Dr. Alessandro Blasimme

Dr.  Alessandro Blasimme

Dr. Alessandro Blasimme

Professur für Bioethik

HOA H 17

Hottingerstrasse 10

8092 Zürich


  • +41 44 632 78 01
  • +41 44 632 70 70 (Sec.)
  • 0000-0001-5908-2002
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Additional information

Curriculum Vitae


Curriculum Vitae ac Studiorum

Alessandro Blasimme, PhD


Google Scholar Profile: https://scholar.google.ch/citations?user=jFjs6n0AAAAJ&hl=en


ORCID ID: 0000-0001-5908-2002



Academic Appointments



2019-                           Senior Scientist (permanent) at «Health Ethics and Policy Lab» - Department of Health Sciences and Technology – ETH Zurich.

2017- 2019                   Senior Researcher II at «Health Ethics and Policy Lab» - Department of Health Sciences and Technology – ETH Zurich.

2015 – 2017                 Postdoctoral researcher at «Health Ethics and Policy Lab» - University of Zurich (Switzerland) - Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI).

2014                            Fulbright-Schuman Research Fellow at STS Program, Kennedy School of Government – Harvard University (USA)

2012 – 2015                 Postdoctoral researcher at INSERM, (French National Institute of Health and Medical Research) – Université Paul Sabatier (Toulouse), Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health (UMR1027).






  • Guest editor of AMA Journal of Ethics themed issue on genome editing (2019).

·      Nominated Fellow of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Longevity and Human Enhancement(2018-19).

·      H2020 grant: PRECISE4Q (2017-2021), Multi-dimensional predictive modelling to personalize stroke treatment. Participation in the conception and preparation of the application, and work package co-PI.

·      Fulbright-Schuman Research Fellowship to study ethical and political issues in regenerative medicine at Harvard University (J.F. Kennedy School of Government – STS Program, 2014). 





2012    PhD in Bioethics: FOLSATEC department (Foundations of Life Sciences and their Ethical Consequences), European School of Molecular Medicine, University of Milan, Italy. Dissertation: Regenerative Medicine and the Governance of Stem Cell Innovation. Advisors: Prof. Giuseppe Testa (SEMM, Milan) and Prof. Herbert Gottweis (University of Vienna). Examiners: Prof. Pier Paolo di Fiore and Prof. Andrew Webster. Outcome: Excellent.

2007    Master (2ndlevel) in Practical Ethics and Bioethics – “La Sapienza” University of Rome, Faculty of Philosophy and Faculty of Science. Grade obtained: 110/110 cum laude.

2006    Degree in Philosophy (Laurea) – “La Sapienza” University of Rome, Faculty of Philosophy. Dissertation Title: “Deliberative Democracy: Dealing with Moral Disagreement in the Public Space”. Supervised by Professors Virginio Marzocchi and Francesco S. Trincia. Grade obtained: 110/110 cum laude.


Training in Molecular Biology


2009-2011        FOLSATEC PhD Student in Giuseppe Testa’s lab (Histone methylation in stem cell renewal and lineage commitment - project : Epigenetics of Cellular reprogramming) at IEO (European Institute of Oncology), Milan, Italy. 

2008-2009        Visiting PhD student in: Francesco Blasi’s lab (Transcriptional mechanisms in development and tumor formation); Simona Polo’s lab (Regulation of protein function by monoubiquitination); Giuliana Pelicci’s lab (Biology and signal transduction of normal and cancer stem cells). IFOM-IEO Milan, Italy. 


Additional Training


February 2019              Teaching course “Learning to teach”. ETH Zurich.

January 2019                Basics of Regulatory Affairs in Medtech. ETH Zurich and LifeScience Zurich.

November 2018           Teaching course “Foundations of Teaching and Learning”. ETH Zurich.

June 2012                    Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, UK. Summer School: “Translational Genomics Pipeline: from populations to individuals”. 

August 2008                EMBL Heidelberg, Germany. European Science & Society Summer School (E4S) on “Deconstructing and Reconstructing life: from classification to design”. 


Individual awards


2014                Fulbright-Schuman Research Scholar to Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government, STS Program. EUR 14.000,00.

2011                Award by the European Science Foundation (COST action). Visiting fellow to Kings’ College London, UK, Department of Political Economy, Visiting fellow. (Project: Comparative governance analysis of stem cell translational research). EUR 1.000,00.


2011                Fondazione Umberto Veronesi doctoral scholarship (awarded March 30th, 2011). EUR 14.400,00.




Research Grants


·                            H2020 PRECISE4Q grant (2017-2021). Multi-dimensional predictive modelling to personalize stroke treatment. 

Participation in the conception and preparation of the application, and work package co-PI. 

Funding received = EUR 467.205,00

Total budget = EUR 5.978.245,00


·                            PHRT (Personalized Health Related Technologies) grant: MIDATA Platform for Citizen Participation in Personalized Health Research (2017-2020). 

Participation in the conception and preparation of the application, and work package co-coordination. 

Funding received = CHF 156.343,00

Total budget = CHF 750.000,00


·                             PHRT (Personalized Health Related Technologies) project DPPH: Data Protection in Personalized Health (2017-2020).

Participation in the conception and preparation of the application. 

