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Cambridge Infectious Diseases

An Interdisciplinary Research Centre at the University of Cambridge

Studying at Cambridge


Professor Simon Frost

Professor Simon Frost

Department of Veterinary Medicine

Use of mathematical and statistical modelling to understanding the dynamics and evolution of infectious diseases such as HIV, hepatitis C and influenza A.

Simon Frost is accepting applications for PhD students.

Simon Frost is available for consultancy.


Professor of Pathogen Dynamics. Alan Turing Fellow.

Disease Dynamics Mathematical Modelling

Professor Simon Frost is working on the dynamics and evolution of infectious disease, particularly those caused by rapidly evolving RNA viruses. Work focuses on real-time, scalable inference of epidemiological datasets related to infectious diseases, integrating many - often imperfect - sources of data, generating inferences of quantities such as transmission rates on-the-fly. He would like to understand how these can be performed at scale, and how approaches such as emulation, where machine learning approaches are used to learn the outputs of a model, could be used to achieve real-time responses. A particular challenge in developing such approaches is how to make the results – and in particular the associated uncertainty – accessible to public health officials, policy makers etc.

His undergraduate training was in Natural Sciences at Cambridge (1992), and he received his D.Phil. from Oxford in mathematical biology (1996), with postdoctoral training at Princeton (1996), Oxford (1997), Edinburgh (1997-2000), and UC San Diego (2000-2004). After becoming an associate professor at UCSD, Dr Frost returned to the UK as a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit award holder (2008-2013) to work on zoonotic disease.

Research Interests



  • Epidemiology
  • Virus
  • Africa
  • Mathematical Modelling


  • HIV

Key Publications

  • Frost, S.D.W. and Volz, E.M. 2013. Modeling tree shape and structure in viral phylodynamics. Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. B., in press.
  • Volz, E., Koopman, J.S., Ward, M.J., Leigh Brown, A.J., and Frost, S.D.W. 2012. Simple epidemiological dynamics explain phylogenetic clustering of HIV from patients with recent infection. PLoS Comp. Biol.
  • McCreesh, N., Frost, S.D.W., Seeley, J., Katongole, J., Ndagire Tarsh, M., Ndungutse, R., Jichi, F., Tilson, M., Maher, D., Johnston, L.G., Sonnenberg, P., Copas, A., Hayes, R.J., and White, R.G. (2012) Empirical evaluation of Respondent-Driven Sampling. Epidemiology 23:138-147.
  • Drumright, L.N. and Frost, S.D.W. 2010 Rapid social network assessment for predicting HIV and STI risk among men attending bars and clubs in San Diego, California. Sex. Transm. Infect. 86 Suppl 3:iii17-23.
  • Frost, S.D.W. and Volz, E.M. 2010 Viral phylodynamics and the search for an `effective number of infections'. Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. B. 365:1879-1890.