The Institute for Disease Modeling (IDM) IDM shapes global efforts to eradicate infectious disease and to achieve permanent improvements in the health of those most in need. By developing, using, and freely sharing computational modeling tools, we advise policymakers, promote quantitative decision-making, and advance scientific methodologies.
Who we are
IDM is an embedded research institute that sits within the Global Health Division of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. While we pursue independent research questions, we also work closely with colleagues across the foundation to help define, shape, and clarify strategic decisions.
IDM originated as a research group with the goal of producing quantitative tools to help achieve malaria eradication. Our work has broadened to include understanding the transmission dynamics of multiple pathogens, including measles, polio, tuberculosis, HIV, pneumonia, typhoid, COVID-19, and many others. While much of our focus remains on disease elimination and eradication strategies to achieve permanent improvements in health, we also support the exploration and development of innovative methodology for pathogen control, including the development of and delivery mechanisms for novel vaccines. Additionally, our research delves into gender studies, vulnerability assessment, and health equality, exploring the intersections between gender, societal vulnerabilities, and equitable access to health resources. Lastly, we are engaged in innovations in predictive analysis, where we develop and refine models to forecast future trends and scenarios in various fields.
Our organization comprises specialized research teams that include subject matter and technical experts and embedded software engineers with expertise in compute infrastructure, machine learning, quality assurance, user interfaces, and more. Our software engineering domains can be broken down into four technical areas: creation of rapid re-use models for easy adaptation for research exploration; advanced spatial models to help with elimination and eradication work; statistical analysis and visualization for data-focused exploration, tracking improvements over time, or examining scale-up scenarios; and compute and data infrastructure engineering, which supports all research groups by developing solutions for leveraging compute infrastructure, data storage, and other IT systems for internal and external collaboration.
Global health is, by definition, a global community, and success in our work can only be achieved through strong collaboration. Therefore, a core focus within IDM is to deepen partnerships in existing research areas, both internally within the foundation and with external collaborators. We operate across a variety of scales and modes, from IDM-led strategic and exploratory work, through stakeholder-driven local data analysis and epidemiological research, to independent, external use of our open-source software. The impact of our work is magnified when partners and the populations they serve are engaged throughout the entire research lifecycle, including data collection, modeling and analytics, and the decision-making process. Throughout every stage of our work, from the research we conduct through the software that we build, we advance with the goal of facilitating and increasing this engagement.
Due to our unique position within the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, as well as the global health community, IDM operates across multiple programmatic areas:
- Building embedded partnerships to provide modeling and analytic work to support program strategies and execution.
- Using our expertise to strengthen the quality and utility of data collected through foundation investments to inform data strategies.
- Exploring frontiers of modeling via novel approaches and applications to identify and accelerate adoption of innovations in modeling.
- Developing and sharing accessible, reusable, open-source software tools with the greater modeling community as a global public good.
We know that the impact of our work is amplified when we have close ties with our partners. We collaborate with universities, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), government ministries, and other research and public health institutions to find new ways to understand and combat diseases. If you are interested in collaborating with us, please contact [email protected].
Interested in working at IDM?
To learn more about current job openings, career opportunities, and IDM’s culture, check out the Careers page!