Funding received = CHF 336.500,00

Total budget = CHF 2.984.500,00


·                            NRP 75 BEHALF project on ethical issues raised by biomedical uses of big-data. Funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (2017-2020). 

Participation in the preparation of the application. 

Funding received = CHF 611.988,00.


·                            Two-year post-doctoral research grant from the Région Midi-Pyrénées (France) for conducting research on the ethical aspects of prevention in aging-related research and public health interventions (2016-2017). 

Full conception and preparation of the application. Individual recipient.

Funding received =EUR 63.452,00.


·                            IMI SPRINT-T project (2014-2019). Funded by the European Commission and by the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA). 

Conception and preparation of the application for the part relative to ethical and societal issues. Individual recipient. 

Funding received = EUR 111.000,00

Total budget = EUR 53.854.591,00


·                            EUcellLex FP7 coordination Project. ‘Cell-based regenerative medicine : new challenges for EU legislation and governance’ (2014-2016). Collaboration in the main application. 

Conception and preparation of the application for the part relative to ethics research. Co-leadership of a work package in the project. 

Funding received = EUR 56.940,00.

Total budget = EUR 500.000,00


·                            Two-year post-doctoral research grant from the Région Midi-Pyrénées (France) for conducting research on the ethical aspects of the governance of stem cell-based medicine (2013-2015). 

Full conception and preparation of the application. Individual recipient.

Funding received = EUR 28.767,25.


·                            Grant from the Brocher Foundation (Geneva): «Making sense of clinical translation: ethical, regulatory and policy challenges for Europe and the US». Held at Foundation Brocher, Geneva (Switzerland), May 18-19, 2015. 

Full conception and co-preparation of the application. Co-PI.

Funding received = CHF 8.000,00.


·                            European Science Foundation exploratory workshop grant: «Regulating stem cellbased regenerative medicine: new ethical challenges for Europe» - held at Université Paul Sabatier, Faculty of Medicine – Toulouse (France), Aril 1-3, 2014. 

Full conception and preparation of the application. PI. 

Funding received = EUR 16.000,00.






Pending grant applications


  • H2020 project CancerAI.

Conception and co-preparation of the application; Work package lead.

In preparation. 

  • SNSF Proposal “Gateway to the soul: making sense of facial recognition technologies”. 

Conception and preparation of the application; PI.

Under review. 

  • COST Action Proposal OC-2018-2-23422 “Improving the treatment of frailty and multimorbidity: a new framework integrating geroprotectors”. 

Conception and preparation of the application for the part relative to ethics research; work package co-coordinator. 

Under review.

  • SNSF NRP 77 Proposal “Digital health: a policy roadmap for Switzerland”.

Conception and preparation of the application; co-PI.

Under review. 




Fig.1 Bibliometric information. Source: Google Scholar (as of 14.11.2019)





1.            BlasimmeA. and Vayena E. (2020). The Ethics of AI in Biomedical research, patient care and public health. In Dubber M., Pasquale F. and Das S. (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Ethics of Artificial Intelligence, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK. ISBN 9780190067397. SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3368756 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3368756

2.            BlasimmeA., Caminiti D., Vayena E. (2020). The regulation of human germline genome modification in Switzerland. In Boggio A., Romano C., Almqvist J. (eds.), Human Germline Modification and the Right to Science: a Comparative Study of National Laws and Policies. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. ISBN 9781108499873.

3.            BlasimmeA., Caminiti D., Vayena E. (2020).The regulation of human germline genome modification in France. In Boggio A., Romano C., Almqvist J. (eds.), Human Germline Modification and the Right to Science: a Comparative Study of National Laws and Policies. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. ISBN 9781108499873.

4.             BlasimmeA., Producing health: Georges Canguilhem and the contemporary clinical discourse about aging. In Méthot P.O. (ed.) The Normal and the Pathological: Essays on Georges Canguilhem, Hermann, Med ϕ,Paris. (forthcoming 2020).

5.             BlasimmeA. Trajectories of life and prevention: cognitive decline in the digital age. In Leibing A. and Schicktanz S., (eds.), Preventing Dementia, Berghahn, New York and Oxford. (forthcoming 2020).

6.             Blasimme, A. (2019). Why include the public in deliberations of genome editing governance? AMA Journal of Ethics. Forthcoming.

7.             Blasimme, A. and McConnell, S. (2019). Ethics, values and responsibility in human genome editing. AMA Journal of Ethics. Forthcoming.

8.             Tournay, V., Jacomy, M., Necula, A., Leibing, A., Blasimme, A. (2019). A new web-based big data analytics for dynamic public opinion mapping in digital networks on contested biotechnology fields. Omics –  J of Integrative Biol. 23(0), 1-14. Doi: 10.1089/omi.2019.0130.

9.             BlasimmeA., Vayena E., van Hoyweghen I. (2019). Big data, precision medicine and private insurance: a delicate balancing act. Big Data & Society2019/3:6(1).

10.          Hauserman T., Fadda M., BlasimmeA., Tzavoras B, Vayena E. Genes wide open: data sharing and the social gradient of genomic privacy (2018). American Journal of Bioethics – Empirical Bioethics.

11.          Adjekum A., BlasimmeA., Vayena E. (2018). Elements of trust in digital health systems: a scoping review. Journal of Medical Internet Research. DOI: 10.2196/11254.

