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Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine (IBME)

INIA – Intersex: New Interdisciplinary Approaches

Paediethics with the Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine (IBME) and the University Children's Hospital is part of the INIA Consortium, supported by a EU-Horizon grant from the European Commission’s Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions program under project number 859869. 


Short Description

INIA aims to conduct research that will support the wellbeing and rights of intersex people and those who are born with some variations of sex characteristics but do not identify as intersex (hereafter: intersex people/people with variations of sex characteristics). This includes people who are given the label of DSD (disorders or differences of sex development) in medical contexts.

INIA is a new international research network which will train a cohort of 10 early stage researchers working collaboratively to develop knowledge that will inform policy making and practice across a range of key sectors.

Intersex people’s healthcare, social and human rights issues are often overlooked. They continue to face exposure to multiple forms of human rights violations and discrimination, requiring cross-sectoral policy responses in fields including healthcare, education, and the law.

To learn more about INIA, please click here.

The INIA Project's Objectives are to:

  • Generate knowledge that supports the wellbeing and social/economic contributions of intersex people/people with variations of sex characteristics.
  • Use innovative interdisciplinary academic resources to push forward understandings of intersex and inform academic fields.
  • Produce excellent research and evidence to help address societal challenges associated with intersex.

The Training Objectives of INIA are:

  • Train a cohort of experts in the area of intersex and develop original sector-specific and intersectoral competencies.
  • Develop researcher capacities in research methods with intersex people and their families and with stakeholders (including generating action learning).
  • Establish a collaborative network of highly skilled researchers and national/international stakeholders.

The INIA project started on 1 March 2020 and will run for 48 months. It has been established by the University of Huddersfield, the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Dublin City University, the University of Zurich, the Escuela Andaluza de Salud Pública / Andalusian School of Public Health and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona in collaboration with intersex activists and advocates, clinicians, and other specialists. It will enable 21 organisations from more than 10 countries to work together on issues relating to intersex people / people with variations of sex characteristics, in a unique multidisciplinary and transectoral network. 

Researchers at IBME

PI at IBME: Dr. med. J. Streuli
Co-supervisor at IBME: Dr E. De Clercq

ESR 6 and 7 are based at the University of Zurich: 

ESR6Daria Abrosimova, University of Zurich

Project title: Impact of parental psychosocial indicators on decision-making
and outcome regarding intersex in Europe

This project aims to generate understandings on psychosocial aspects of families with an intersex child, develop knowledge on influence of psychosocial factors on familial choice-making on medical interventions and support programmes for families.

Daria earned a degree in Sociology from Moscow State Lomonosov University. Afterwards, she pursued a career in marketing research, working as a research expert in pharmaceutical and financial industries. Simultaneously, she acted as a human rights activist and later co-founded her initiative. She educated medical professionals on working with intersex people and continues to pursue projects to improve medical care for intersex people in Russia.

Currently, she is pursuing a Ph.D. at the Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine at the University of Zurich on an INIA fellowship with a focus on parental decision-making in clinical settings.

ESR7 – vacant, University of Zurich

Project title: Role, dissemination and impact of clinical ethics in multidisciplinary teams on intersex in Europe

This project aims to understand the role of ethics in decision making about intersex medical interventions across medics and healthcare professionals with different areas of expertise. It will address the gap in knowledge about ethics and intersex care, exploring the ethical problems faced by multi-disciplinary teams.

For more information please contact Jürg Streuli.