Centre for Ethics – Institute of Biomedical Ethics


Prof. Dr. med. Dr. phil.  Nikola  Biller-Andorno
Professor and Director of the Institute of Biomedical Ethics


Institute of Biomedical Ethics
Centre for Ethics of the University of Zurich
Pestalozzistrasse 24
CH-8032 Zürich

Curriculum Vitae / Publications


Prof. Dr. med. Dr. phil. Nikola Biller-Andorno studied medicine at the University of Erlangen-Nuernberg as well as philosophy and social sciences at the University of Hagen, Germany. Multiple scholarships and awards allowed her to pursue her research interests at prestigious institutions such as the Hastings Center (1994), Yale University (1997) and the Harvard Medical School (1997-98). After a period of further academic qualification (“habilitation”) in ethics and theory of medicine at the University of Göttingen, Germany, she worked as Ethicist at the World Health Organization (2002-2004). In 2004 she was appointed Professor of Medical Ethics at the Charité, Joint Medical Faculty of the Free and Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany. In October 2005 she joined the University of Zurich as Full Professor of Biomedical Ethics; in 2007 she became Founding Director of the Institute of Biomedical Ethics at the same University, which was designated as WHO Collaborating Centre for Bioethics in 2009. She is also directing the newly established PhD program “Biomedical Ethics and Law” (medical track) at the University of Zurich as well as the Center for Ethics of the University of Zurich.
She serves as a member of the Central Ethics Commission of the Swiss Academy of Sciences, as temporary advisor to the World Health Organization and as deputy editor of the Journal of Medical Ethics and is active on the boards of several professional associations (Akademie für Ethik in der Medizin, Swiss Society of Biomedical Ethics, President of the International Association of Bioethics 2009-11) as well as on a number of committees (Vice-President of the Clinical Ethics Committee of the University Hospital Zurich, Member of the Ethics Committee, University of Zurich, Vice-President of the Executive Committee of the Swiss Federal Program for Gender Equality), prize juries and advisory boards. She frequently acts as reviewer for journals, funding agencies and university appointment procedures.
Nikola Biller-Andorno has published widely in the field of bioethics. Her work so far includes more than 120 contributions to journals and book chapters, some of which have been translated into Spanish and Russian. She has co-authored or co-edited seven books, among them “Ethical Issues in Governing Biobanks – Global Perspectives” (Ashgate 2008). She has given more than 100 presentations and lectures in many different countries.

Director and Secretariat