12.          BlasimmeA. (2018). L’intelligence artificielle en medicine: quel role pour la réflexion éthique? In Christian Hervé and Michèle Stanton-Jean (eds.), “Innovations en santé publique, des données personnelles aux données massives: Aspects cliniques, juridiques et éthiques” (129-136). Editions Dalloz, Paris. ISBN: 978-2-247-18001-1.

13.          Fadda M., Jobin A., BlasimmeA., Tzavoras B., Price Ball M., Vayena E. (2018).User perspectives of a web-based data sharing platform (Open Humans) on ethical oversight in participant-led research: protocol for a quantitative study. JMIR research protocols7 (11), e10939.

14.          Vayena E., BlasimmeA., Cohen I.G. (2018). Machine learning in medicine: addressing ethical challenges. PLoS Medicine15(11): e1002689.

15.          Ferretti A., Schenider M., BlasimmeA. (2018). Machine learning in medicine: opening the new data protection black-box. European Data Protection Law Review, 4(3): 320-332.

16.          BlasimmeA., E. Vayena, E. Hafen (2018). Democratizing health research through data cooperatives. Philosophy & Technology, 31(3):473-9.

17.          BlasimmeA., M. Fadda, M. Schneider and E. Vayena (2018). Data Sharing for Precision Medicine : Policy Lessons and Future Directions. Health Affairs37(5): 702-9.

18.          Vayena E., A. Blasimme(2018). Health Research with Big Data : Time for Systemic Oversight. Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics46(1): 119-29. 

19.          Ienca M., E. Vayena, A. Blasimme(2018). Big data and dementia : charting the route ahead for research, ethics and policy. Frontiers in Medicine5:13. Doi: 10.3389/fmed.2018.00013..

20.          Vayena E., A. Adjekum, T. Hauserman, A. Blasimme(2018). Digital health: meeting the ethical and policy challenges. Swiss Medical Weekly 148 :w14571.

21.          Vayena E., A. Blasimme(2017). Biomedical Big Data : New Models of Control over Access, Use and Governance. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry14(4): 501-13.

22.          Flatt J., A. Blasimmeand E. Vayena (2017). Improving the measuurment of scientific success by reporting a self-citation index. Publications5(3), 20. 

23.          Blasimme A., C. Moret, S. Hurst, E. Vayena (2017). Informed consent and the disclosure of clinical results to research participants. The American Journal of Bioethics17(7): 58-60.

24.          Hauserman T., B. Greshake, A. Blasimme, D. Irdam, M. Richards, E. Vayena (2017). Open sharing of genomic data : who does it and why ? Plos One 12(5), e0177158.

25.          Blasimme A. (2017). Healthcare meets big data :  the science and politics of precision medicine. In A. Blanchard and R. Strand (eds.). “Social, Ethical and Economic Aspects of Cancer Biomarkers”. Megaloceros Press. ISBN : 978-82-91851-04-4

26.          BlasimmeA. (2017). Governare il genoma: sapere e sovranità nei recenti sviluppi dell’ingegneria genetica (Governing the genome: knowledge and sovereignty in the debate on CRISPR/Cas9). Notizie di PoliteiaXXXIII(126): 92-102.

27.          BlasimmeA. (2017). Physical frailty, sarcopenia and the enablement of autonomy: philosophical issues in geriatric medicine. Aging Clinical and Experimental Research.February 29(1): 59-63. 

28.          Canevelli M., A. Blasimme, and M. Cesari (2017). Societal and global implications of the ‘dementia epidemic’, Eur J Epidemiol, 32(4): 347-8. 

29.          BlasimmeA., and E. Vayena (2016). Becoming partners, retaining autonomy: ethical considerations on the development of precision medicine. BMC Medical Ethics17:67.

30.          Blasimme A.and E. Vayena (2016). “Tailored to you”: Public engagement and the political legitimation of precision medicine. Perspectives in Biology & Medicine, volume 59, number 2 (Spring 2016): 172-188.

31.          Canevelli M., A. Blasimme, N. Vanacore, G. Bruno, and M. Cesari. (2016). Mild Behavioral Impairment: Ethical, Methodological and Clinical Reflections. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews. 69: 402-3. 

32.          Miller J., A. Caplan, A. Blasimme(2016). Designing clinical trials for new drugs: ethics, governance and reputational challenges. Clinical Researcher. DOI: 10/14524/CR-15-0045

33.          Bortolotti L., C. Sandis and A. Blasimme(2016). With power comes vulnerability. In Sarah Chan (ed.) "Humans and Other Animals: Challenging the Boundaries of Humanity". Bloomsbury Academic.ISBN 1780932189.

34.          BlasimmeA. et al. (2015). Genome editing and dialogic responsibility: what’s in a name?American Journal of Bioethics OPC. 15(12): 54-57.

35.          Bousquet J., D. Kuh, M. Bewick, […], A Blasimmeet al. (2015). Operational Definition of Active and Healthy Ageing (AHA): A Conceptual Framework. The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging, Nov. 19(6): 955-60.

36.          Bousquet J., D. Kuh, M. Bewick, […], A Blasimmeet al. (2015). Operative definition of active and healthy aging (AHA). European Geriatric Medicine6(2): 196-200.

37.          Bousquet J., J. Malva, M. Nogues, […], A Blasimmeet al. (2015). Operational Definition of Active and Healthy Ageing (AHA): the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on AHA Reference Questionnaire. JAMDA, 16(12): 1020-1026.

