Effy Vayena, Ph.D., studied Medical History and Bioethics at the University of Minnesota (USA) and completed her habilitation in Bioethics and Health Policy at the University of Zurich. From 2000-2007 she worked at the World Health Organization (WHO).
In 2007, she joined the Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine at the University of Zurich. She is a consultant to WHO on several projects, and visiting faculty at the Harvard Center for Bioethics, Harvard Medical School. In 2015 she was named a Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) Professor of Health Policy. Since 2017 she is Professor of Bioethics at ETH Zurich. She is the founder of the Health Ethics and Policy Lab in the Department of Health Sciences and Technology at ETH Zurich.
Her current research focus is on ethical and policy questions in precision medicine and digital health. At the intersection of multiple fields, she relies on normative analyses and empirical methods to explore how values such as freedom of choice, participation and privacy are affected by recent developments in personalized medicine and in digital health. She is particularly interested in the issues of ethical oversight of research uses of big data, ethical uses of big data and AI for global health, as well as the ethics of citizen science. Using the ethics lens in innovative ways, her work aims to provide concrete policy recommendations and frameworks that facilitate the use of new technologies for a better and more just health. Most recently she chaired the WHO Expert Ethics Group that developed guidance for ethical consideration in digital proximity tracking technologies for COVID19 contact tracing.