Matthew Ferrari


Associate Professor of Biology


  • Health & Medicine
  • Agriculture

Focus Areas:

  • Health Policy
  • Infectious Disease
  • Entomology
  • Vector-borne Diseases


  • Ferrari has expertise in a wide range of areas including public health, modeling, vaccination, health policy, outbreak response, quantitative epidemiology, population ecology, statistics, and computational and mathematical biology, and can comment on the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
  • Ferrari uses mathematical and statistical tools to understand patterns of disease incidents.
  • His field and lab experiments are investigating the implications for disease spread and pathogen-mediated host selection.

Matthew Ferrari is an associate professor of biology who researches measles dynamics in developing countries, vector behavior and spatial transmission, and scaling within host-immune dynamics to populations. Ferrari’s lab researches both the application of quantitative modeling and analysis to inform public health policy and the basic ecology of parasites and infectious diseases at Penn State’s Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics. He can comment broadly in disease outbreaks and specializes in measles.

In The Media

"The shorter window means we probably have to do more asymptomatic testing relative to what would be the case if their duration of shedding was just as long as symptomatic individuals -- that is, they're a bit harder to catch." - Matthew Ferrari

The Numerical Language of Covid-19: A Primer

from Wall Street Journal May 15, 2020

“We focus on R0 at the beginning to tell us how bad this could possibly be.” - Matthew Ferrari

Rethinking Herd Immunity

from Scientific American November 14, 2019

From the standpoint of the measles virus, it doesn’t care why they aren’t vaccinated,” says Matthew Ferrari, a statistical disease modeler at the Pennsylvania State University in University Park.

“It’s a fundamental challenge trying to pick what might happen in the future,” says Penn State’s Matthew Ferrari, who studies measles outbreaks in low- and middle-income countries and did not participate in the current work.

Measles Infection Could Leave Kids Vulnerable to Other Diseases

from Scientific American October 31, 2019

"In the developing world, however, this measles-related immune amnesia probably leads to a lot of avoidable deaths, says Matthew Ferrari, an associate professor of biology at Pennsylvania State University, who was not involved in the research. "

Published Work

Outbreaks of measles: compounding challenges in the DRC

Matthew Ferrari, The Conversation October 7, 2019

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