38.          Canevelli M., A. Blasimmeet al. (2015). From Evidence to Action: Promoting a Multidimensional Approach to Mild Cognitive Impairment. JAMDA, 16(8): 710-1.

39.          Canevelli M., A. Blasimmeet al. (2014). Issues about the use of subjective cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease research. Alzheimer & Dementia10(6):881–2.

40.          Rial-Sebbag E. and A. Blasimme. (2014). The European Court of Human Rights ruling on unproven stem cell therapies: a missed occasion? Stem Cells and Development23(S1):39–43.

41.          BlasimmeA. Terapie cellulari e questioni etiche in medicina rigenerativa [Ethical issues in cell therapy and regenerative medicine]. In Boniolo, G., and P. Maugeri. (2014). Etica alle frontiere della biomedicina : per una cittadinanza consapevole (Milan: Mondadori Università). ISBN : 8861843123.

42.          Canevelli M., P. Piscopo, G. Talarico, N. Vanacore, A. Blasimmeet al. (2014). « Familial Alzheimer’s disease sustained by presenilin 2 mutations: Systematic review of literature and genotype–phenotype correlation ». Neurosci. Biobehav. Rev42, 170–179.

43.          Canevelli M., and A. Blasimme. (2013). Next-generation phenotyping and genomic incidental findings: Beyond the parkin example. JAMA Neurol70(12): 1589–1590.

44.          BlasimmeA., and E. Rial-Sebbag. (2013). Regulation of Cell-Based Therapies in Europe: Current Challenges and Emerging Issues. Stem Cells Dev22(S1): 14–19.

45.          Meslin E., A. Blasimme, A. Cambon-Thomsen. (2013). Mapping the translational science policy ‘Valley of death’. Clinical and Translational Medicine, 2:14.

46.          BlasimmeA. (2013). Translating Stem Cells to the Clinic: Scientific Societies and the Making of Regenerative Medicine. Quaderni, 81 Spring: 29-44.

47.          BlasimmeA., P. Maugeri, P.L. Germain. (2013). What Mechanisms can’t do: explanatory frameworks in molecular oncology. (2013) in Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences,44 (3), 374–384.

48.          Fragola G., P.L. Germain, P. Laise, A. Cuomo, A. Blasimmeet al. (2013). «Cell Reprogramming Requires Silencing of a Core Subset of Polycomb Targets». PLoS Genet9(2): e1003292.

49.          Anastasova V., A. Blasimme, S. Julia, and A. Cambon-Thomsen. (2013). «Genomic Incidental Findings: Reducing the Burden to Be Fair». The American Journal of Bioethics, 13 (2): 52–54.

50.          BlasimmeA., B. Schmietow and G. Testa. (2013). «Reprogramming potentiality: the co-production of stem cell policy and democracy». The American Journal of Bioethics, 13 (1): 30–32.

51.          Bortolotti L., M. Mameli and A. Blasimme. (2013). «Sentience, Moral Relevance Of». In Lafollette H. (ed.) International Encyclopedia of Ethics. Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Doi: 10.1002/9781444367072.wbiee027.

52.          BlasimmeA., C. Sandis and L. Bortolotti (2013). Two approaches to animal ethics and the case of great apes. In Wild and Petrus (eds.) "Animal Minds and Animal Ethics: Connecting Two Separate Fields" (pp. 269-294). Trascript Verlag.ISBN 978-3-8376-2462-5

53.          BlasimmeA., A. Soulier, S. Julia, S. Leonard, and A. Cambon-Thomsen. (2012). «Disclosing results to genomic research participants: differences that matter». The American Journal of Bioethics,12 (10): 20–22. 

54.          Maugeri P. and A. Blasimme. (2011). «Humanised models of cancer in molecular medicine: the experimental control of disanalogy». History and philosophy of the life sciences,33 (4): 603–621.

55.          BlasimmeA., A. Dröscher. (2011). History and Ethics of Stem Cell Research, In: eLS. Encyclopedia of Life Sciences (Ed.), John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester, doi: 10.1002/97840470015902.a0022664.

56.          BlasimmeA. (2011). Governare la biomedicina: l'etica della ricerca scientifica come questione pubblica (Governing biomedicine : research ethics as a public issue). Paradigmi, XXXIX, n. 1 – Jan-Apr.

57.          BlasimmeA., L. Bortolotti (2010). Intentionality and the welfare of minded non-humans, in Teorema, 29(2), pp. 83-96.

58.          BlasimmeA. (2008). La scienza, la bioetica e la crazione di ibridi e chimere (Science, Bioethics and the Creation of Hybrids and Chimeras), in Bioetica. Rivista interdisciplinare, 16, n. 1, pp. 21-45. Reprinted in F. Rufo, (ed.), Il laboratorio della Bioetica, Ediesse, Roma, 2011.




