Esther van Kleef
  • Nationalestraat

    2000 Antwerpen



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Personal profile

Research expertise

Esther van Kleef is an infectious disease epidemiologist with expertise in quantitative methodology including infectious disease modelling, and handling of surveillance data. Her research interests include understanding the transmission-dynamics and effectiveness of infection prevention and control strategies related to antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and emerging infectious diseases.

Over the years, she developed a keen interest in optimising the collection and use of conventional and innovative surveillance data sources and analytics to inform public health policies and decision-making. This translated to, among other projects, the recently funded EC JPI AMR ALARUM project (developing One Health surveillance in LMICs using metagenomics) of which she is lead PI. Furthermore, together with Prof Ben Cooper, she leads the modelling work for the EC JPI AMR CABU-EICO project (a multicentre AMR intervention study in Burkina Faso and Democratic Republic of Congo) and is Co-Investigator to the Belgian Pandemic Intelligence Network.

Esther believes in investing in ‘range’, i.e. crossing domains rather than deepening knowledge in a single area to break silos, make cross-disciplinary and cross-sector connections, hence develop creative and impactful strategies for public health. This motivated her to deliberately take on positions that moved between academia, public health and policy. Here, she invested not only in developing a strong analytical skill-set, but also hands-on field experience in both HIC and LMIC.

Esther completed a PhD in Infectious Disease Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. This was followed by academic positions related to modelling the transmission-dynamics of AMR at Oxford University (Mahidol-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit, Thailand) and Public Health England (former UKHSA). Prior to ITM, she worked as an epidemiologist at the Dutch National Institute of Public Health and the Environment, coordinating AMR research informing the national surveillance strategy and ten consultant epidemiologists working on AMR surveillance at a regional level. In 2019-2020, she was involved as a WHO consultant in the 10th outbreak of Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, leading a team of epidemiologists, analysts and data managers to provide real-time outbreak analytics for decision-making.

Esther is an advisory member to various committees affiliated to among others the World Health Organisation and ECDC, and teach on various courses related to epidemiology, modelling and AMR.

Education/Academic qualification

PhD in Infectious Disease Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine


MSc in International Public Health and Policy, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam


BSc in Biomedical and Health Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam


External positions

Asssistant Professor, Utrecht University Medical Centre

1-Jan-2023 → …


  • B680-public-health
  • B680-epidemiology
  • Infectious disease Modelling


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