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Personal profile


Lone Simonsen is a Professor of Population Health Sciences, at the Department of Science and Environment at Roskilde University. Her research is highly interdisciplinary and involves colleagues and methodologies from fields ranging from history to mathematics. Over the past 25 years she has worked internationally as an epidemiologist and researcher. She is the center leader of PandemiX Center of Excellence (Center for Interdisciplinary Study of Pandemic Signatures), supported by the Danish National Research Foundation (DNRF).

She has published more than 350 peer-reviewed papers, book chapters, commentaries and letters, in collaboration with her great global network of researchers (32,000 citations). She has worked on historical pandemics as a crucial source of data and understanding as an essential aspect to inform contemporary and future pandemic preparedness. In multiple studies of signature age patterns of mortality in the 1918 pandemic that have proposed hypotheses explaining observations of why the elderly were spared – this was later confirmed in the 2009 pandemic. 

She is trained in population genetics and epidemiology, and have worked internationally for +25 years, mainly at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and George Washington University in the United States, as well as at the WHO in Switzerland, before returning to Denmark in 2014. Initially, she was a Professor of Historic Epidemiology at Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at University of Copenhagen. Since 2018 she currently holds a position as Professor of Population Health Sciences in the Department of Science and Environment at Roskilde University, where she also studied in the 1980s. 

Her research bridges multidisciplinary fields in science by applying sophisticated mathematical modelling of disease incidence to fundamental issues of the biology of pathogens. She has worked on COVID-19, pandemic and seasonal influenza, RSV, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, antibiotic resistance, SARS, big data modeling, e-health data and surveillance systems. In addition to this, she has done research on modeling patterns and burdens of major historic and contemporary epidemics (from smallpox to ebola), and evaluating benefits of vaccine programs (influenza, pneumococcus, rotavirus). And in 2009 she led a 26-country WHO collaboration on influenza pandemic.

Education/Academic qualification

Applied Epidemiology, EIS Diploma, Epidemic Intellingence Service -- Influenza Department, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

1 Aug 19921 Jun 1994

Award Date: 1 Jun 1994

Microbial Ecology, Postdoctoral Fellow, Spread of antibiotic resistance genes in bacterial populations

1 Jan 19921 Aug 1992

Award Date: 1 Aug 1992

Population Genetics, PhD, The Existence Conditions for Bacterial Plasmids, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

1 Jan 19871 Feb 1992

Award Date: 1 Feb 1992

Biology and Chemistry, Masters Degree, Roskilde University

1 Sept 19801 Jun 1985

Award Date: 1 Jun 1985

External positions

Professor, Historic Epidemiology/Global Health, University of Copenhagen


Senior Research Fellow, RAPIDD, National Institutes of Health (NIH)


Research Professor, Department of Global Health, George Washington University

30 Jul 2007 → …

Senior Epidemiologist, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health (NIH)


Epidemiologist, World Health Organization


Epidemiologist, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention



  • Health, Medicine
  • Epidemiology
  • Historical Epidemiology
  • Pandemic Influenza
  • Vaccine Program Evaluation
  • Disease Burden Modeling
  • Global Health
  • Cholera

Publication network

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