Publications under contract



  • BlasimmeA., Ethics in geriatric medicine. In Cesari, M. , Arosio, B. Vellas, B. et al. (eds.) Pathy’s Principles and Practice of Geriatric Medicine, 6thedition. Wiley-Blackwell, Haboken (NJ), USA. In preparation.
  • BlasimmeA., Vayena E. Towards systemic oversight in big data health research: implementation principles. In Laurie G. (ed.). Cambridge Handbook of  Health Research Regulation. Cambridge University Press,Cambridge, UK. Forthcoming in 2021.
  • BlasimmeA. Big data and dementia. In Jotter et al. (eds.), Artifcial Intelligence in Brain and Mental Health. Springer. In preparation. 
  • Blasimme A. The ethics of long-term care and “aging in place”. In Blasimme A., Nathan M. and Boniolo G. The philosophy and ethics of aging. Edited volume. In preparation. 
  • BlasimmeA. Play at your own risk: Patients’ agency and the ethical transformation of experimental risk in biomedicine. In Świtek B, Swee H and Abramson A (eds.), Ordinary extraordinary: Ethnographies of risk, limits and exposure, Palgrave, London. Under review.



Editorial coordination


  • Guest editor of AMA(American Medical Association) Journal of Ethicsthemed issue on genome editing (2019).
  • BlasimmeA., Nathan M. and Boniolo G. The philosophy and ethics of aging. Edited volume. In preparation. 


Tutoring and Supervision



2018 –                         Co-supervision of 2 ETH Master students (D-HEST).

                                    Co-supervision of 1 UZH PhD student (Law).

                                    Supervision of visiting PhD students.

                                    Supervision of internships. 


2016 –                         Co-supervision of 2 PhD dissertations in health ethics and policy. D-HEST, ETH Zurich (Switzerland).


2014-2015                    Supervisor of Master degree dissertation in bioethics. Faculty of Science, La Sapienza University of Rome, Italy. 








January-July, 2020                    IDEA League Doctoral School on Ethics of Science and Technology. Concept co-creator and faculty member. 

20-24 January, 2020                 Invited lecture on the Ethics of Genetics at Winter School in Bioethics. University of Bologna (Italy), Faculties of Medicine and Philosophy.

21 November, 2019                 Invited lecture on Science and Public Policy. Alliance4tech Winter School on Ethics and Technology. Politecnico di Milano (Italy).

20 November, 2019                 Invited lecture on the Ethics of Digital Health. META department - Politecnico di Milano (Italy).

16 October, 2019                     20thanniversary PEALS lecture on Civic Engagement. Policy, Ethics and Life Sciences (PEALS) research Center, Newcastle University (UK).

21-28 September 2019             International Summer School on Promotion of Health and Wellbeing. Towards a new Culture of Health: Changing concepts and perspectives. Faculty member. 

22 August, 2019                       Digital Life Summer School (ETH Zurich). Faculty member. 

20-22 June, 2019                      Starvos Niarchos Foundation Bioethics Academy (Athens, Greece). Faculty member. 

February 27, 2019                    University of Zurich, Faculty of Medicine, Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI): Invited PhD seminar «Introduction to bioethics».

FS2019                                    «Ethics in Medicine and Healthcare». ETH Zurich (377-0405-00V). Co-preparation and delivery of the course.

HS2018                                   Introduction to Bioinformatics - «Ethics». ETH Zurich (551-1299-00L). Co-preparation and delivery of the course.

September 27, 2018                 European Society of Pharmacogenomics and Personalised Therapy – ESPT Summer School, Geneva. Lecture on «Ethical implications related to biobanking and big data».

June 22, 2018                           University of Zurich, Clinical Research Center (ZKF), Certificate of Advanced Studies in Clinical Trial Management. Lecture on «Informed consent: history and theory».

June 21, 2018                           PhD Program in Public Health, Swiss School of Public Health, Bern (Switzerland). Lecture on «Emerging ethical issues in translational research».

May 3, 2018                             Master level course “Science and ethics: inputs from neuroscience, genetics and evolution” – University of Geneva (Switzerland). Lecture on «Artificial intelligence in medicine».

April 12, 2018                          Master level course on “Personalised health” – EPFL Lausanne (Switzerland). Lecture on «Ethical and policy issues in digital health».

November 30, 2017                 Life Science Zurich Graduate School (ETH Zurich / University of Zurich). PhD block course on Genome Medicine. Lecture on «Ethical issues in genomic medicine and genome editing».

November 28, 2017                 University of Zurich Learning Center. CRISPR/Cas9: Revolution der Gentechnik mit Tricks aus Bakterien. Lecture on «Genome editing: ethical and societal implications».

November 23, 2017                 University of Zurich, Clinical Research Center (ZKF), Certificate of Advanced Studies in Clinical Trial Management. Lecture on «Informed consent: history and theory».

September 28, 2017                 ETH Zurich, Depratment of Biology. Block Course on Translational Medicine and Bio-entrepreneurship. Lecture on «Research ethics».

June 20, 2017                           PhD Program in Public Health, Swiss School of Public Health, Bern (Switzerland). Lecture on «Emerging ethical issues in translational research».

June 7, 2017                             University of Zurich, Clinical Research Center (ZKF), Certificate of Advanced Studies in Clinical Trial Management. Lecture on «Informed consent: history and theory».

April 29, 2017                          University of Zurich, PhD program in Molecular and Translational Biomedicine. Lecture on «Ethical issues in personalized medicine».

April 6, 2016                            University of Zurich, Faculty of Law, Course on ‘Big Data: Technology, Law and Ethics’. Lecture on «Algorithms & Medicine».

