The burden of infectious disease to human health is significant, with parasitic, bacterial and viral diseases representing six of the ten leading causes of mortality world-wide. A major obstacle to the development of new diagnostic, therapeutic and preventative tools to combat these infections is understanding the complexity of the disease processes at the molecular, cellular and organismal level. The CIDCATS programme addresses this challenge by providing graduate training in the quantitative skills required to develop iterative programmes of research that cross discipline boundaries. The last decade has been noted for the development of increasingly powerful experimental technologies (e.g. 2-photon imaging, gene expression analysis, proteomics) that are now providing extensive and detailed data characterizing the structure, dynamics and properties of biological systems. This opens up exciting opportunities for the development of novel data analysis and visualization methods and further, the modelling and simulation of the complex biomolecular and cellular processes that underlie infectious disease.