Veerle Coupé (Chair)
Veerle Coupé is astronomer by training with a MSc degree in Clinical Epidemiology and a PhD degree in Medical Decision Sciences. Her research concerns mathematical modeling of the development and progression of cancer, in order to predict clinical and economic outcomes of prevention, diagnostics, and treatment. She built micro-simulation models for the evaluation of screening for colorectal cancer and cervical cancer and for the evaluation of treatments in melanoma and lung cancer. She currently supervises PhD students who are modelling diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer, melanoma and colorectal cancer. Furthermore, Veerle Coupé teaches in the area of statistical methodology, mathematical modeling and cost-effectiveness.
Hans Berkhof (Co-chair)
Hans Berkhof is chair of the department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the VU University Medical Center and is a researcher in the field of disease modeling and statistics. His research focuses on the development of mathematical decision models and integration of evidence from multiple sources. He has developed HPV disease and transmission models and has advised national health decision makers on HPV screening and vaccination issues. He also teaches in the area of modeling, screening and prevention.
Marjolein Greuter has a MSc degree in Research in Health Sciences from VU University Amsterdam, with a focus on health economic modeling. She is also a registered Epidemiologist. She completed her PhD on the ASCCA project (VU University Medical Center), which aimed to use micro-simulation to predict health effects and costs of population-based screening strategies for colorectal cancer (CRC). She has constructed a disease model that describes the natural history of CRC and used this model to predict the long-term health effects of the recently implemented Dutch colorectal cancer screening programme. Her current research focuses on the potential of biomarkers in CRC screening and surveillance. Besides her research, she teaches in the area of health economics and basic statistics.
Thomas is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Epidemiology and Data Science of Amsterdam University Medical Centers. His research focuses on methodology for personalized medicine and prevention. In particular, he has applied and developed statistical models and machine learning tools to estimate treatment effect heterogeneity from observational data, optimal treatment regimens, and models for personalized (cancer) screening. A special interest of his are techniques for Causal Inference, on which he coordinates a yearly Winter School class in the Amsterdam UMC Masters in Epidemiology program.
Thomas holds a PhD degree in survey methodology and statistics. During his PhD and post-doctoral experience, he has worked at statistics departments of Utrecht University and the Dutch national bureau of statistics, Statistics Netherlands. In this time, he focused on the estimation and adjustment of errors in statistics based on population surveys, such as errors due to non-response (missing data) and measurement error. For his PhD thesis he received the Van Zwet award (2015) by the Dutch Society for Statistics and Operations Research.
Birgit Lissenberg-Witte studied Mathematics with a major in Statistics at the VU University Amsterdam and obtained her PhD degree in Mathematical Statistics at the Delft University of Technology. During her PhD research, she developed nonparametric methods to estimate the cumulative incidence of asymptomatic diseases, in particular the incidence of viral infections (HIV and Hepatitis A), and focussed on mathematical properties of these estimation methods. Her current research aims at more applied methodology in health science. She developed algorithms for more accurate estimation of cumulative incidence by correcting for misclassification of events due to limited accuracy of screening tests. Furthermore, she is involved in clinical decision research as a statistical consultant. Birgit teaches in the area of statistical methodology.
Tiago de Carvalho
Tiago M. de Carvalho did his bachelor degree in Economics at the University of Lisbon (ISEG), and has an MSc degree in Econometrics from the University of Groningen. He completed his PhD at the Department of Public Health, Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam, where he used a microsimulation model to quantify the harms and benefits of active surveillance after prostate cancer screening. Before joining the VUmc he held postdoctoral positions at University College London and at Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam. He joins the department to develop a model for the cost-effectiveness of ct-DNA in patients with metastasized colorectal cancer. His research interests include applying simulation and/or statistical models to evaluate health and economic outcomes of cancer care and developing methods based on metamodelling for efficient computation with simulation models.
Rik van Eekelen
Rik van Eekelen is a registered epidemiologist who has a background in Health Sciences (VU Amsterdam) and Epidemiology (University Utrecht) with a major in biostatistics. During his PhD at the IVF lab of Amsterdam UMC, location AMC, he developed dynamic prediction models for unexplained subfertile patients and worked in causal inference for fertility treatments. As a part of his postdoc, Rik went abroad to Melbourne, Australia and Aberdeen, Scotland and was an Editor for Cochrane, Associate Editor for Human Reproduction and methodologist for the Trialbureau Zorgevaluatie Nederland. His other research topics and interests include survival analysis, cost-effectiveness analysis, target trial emulation and meta-analysis. He recently joined the Decision Modeling Center at VUmc where he is a statistical consultant.