November 18, 2016                 University of Zurich, Clinical Research Center (ZKF), Certificate of Advanced Studies in Clinical Trial Management. Lecture on «Informed consent: history and theory».

June 10, 2016                           University of Zurich, Clinical Research Center (ZKF), Certificate of Advanced Studies in Clinical Trial Management. Lecture on «Informed consent: history and theory».

April 20, 2016                          University of Zurich, PhD program in Molecular and Translational Biomedicine. Lecture on «Ethical issues in personalized medicine».

March 2016                             University of Zurich, Faculty of Medicine, Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI): PhD seminar on «Ethical issues in P4 medicine».

November 20, 2015                 University of Zurich, Clinical Research Center (ZKF), Certificate of Advanced Studies in Clinical Trial Management. Lecture on «Informed consent: history and theory».

July 27 – August 1, 2014          Harvard University, STS Program. Summer School: «Science and Governance at the Frontiers of Life». Invited tutor and lecturer.

December 18, 2013                  TIGET (Telethon Institute for Gene Therapy) – San Raffaele University of Milan, Faculty of Medicine. Invited lecture on «Innovation and the Ethics of Clinical Research». 

July 2013                                  Doctoral School in “Biology, Health Care and Biotechnology”, Université Paul Sabatier – Toulouse, France. Lecturer in bioethics.

April 2011                                «La Sapienza» University of Rome – “Charles Darwin” Department of Biology and Biotechnology. Lecturer on «Regenerative medicine: translational research and governance».

2010-2011                                Università degli Studi di Milano, School of Medicine and Faculty of Biological Sciences. Lecturer in Bioethics.

2010-2011                                Università degli Studi di Milano. Graduate School in Cognitive Sciences and Decisional Processes. Lecturer in Bioethics.

2009-2010                                «La Sapienza» University of Rome, “Charles Darwin” Department of Biology and Biotechnology. Lecturer in «Science policy and democracy».

June 2008                                «La Sapienza» University of Rome, Master in Bioethics. Lecturer in «Bioethics and the Life Sciences». 

March 2008                             Professional University of Switzerland (SUPSI), Master in Medical Humanities (Bellinzona). Lecture on «Ethical issues at the beginning of life and the problems of personal identity».

2007-2008                                «La Sapienza» University of Rome, Faculty of Medicine, School of Nursing and Obstetrics. Preparation and delivery of the course: «Foundations of applied moral philosophy».



