Koen Stam


Research areas of interest: Data science, Statistics, Immunology, Parasitic infections, Bioinformatics



Leiden University Medical Center  |  Leiden University Center for Infectious Diseases

Education and Research background  

I started my academic journey as a biologist and in this field I was most interested in ecology, animal behaviour and taxonomy. One of my first real behavioural biology internships involved the data analysis of the song patterns of zebra finches. I was really interested in these technical types of data analyses and how to solve these little puzzles. Therefore, I continued my education with a master’s degree in statistical science for the life sciences where I learnt a lot about applied statistics and programming. Soon after, I started working at the Department of Parasitology at Leiden University Medical Center where I became very interested in cell cytometry as well as immunology. In a nutshell, I have always combined my fondness for the life sciences with my affinity for puzzle solving.

My work on immune responses to vaccines

My work is all centered around bioinformatics, data analysis and statistics. I do this through different levels of engagement. With some projects I work on data analysis and visualization, whereas with other projects, I have a role providing more guidance or consultation. I educate my fellow researchers on proper data management, analysis, how to ask the right questions and applying the right statistical tools. Other tasks comprise of developing new bioinformatic tools to analyze and visualize complex data. We work with a lot of single-cell cytometry data which can be both large in size and high in dimension. Finding solutions to these challenges combined with the variety of projects I work on, makes me an all-rounder in the team.

beyond research

I still like to determine the species of random flowering plants when I take a walk in a park and hope to find some rare species just next to a sidewalk. I am also a real climbing fanatic – if you point towards any high place (especially boulders), I will try to ascend it.