Ingrid van Maurik
Ingrid van Maurik studied Health and Life Sciences at the VU University Amsterdam and received her MSc degree in Clinical Neuropsychology at Leiden University. She completed her PhD (cum laude) on the ABIDE project which aimed to develop biomarker-based prognostic models and decision support tools for memory clinic professionals. Her current research focuses on the development of multi-dimensional, individualized prognostic and cost-effectiveness models of Alzheimer’s disease, as part of the ADDITION project. She is also involved in the ABIDE-clinical utility project and IMI AMYPAD project. Both projects aim to find optimal diagnostic strategies for amyloid-PET in the memory clinic. All projects are in collaboration with the Alzheimercenter Amsterdam.
Birgit Sollie is a post-doctoral researcher and received her BSc and MSc in Mathematics at the VU University Amsterdam, where she specialized in stochastic processes, statistics and mathematical biology. She completed her PhD in statistics (VU University Amsterdam) on statistical inverse problems for population processes. She conducted research on population processes of which the parameters are affected by an underlying stochastic process, with the aim to find inference techniques to estimate the parameters, including those related to the underlying process. Her current research focuses on HPV transmission models and on cost-effectiveness assessments of HPV vaccination strategies.
Eddymurphy Akwiwu had his first degree in Industrial Mathematics at Imo State University, Nigeria. He holds two Masters degrees in Mathematical Sciences and Computational Engineering from the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences and Lappeenranta University of Technology, Finland respectively. During his master degrees, he worked on parameter identifiability of epidemiological models using Bayesian methods, and discrete modelling & analysis of contact networks in epidemic models. He is currently doing a PhD on Bayesian methods in modelling cancer screening at VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam. This project aims to develop probabilistic methods for multi-state models with applications to cervical cancer screening and colorectal cancer screening by simultaneously estimating the durations between health states and the accuracy of screening tests from individual-level screening and treatment data, explicitly addressing adequate estimation of uncertainty. In addition, he will develop and teach a course in Bayesian Statistics.
Zeli Chen studied psychobiology (BSc) at the University of Padua and obtained her MSc in Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the University of Amsterdam. She also has a degree of BA in Italian Literature. During her MSc study, she developed an interest in clinical neuroscience and quantitative methods. She is currently working as a PhD student on the ABOARD project at the VUmc. This project aims to develop a personalized diagnosis, prediction and prevention approach of Alzheimer’s disease. She will be working on the validation of the risk prediction models, assessing their prediction accuracy based on clinical data.
Astrid Kramer studied Health Sciences at the VU University Amsterdam (BSc) and University of Twente (MSc). During her bachelor’s, she developed an interest in health technologies and during her master’s more specifically in health technology assessments and economic modelling. Subsequently, she started as a PhD student on the COIN-project. In the COIN-project, all research groups in the Netherlands collaborate to take the essential steps to implement analysis of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) in clinical practice in the Netherlands in a controlled, cost-effective and validated manner. Astrid will focus on the early health technology assessment in the COIN-project.
Kelsi Kroon obtained her master’s degree in mathematics at the University of St Andrews in Scotland where she studied mathematics and statistics with a focus on statistical modelling, medical statistics and data analysis. Her masters project on microarray time course and transcription factor analysis in prostate cancer cell lines sparked an interest in the application of statistical methods and data science to medical data, in particular cancer data. She is currently working as a PhD student on the Risk-based cervical cancer screening (RISCC) project at the VU Medical Center in Amsterdam.
Arenda Mank studied medicine at the Leiden University. She is currently doing a PhD at the VUmc Alzheimercenter on the ADDITION project, in collaboration with the department of epidemiology and biostatistics. The aim of this project is to assess the disease trajectories, care pathways and time to key events of relevance for an individual with Alzheimer’s disease. Furthermore, ADDITION aims to develop a multi-dimensional, individualized prognosis and cost-effectiveness model of Alzheimer’s disease.
Zakile A. Mfumbilwa studied Statistics at The University of Dodoma and received his Master of Statistics with specialization in Biostatistics from Hasselt University. Currently, he is a PhD researcher at VU University Medical Center, on the TANGO project. This project aims to assess long-term health outcomes and cost-effectiveness of using whole genome sequencing (WGS) result (tumor load) as well as imaging data in the decision to provide immunotherapy in advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and melanoma patients, compared to current practice of immunotherapy treatment.
Francine van Wifferen
Francine van Wifferen studied Biomedical Sciences and received her MSc degree with specializations in Epidemiology and Health Technology Assessment at the Radboud university in Nijmegen. She is currently working as a PhD student on the ASCCA project at the VU University medical center. The ASCCA project aims to optimize colorectal cancer screening and surveillance in terms of effectiveness and cost-effectiveness. She will especially focus on the potential of biomarker tests for the detection of colorectal cancer and its precursor lesions.