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 Berit Lange

In the Epidemiology Department, we use infectious disease epidemiological methods such as modeling, evidence synthesis, and epidemiological studies to capture the dynamics and disease burden of infectious diseases. We then develop and evaluate measures and (digital) tools to reduce this disease burden. 

Dr Berit Lange

Berit Lange is a physician and epidemiologist. After studying medicine in Freiburg, Madrid, Chile and Peru, she worked for several years in Infectiology and Internal Medicine at the University Hospital Freiburg. In 2013, she graduated with a Master of Science in epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and returned to the University Hospital of Freiburg after a postdoctoral period at the Infectious Disease Epidemiology at LSHTM. Between 2016 and 2019, she was responsible for the core module and the epidemiology course of a newly established Master's programme (Global Urban Health) at the University of Freiburg. From 2017 to 2019, she also led a research group on infectious disease epidemiology and global health there, in addition to her clinical work in Infectious Diseases.

In May 2019, Berit Lange took over the Clinical Epidemiology team in the Department of Epidemiology at the HZI.  Her work focuses on better understanding the spread and burden of disease caused by respiratory infections and evaluating measures to reduce the burden of disease. To do this, she uses multicentre clinical and population-based cohort studies, surveillance data, evidence synthesis and infection modelling.

In March 2023, she will additionally take over as acting head of the Epidemiology Department.

Berit Lange is elected Deputy President of the German Society of Epidemiology for 2023 and 2026 and President for 2024 and 2025. She has been spokesperson for the Modeling Network for Serious Infectious Diseases since November 2022 and has been responsible for epidemiology on the TBNet Steering Committee since 2017.


  • 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.

  • Close your Data Gap with LBDS

    The low-bandwidth database synchronization technology - LBDS - was invented by Prof Gérard Krause, department head at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI), to ensure data-based synchronization in remote areas with very poor internet connectivity. It secures data transmission regardless from the working environment from every place in the world using whatever information channel is available, be it mobile or satellite connection. Close your data gap with LBDS.

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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