Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineSchool of Public Health

Professor of Mathematical Epidemiology



+44 (0)20 7594 3263mc.boily




LG26Norfolk PlaceSt Mary's Campus





Areas of interests:  Epidemiology of infectious diseases, HIV/AIDS, Sexually transmitted infection, HPV vaccination, Transmission dynamics, Mathematical modelling, Impact assessment, Measure and evaluation, Behaviour, Prevention, Networks

 My research program focuses on infectious diseases epidemiology, and especially HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections in both developing and developed countries using a combination of mathematical modelling statistical and empirical techniques/studies.

 My projects include studies to better understand the transmission dynamics of HIV/AIDS and the behavioural determinants of HIV transmission in evolving HIV/AIDS epidemics in Africa and India. I am also involved in modelling and clinical trial studies to look at the impact of different STI or HIV/AIDS intervention (e.g. prevention of mother-to-child transmission, HIV or HPV vaccination etc).

 A second area of interest is the more innovative use of transmission dynamics models to simulate epidemiological or clinical trial studies for the prevention of infectious diseases before they are implemented in the field. This is a cost-effective way of testing, validating and improving the design of very costly studies such as community randomised trials- to ensure that they will lead to conclusive results. The pertinence of this theme stems from the fact that a number of large and costly intervention trials in Africa have disappointedly resulted in inconclusive results on key epidemiological questions, due to the complex transmission dynamics of HIV infection. This also includes the development of a rigorous measure and evaluation framework using sophisticated transmission dynamic models in combination with carefully collected serial biological and behavioural data in order to more rigorously evaluate the impact of HIV intervention. This is an important application of mathematical model because it will provide a scientific evaluation tool that will be possible to use in different settings instead of using more costly randomised community based trials.

 Finally my research interests also include the study of sexual networks and the impact of contact network structure on the spread of infection, and the determinant of change in sexual behaviour or behavioural decision making, particularly in the context of an HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Some examples of publications in each theme:

Transmission dynamics papers:

Anderson RM, May RM, Boily M-C, Garnett G, Rowley J (1991).  The spread of HIV-1 in Africa: sexual contact patterns and the predicted demographic impact of AIDS.  Nature, 352:581-587.

Boily MC, Lowndes C, Alary M. (2002). The impact of HIV epidemic phases on the effectiveness of core group interventions: insights from mathematical models. Sex Trans Inf; 78 Suppl 1:i78-90

Boily MC, Bastos FI, Desai K, Masse B (2004) Changes in the transmission dynamics of the HIV epidemic after the wide-scale use of antiretroviral therapy could explain increases in sexually transmitted infections: results from mathematical models. Sex Transm Dis. 2004; 31(2):100-13

Potential impact of intervention:

JR Williams, A Foss, P Vickerman, C Watts, BM Ramesh, S Reza-Paul, RG Washington, S Moses, J Blanchard, C Lowndes, M Alary, MC Boily. (2006) What is the achievable effectiveness of the India AIDS Initiative Intervention among female sex workers under target coverage? Model projections from Southern India. Sex Transm Infect. 82(5):372-380

Van De Velde N, Brisson M, Boily MC. Modelling Human Papillomavirus vaccine effectiveness: quantifying the impact of parameter uncertainty Am J Epidemiol. 2007;165(7):762-75

Brisson M, Van de Velde N, De Wals P, Boily MC (2007). Estimating the Number Needed to Vaccinate to prevent HPV related Diseases and Mortality. CMAJ;177(5):464-8.

Methodological papers:

Boily M-C, Anderson, R.M. (1996). HIV transmission and the role of other sexually transmitted diseases: measures of association and study designs. Sexually Transmitted Diseases. 23(4):312-333.

Desai KN, Boily MC, Mâsse BR, Alary M, Anderson RM (1999). Simulation studies of Phase III clinical trials to test the efficacy of a candidate HIV-1 vaccine. Epidemiology and Infections 123; 65-88.

Masse BR, Boily MC, Dimitrov D, Desai K. Efficacy Dilution in Randomized Placebo-Controlled Vaginal Microbicide Trials ETE

Masse BR, Boily MC, Desai K. Using mathematical modeling to bridge phase 3 microbicide trials with public health decision making. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2009; 50(4):434-5.

Boily MC, Abu-Raddad L, Desai K, Masse B, Self S,Anderson A (2008). Measuring the public health impact of candidate HIV vaccines as part of the vaccine regulatory process. Lancet Infectious Diseases;8(3):200-7


Boily MC, Garske T, Asghar Z, Poulin R, Ghani. Influence of selected formation rules for finite population networks with fixed macrostructures: implications for individual-based model of infectious diseases, Mathematical Population Studies 14(4): 237-267

Poulin R, Boily MC, Mâsse BR (2000). Dynamical systems to define centrality in social networks. Social Networks 22:187-220.

Boily MC, Poulin R, Mâsse B (2000). Some methodological issues in the study of sexual networks: From model-to-data -to- model. Sex Transm Dis. 27 (10):558-571

Systematic reviews

Baggaley R, Boily MC, White R,Alary M, (2009). Systematic review of HIV-1 transmission probabilities in absence of antiretroviral therapy, Lancet Infectious Diseases.

Monitoring and Evaluation of Interventions  

Boily MC, Pickles M, Vickerman P, Buzdugan R, Isac S, Deering KN, Blanchard JF, Moses S, Lowndes CM, Ramesh BM, Demers E, Alary M. Using mathematical modelling to investigate the plausibility of attributing observed antenatal clinic declines to a female sex worker intervention in Karnataka state, India. AIDS. 2008 Suppl 5:S149-64.

MC Boily, CM Lowndes, P Vickerman, et al. Evaluating large-scale HIV prevention interventions: study design for an integrated mathematical framework. STI 2007


Michael Pickles (RA) - IC

John Williams (RA) - IC

I Boussano (RA) - IARC

Sharmistha Mishra (PhD student) -IC

Branwen Owen (PhD student) - IC

Juan Vesga (PhD student ) - IC

Isabel Tavitian-Exley (PhD student) - IC

Nicolas Van de Velde (RA and PhD student) - U Laval

Jean-Francois Laprise (RA) - U Laval

Joseph Dureau - LSE

Kathleen Deering (Post Doc) - UBC


















Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Shannon K, Strathdee SA, Goldenberg SM, et al., 2015, Global epidemiology of HIV among female sex workers: influence of structural determinants, The Lancet, Vol:385, ISSN:0140-6736, Pages:55-71

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