Conferences Attended as Invited or Selected Speaker



  1. November 12, 2018. Invitedspeaker: «The systemic oversight model for (big) data governance». Workshop: Applying adaptive governance to emerging technologies in health. Brocher Foundation, Geneva (Switzerland).
  2. October 3, 2018. Invitedspeaker: «The systemic oversight model for (big) data governance» Global Alliance for Genomics and Health – 6thPlenary Meeting. Basel (Switzerland).
  3. September 29, 2018. Invitedspeaker: «Trajectories of life and decline: some remarks on the pathologization of the normal». Prevention of dementia: past present, expectations. Montreal University (Canada) 
  4. September 24, 2018. Invitedspeaker: «Big data and digital health in aging research: ethical implications». MouseAGE Meeting. Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Rome (Italy).
  5. September 14, 2018. Invitedspeaker: «The systemic oversight model for (big) data governance». Basel LIFE Innovation Forum. Basel (Switzerland).
  6. September 7, 2018. Invitedspeaker: «The systemic oversight model for (big) data governance». Digital Health: what’s next? ETH Zurich (Switzerland). 
  7. July 6-7, 2018. Invitedspeaker: «Trajectories of life and decline». Prevention: the past, present and (near) future of dementia research, Univeristy of Göttingen (Germany), Department of Medical Ethics and History of Medicine. 
  8. May 17-18, 2018. Keynoteaddress : «Online genomes : privacy and its governance in the digital world». 3rdGENMED workshop on Medical Genomics, Institut Pasteur, Paris (France). 
  9. May 8, 2018. Invitedspeaker to Health Affairs “Precision Medicine Briefing”: «Data sharing for precision medicine: policy lessons and future directions». National Press Club, Washington DC, USA.
  10. March 19-20, 2018. Invitedspeaker: «Intelligence artificielle, éthique et santé : nouvelles pistes et nouveau défis». Faculty of Medicine, Université Paris Descartes, Paris (France).
  11. January 26, 2018. Keynotelecture : «La bioéthique comme profession : reflexions sur la science et le destin de l’humain». Faculty of Medicine, Université Paul Sabatier Toulouse III, Toulouse (France).
  12. June 28, 2017. Invitedspeaker : «Precision medicine: paving the way for responsible data access and governance» (with Effy Vayena). Platform for Advanced Scientific Computing (PASC) Conference 2017. Lugano (CH).
  13. June 14, 2017. Invitedspeaker : «Biomedical big data and the case for systemic oversight» (with Effy Vayena). Cybersecurity challenges in healthcare : ethical, legal and social aspects (CANVAS workshop series – Health sphere). Brocher Foundation – Geneva (CH).
  14. March 18, 2017. Invitedexpert, speaker and moderator : «Ethical issues in dementia». WHO meeting on ‘Developing an ethical framework in relation to ageing and health’ – Tübingen (Germany).
  15. March 16-17, 2017. Selectedposter : «Les éxperiences différentiées d’une catégorie sanitaire. Apports de l’analyse sociologique à la notion de fragilité». With Alfonsina Faya Robles. Fragilité du sujet âgé et prévention de la perte d’autonomie. International congress, Paris (France).
  16. January 19, 2017. Invitedspeaker : «Ethical and legal aspects of Big Data». Big Data, Radiomics & Precision Medicine Symposium. Zurich University Hospital, Zurich (Switzerland).
  17. November 3, 2016. Invitedspeaker : « CRISPR/Cas9 : Ethical implications and social reactions». SUPRIO workshop (Bern, Switzerland).
  18. October 12, 2016. Invitedspeaker. « Digital selves : citizens, power and subjectivity in the age of big health data ». S.Net 2016 : The coproduction of emerging bodies, politic and technologies.
  19. October 11, 2016. Keynotelecture. « Towards precision medicine : oncology and the search for a new ethics of medical discovery ». Ethical and social aspects of cancer research. Center for Cancer Biomarkers (CCBIO), Bergen University, Norway.
  20. June 21, 2016. Invitedspeaker : « Tourisme cellulaire : marché, besoins et santé publique ». Cellules Souches : Mythes & Réalité. Institut Pasteur, Paris (France).
  21. June 13-14, 2016. Selectedspeaker (with Effy Vayena): «  Privacy without (too much) confidentiality : ethical considerations for big data health research». Eight annual meeting of the Society for the Philosophy of Information, University of Ferrara (Italy).
  22. June 7-8, 2016. Invitedspeaker : «Ingegneria mirata del genoma : scienza, democrazia e governo dell’incertezza» (Targeted genome editing : science, democracy and the governance of uncertainty ). Symposium «  Ripensare il rapporto tra scienza e democrazia » (Rethinking the relationship between science and democracy). La Sapienza University of Rome (Italy).
  23. April 29, 2016. Invitedspeaker : «  Digital health, big data, and the dematerialization of the clinical self ». Symposium «  The molecularization of identity : science and subjectivity in the 21st Century », Harvard University (Usa).
  24. April 11, 2016. Invitedtalk (with Effy Vayena) : «  The Internet of Medical Things : ethical challenges and opportunities». « IEEE Cyber-Physical Systems week 2016» Vienna, Austria.
  25. January 23, 2016. Invitedspeaker : « Etica e sperimentazione animale in biomedicina : questioni aperte tra filosofia e innovazione » (Ethics and animal experimentaiton in biomedicine : open issues between philosophy and innovation). Società Chimica Italiana (Italian Chemistry Society) Workshop « Etica e sperimentazioni scientifiche » (Ethics and clinical experimentaion) . University of Pisa (Italy).
  26. December 14, 2015. Invitedspeaker : «CRISPR/Cas9. The governance of gene editing». CRISPR/Cas9 : Opportunities and Challenges for Society. ETH Zurich (Switzerland).
  27. December 5, 2015. Selectedspeaker : «Topographies of clinical transaltion : making sense of biomedical landscapes» (with E. Aarden, D. Holloway and L. Marelli). Living in Technoscientific Worlds, International Conference. University of Vienna (Austria).
  28. December 3, 2015. Invitedspeaker : «Gene editing and the Bel Paese : Thoughts about CRISPR/Cas9 in Italy». Sharing science, sharing values : the challenge of diversity. Université Paul Sabatier, Toulouse (France).
  29. November 27, 2015. Invitedas discussant: «Aspects éthiques et philosophiques de la fragilité» (ethical and philosophical issues in frailty). Declined. National conference on Vieillissement et Fragilité (aging and frailty), Paris.
  30. September 7, 2015. Selectedposter: «Concerns about genome editing in the human germline» (with Mogens Thomsen and Anne Cambon-Thomsen). ByoSynSys 2015 Conference on Synthetic & Systems Biology. Université Paris Diderot (France).
  31. June 23-25, 2015. Selectedspeaker: «Clinical politics : new entanglements of life and power». International conference on Translation in Healthcare. University of Oxford (UK).
