, die Staphylococcus aureus die Besiedlung des Menschen erleichtern. Begleiten Sie Frank Pessler und Jaishri Mehraj ein Stück in die Welt der Epidemiologie...
  • Proben und Fragebögen für die Infektionsforschung - Die Nationale Kohorte Diabetes mellitus, Krebs, Arterienverkalkung und diverse Infektionen sind Volkskrankheiten, über die wir viel zu wenig wissen. Mit der Nationalen Kohorte wollen Wissenschaftler diesen Krankheiten auf den Grund gehen und neue Strategien gegen sie entwickeln. Frank Pessler und Manas Akmatov nehmen die Infektionen ins Visier. Lassen Sie sich erklären, wie ihnen 225.000 Menschen dabei helfen sollen…
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