Nikola Biller-Andorno

Nikola Biller-Andorno, Prof. Dr. med. Dr. phil.


Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine (IBME)

University of Zurich

Tel.: +41 44 634 40 80

Prof. Dr. med. Dr. phil. Nikola Biller-Andorno directs the Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine, University of Zurich, Switzerland, which serves as WHO Collaborating Centre for Bioethics. She co-leads the PhD program “Biomedical Ethics and Law” and serves as Vice-President of the Clinical Ethics Committee of the University Hospital Zurich. She is also a member of the Research Ethics Committee of the Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, and an expert advisor to the Swiss Medical Board, an HTA agency providing clinical and cost effectiveness analyses of diagnostic and therapeutic interventions. From 2009 to 2011 she acted as President of the International Association of Bioethics. She has been a Commonwealth Fund Harkness Fellow (2012-13), a Safra Network Fellow (2013-14) and a Visiting Professor of Biomedical Ethics (2012-14) at Harvard University. In 2016, she was elected as Fellow of the Collegium Helveticum, an Institute of Advanced Study sponsored by the University of Zurich, the Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, and the Zurich University of the Arts. In 2018, she obtained an additional qualification in Health Business Administration (MHBA).

Research interests

Digitalization of health and AI
Patient experiences
Healthcare ethics, management and economics


Teaching activities (regular core courses)

Medical school: “Introduction to Biomedical Ethics” (1st year), “Ethical Case Analysis” (3rd year), “Perspectives on Medicine” (2nd year), “Ethics, Theory and Law in Medicine” (2nd - 4th year), “Ethics for dentists” (4th year)

PhD program:

Foundations of Biomedical Ethics, Current Issues in Biomedical Ethics


Memberships (boards, committees etc.)

Editorial board member (Bioethics, Ethik in der Medizin, PLOS one); Reviewer for numerous journals (among them New England Journal, BMJ, Journal of Medical Ethics) and funding bodies (e.g. Wellcome Trust, German Research Foundation, Volkswagen Foundation, Swiss National Science Foundation, European Commission); member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Messerli Institute, Veterinary University Vienna; IRB of ETH Zurich; Central Ethics Committee of the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences (08-17); Board of the Ethics Center of the University of Zurich (Director of the Ethics Center 09-12); jury of the Stehr-Boldt-Award of the University of Zurich (President since 17); Ethics Committee of the University Hospital Zurich (Vice President since 08); Chair of University Accreditation Process for the Agency for Quality Assurance and Accreditation Austria (2018); Academic Editor for PLOS one

Active memberships in scientific societies

International Association of Bioethics (Board of Directors 07-09, President 09-11); European Society of Philosophy in Medicine and Health Care (Board Member 02-04); Swiss Society for Biomedical Ethics (Board of Directors since 07); Academy for Ethics in Medicine (Board of Directors 08-12)
Organisation of conferences (recent, selection)
Emerging World conference series (2017 on Gene Editing); Zurich-Harvard Intensive Bioethics Course (2016/2018); WHO Meeting on Ethics Guidance for Health Systems and Policy Research (2015)

Prizes, awards, fellowships

Young Investigator's Award of the American Pain Society (1997); Member of the Young Academy at the Berlin-Brandenburgische Academy of Sciences and the German Academy of Natural Scientists Leopoldina (01-06); Dissertation award of the University of Hagen, Germany (2002); Individual Membership of the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences (since 2009); Harkness Fellow in Health Care Policy and Practice (Commonwealth Fund/Careum), Harvard School of Public Health (12-13); Safra Network Fellow, Harvard University (13-14); Fellow of the Collegium Helveticum, ETH/University of Zurich (16-20)