Prof. Marcel Salathé

Head of Digital Epidemiology Lab


Marcel Salathé is a digital epidemiologist working at the interface of health and computer science. He obtained his PhD at ETH Zurich and spent two years as a postdoc in Stanford before joining the faculty at Penn State University in 2010 at the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics. In 2014, he spent half a year at Stanford as visiting assistant professor. In the summer of 2015, he became an Associate Professor at EPFL where he heads the Digital Epidemiology Lab at the Campus Biotech in Geneva. In 2016, he founded the EPFL Extension School, whose mission is to provide high quality online education in digital technology, and where he is the Academic Director.

Marcel Salathé works at the forefront of artificial intelligence and its application in health and other domains. His lab spun off, an AI challenge platform whose goal is to accelerate research on AI across multiple domains, and which is used by organizations such as OpenAI, Microsoft, Google, SBB, Stanford University, and many others. He is the initiator and co-organiser of the “Applied Machine Learning Days”, now one of Europe’s largest conferences on the application of machine learning across all domains. He also founded the project, a suite of AI-based platforms, mobile apps, and datasets to advance personalized nutrition.

He published numerous scientific papers in the biological, medical, and computational fields, and wrote a book called "Nature, in Code". He led the development of two popular MOOCs, “Epidemics - The Dynamics of Infectious Disease”, and “Nature, in Code: Biology in JavaScript.”

Marcel Salathé is a member of the Swiss National COVID-19 Science Taskforce, where he leads the “Digital Epidemiology & Contact Tracing” expert group. He is also a member of the DP-3T group whose work provided the foundation of the Apple & Google Exposure Notification API which powers decentralized digital contact tracing apps around the world.

Marcel spent a few years in the tech industry as web application developer. He was part of the renowned Y Combinator startup accelerator’s class of Winter 2014. In 2018, he was elected as one of the 100 Digital Shapers in Switzerland by Bilanz and Digital Switzerland.