Dr David Muscatello

Dr David Muscatello is a Senior Lecturer in infectious diseases epidemiology. He has a PhD in the epidemiology of influenza. He also has many years experience in government as an epidemiologist specialising in acute disease surveillance using administrative databases, public health intelligence and biostatistics including time series analysis. He played a major surveillance role in the New South Wales government response to pandemic influenza in 2009 and has served on the Australian National Influenza Surveillance Committee. David is also a graduate of the New South Wales Public Health Officer Training Program and has supervised and trained numerous Public Health Officer and Biostatistical trainees. He is particularly interested in the use of time series analysis for estimating mortality and morbidity from infectious and other diseases and for assessing the impact of health policies on populations.
Research projects
I have projects available around estimating the impact of influenza on hospital emergency departments, and on the Australian population. I'm particularly interested in answering questions around methods for estimating the impact of infectious diseases on populations. I can assist with developing projects for other countries and settings, if the data are available.
I am able to help students develop projects that use administrative data or survey data to answer important public health, epidemiological and policy related questions. I am particularly interested in time series analysis, which is a statistical method that can be applied to numerous questions. Examples include estimating whether and how much the incidence of a particular disease is associated with a particular health outcome, when you can’t measure that outcome directly.
Influenza is a good example, numerous studies in numerous countries and numerous time periods have demonstrated that seasonal influenza is associated with marked increases in deaths in human populations. Causes of death recorded in civil death registration databases often do not identify a role of influenza. Time series analysis can be used to estimate the contribution of influenza to deaths.
There is a substantial amount of time series data available from national statistical agencies. I would work with you to see if we can develop a project that is suited to your skill level and areas of interest. If you have a connection with a particular country, we may be able to develop a research idea if there is data freely available from your country.
Which students would be suited to a project like this?
Ideally, you would have completed Advanced Biostatistics & Statistical Computing (PHCM 9517). Otherwise, students with a background in science, mathematics or statistics, would be suitable. Of course it’s also important to have the enthusiasm to answer important public health questions, as the methods are just a means to an end.



Moa, A. M., Muscatello, D. J., Turner, R. M., & MacIntyre, C. R. (2017). Epidemiology of influenza B in Australia: 2001-2014 influenza seasons. Influenza and other Respiratory Viruses, 11(2), 102-109. doi:10.1111/irv.12432

Moa, A. M., Chughtai, A. A., Muscatello, D. J., Turner, R. M., & MacIntyre, C. R. (2016). Immunogenicity and safety of inactivated quadrivalent influenza vaccine in adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. Vaccine, 34(35), 4092-4102. doi:10.1016/j.vaccine.2016.06.064

Moa, A. M., Muscatello, D. J., Turner, R., & MacIntyre, R. (2016). Using laboratory data to aid early warning in prospective influenza mortality surveillance. In ISDS Annual Conference Proceedings 2015. Denver, Colorado, USA.

Norton, S., Cordery, D. V., Abbenbroek, B. J., Ryan, A. C., & Muscatello, D. J. (2016). Towards public health surveillance of intensive care services in NSW, Australia. Public Health Research and Practice, 26(3). doi:10.17061/phrp2631633

Davey, H. M., Muscatello, D. J., Wood, J. G., Snelling, T. L., Ferson, M. J., & Macartney, K. K. (2015). Impact of high coverage of monovalent human rotavirus vaccine on Emergency Department presentations for rotavirus gastroenteritis. Vaccine, 33(14), 1726-1730. doi:10.1016/j.vaccine.2015.01.082

Muscatello, D. J., Amin, J., MacIntyre, C. R., Newall, A. T., Rawlinson, W. D., Sintchenko, V., . . . Thackway, S. (2014). Inaccurate ascertainment of morbidity and mortality due to influenza in administrative databases: A population-based record linkage study. PLoS ONE, 9(5). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0098446

Simonsen, L., Spreeuwenberg, P., Lustig, R., Taylor, R. J., Fleming, D. M., Kroneman, M., . . . Viboud, C….Muscatello D.J et al (2013). Global Mortality Estimates for the 2009 Influenza Pandemic from the GLaMOR Project: A Modeling Study. PLoS Medicine, 10(11). doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001558

Muscatello, D. J., Newall, A. T., Dwyer, D. E., & MacIntyre, C. R. (2013). Mortality Attributable to Seasonal and Pandemic Influenza, Australia, 2003 to 2009, Using a Novel Time Series Smoothing Approach. PLoS ONE, 8(6), e64734. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0064734

Cashmore, A. W., Muscatello, D. J., Merrifield, A., Spokes, P., Macartney, K., & Jalaludin, B. B. (2013). Relationship between the population incidence of pertussis in children in New South Wales, Australia and emergency department visits with cough: a time series analysis. BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making, 13(40), 1-11. doi:10.1186/1472-6947-13-40

Schaffer, A., Muscatello, D., Cretikos, M., Gilmour, R., Tobin, S., & Ward, J. (2012). The impact of influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 compared with seasonal influenza on intensive care admissions in New South Wales, Australia, 2007 to 2010: A time series analysis. BMC Public Health, 12(1). doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-869


Mission statement

To reduce the immunisation gap between adults and children through research, teaching and advocacy, with a special focus on the elderly, high risk and vulnerable populations.

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Dr Rob Menzies

Dr Rob Menzies

Senior Lecturer

02 93853480


Dr Elizabeth Kpozehouen

Dr Elizabeth Kpozehouen

Research Associate

02 9385 1192