Dr Valentina Costantino
Research Associate

Dr Valentina Costantino

Undergraduate degree in Mathematics and Natural Sciences 

Master of Philosophy in applied mathematics to public health 

PhD in Optimisation of outbreak and pandemic response for emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases 

Medicine & Health
The Kirby Institute

Dr Costantino is a Research Associate for the Biosecurity Program (BSP) at the Kirby Institute for the faculty of Medicine at UNSW Sydney. She has a Mathematics background and holds an Mphil from School of Population Health, UNSW, Sydney, in modelling of infectious diseases. She completed her PhD candidature in January 2022 at the Kirby Institute, UNSW Sydney. Her work focusses on the use of mathematical modelling for the optimization of pharmaceutical and not pharmaceutical interventions in an outbreak response. She uses mathematical modelling for epidemic forecasting, preparedness and control. She contributed to the policy control for COVID-19 in Australia, with the first study showing the effectiveness of Australia international borders closure on cases control. She investigated the effectiveness of influenza vaccination uptake with immunity waning. Her research field expended on preparedness and response for bioterror attacks, with a particular focus on smallpox and bacillus anthracis release. Her research fields include modelling of infectious diseases, estimation of intervention effectiveness, risks and data analyses, using statistical methods (SPSS, SAS) and analytical methods (Matlab, R).


  • Journal articles | 2020
    MacIntyre CR; Costantino V; Bian L; Bethel C, 2020, 'Effectiveness of facemasks for opening a university campus in Mississippi, United States–a modelling study', Journal of American College Health, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07448481.2020.1866579
    Journal articles | 2020
    MacIntyre CR; Costantino V; Heslop DJ, 2020, 'The potential impact of a recent measles epidemic on COVID-19 in Samoa', BMC Infectious Diseases, vol. 20, pp. 735, http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12879-020-05469-7

Her research involve building mathematical models to forecast epidemics in different scenarios and to test the effectiveness of available response. 

The focus is to inform policy makers for fast and effective outbreak control for infectious diseases. 

Her research sought to fill critical gaps in the research to optimise the use of pharmaceutical and no pharmaceutical intervention in a pandemic or outbreak control. She has been involved in the response of many infectious disease outbreak (COVID-19, seasonal influenza, anthrax, smallpox, varicella and others). She contributed to inform policy makers for COVID-19 response in Australia supporting the extension of Australia’s international boarders’ closure to contain the pandemic, and informed pharmaceutical companies and Government for seasonal influence vaccine production and uptake timeline.

This work led to multiple high-impact journal articles and conference presentations. She counts now over 20 publications on high impact journals and 2 international conference presentations.