  32. June 23-25, 2015. Selectedspeaker : «Translation of stem cell therapies : between hope and uncertainty» (with E. Rial-Sebbag). International conference on Translation in Healthcare. University of Oxford (UK).
  33. March 19, 2015. Invitedspeaker : «Les thérapies cellulaires entre revendications sociales et politiques de l'espoir». Workshop of the French Society for Gene and Cellular Therapy, Paris (France),
  34. November 11, 2014. Invitedspeaker: «Global travels for stem cells: the politics of therapeutic consumerism». Global Life Sciences and Bionetworking: cell therapy production, provision and policies, International conference. University of Sussex – Brighton (UK). 
  35. November 6, 2014. Selectedspeaker: «Play at your own risk: new biomedicine and the socio-technical transformation of experimental risk». The anthropology of risk, limits and exposure, International workshop. University College London – UCL (UK). 
  36. July 24, 2014. Selectedspeaker: «Epistemic pluralism: prolegomenato a theory of science policy» (with Eric M. Meslin)International Political Science Association (IPSA) annual conference. Montreal (Quebec, Canada)..
  37. July 22, 2014. Selectedspeaker: «The politics of biomedical innovation: institutional instability and epistemic fragmentation» (with Emmanuelle Rial-Sebbag).International Political Science Association (IPSA) annual conference, Montreal (Quebec, Canada). 
  38. June 14, 2014. Selectedspeaker: «The translational turn and the ethics of clinical risk» (with Virginia Sanchini). European Business Ethics Network conference, Berlin (Germany). 
  39. April 4, 2014. Invitedspeaker: «Translational imaginaries: unproven stem cells and the politics of hope». Technological visions and re-visions, Workshop. Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge MA (USA).
  40. November 2013. Selectedspeaker: «Building Scenarios for Regulatory science and bioethics: the case of stem-cell medicine». UNSECO Chair in Bioethics 9thWorld Conference, Naples (Italy). 
  41. September 15-18, 2013. Selectedposter: Unproven Stem Cell Therapies: the Italian Job. ISSCR meeting: Stem Cells in Translation, Florence (Italy).
  42. March 9, 2013. Invitedspeaker. BBMRI-ESGI-SPEDIA workshop on quality standards for pre-analytical human samples, Berlin (Germany).
  43. October 17-20, 2012. Selectedspeaker: «Post-genomic cancer research: trajectories of convergence and innovation». Society for Social Studies of Science, 4S annual international meeting, Copenhagen (Denmark).
  44. June 25-27, 2012. Selectedspeaker: «Borders of validity: contesting epistemic and regulatory authority in stem cell innovation». Science and Democracy Network 11th annual meeting, IFRIS-CNAM, Paris (France). 
  45. August 2011. Selectedfor oral presentation: «The ethics of intramural cancer clinical trials». 25th annual meeting of the European Society for the Philosophy of Medicine and Healthcare.
  46. November 7, 2011. Invitedspeaker: «Stem cell transational medicine: between science and politics». IFERISS - Institut Fédératif d’Etudes et de Recherches Interdisciplinaires Santé Société – Toulouse (France).
  47. June 30 – July 2nd, 2011. Selectedspeaker: «Towards epistemic sovereignty: strategic planning and democratic oversight in the age of post-liberal science». Science and Democracy Network 10th annual meeting. Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge MA (USA).
  48. May 25-27, 2011. Selectedspeaker: «When consent is not control: minority groups and the use of stored tissue samples». 2ndStockholm Philosophy Graduate Conference, University of Stockholm (Sweden).
  49. April 2011 18-19. Selectedspeaker: «Stem cells in translation – self-governance and accountability in the quest for regenerative medicine». REMEDiE Conference in Bilbao (Spain).
  50. November 2010. Invitedspeaker: «A bioethical framework for transfusion medicine». University of Milan (Italy), School of medicine, Conference: Blood as a resource.
  51. September 6-11, 2010. Selectedspeaker: «Modeling cancer and the problem of disanalogy». First European Advanced Seminar in the Philosophy of the Life Sciences, Brocher Foundation, Geneva (Switzerland).
  52. April 13-15, 2010, Selectedspeaker: «Modelling diseases: the ontology and epistemology of model systems in molecular medicine». Progress in Medicine, international conference, Bristol University, Philosophy Department, Bristol, (UK).
  53. December 11-13, 2009. Selectedposter: «Reprogramming Potentiality: from bench-side to society». Reprogramming Cell Fate, International workshop, IFOM-IEO Campus Milan (Italy).
  54. October 21-24, 2009. Selectedspeaker: «Modelling diseases : the ontology and epistemology of model systems in molecular medicine». EPSA (European Philosophy of Science Association), annual International Conference, Amsterdam (The Netherlands).
  55. June 12-15, 2009. Selectedposter: «Prioritizing stem cells: the co-production of scientific success». ISSCR (International Society for Stem Cell Research) Annual Meeting, Barcelona (Spain).
  56. September 2-6, 2008, Selectedspeaker, Title: «Reprogramming Potentiality». First European Graduate Meeting in the Philosophy of Life Sciences, Gorino Sullam, Rovigo (Italy).
  57. Febuary 22, 2008. Invitedspeaker: «Ethical issues in GM crops and GM food». ResistVir Workshop on Transgenic plants in Europe: public acceptance and regulatory bottleneck, University of Vienna (Austria).







March 22, 2019                        Invited speaker: «Nuove tecniche di manipolazione del genoma: aspetti etici e regolativi» (ethical and regulatory aspects of genome editing). Liceo Lugano 1, Lugano, Switzerland.

January 22-23, 2018                 Presenter at ETH booth on human enhancement (with Simone Schürle), World Economic Forum, Davos (Switzerland).

September 26, 2017                 Invited discussant: «CRISPR: hacking the biological hard drive». SwissReCentre for Global Dialogue, Rüschlikon, Switzerland. 

November 7, 2016                   Invited speaker : «Health, data and the digital self : philosophy at the dawn of new medicine». Future Medicine TagesspiegelScience Match - Berlin Institute of Health, Berlin, Germany.

March 15, 2016                        Invited speaker : « Becoming partners: empowered participants in the development of personalized medicine». « P4 Medicine » 9th SwAPP(Swiss Association of Pharmaceutical Professionals) ExEx meeting, Bern, Switzerland.

May 3, 2010                             Invited discussant. Weibe E. Bijker’s Conference at Fondazione G. Bassetti, Milan, Italy. 



Organization of Academic Events




March 13, 2019                       International Workshop on Collective forms of scientific governance. ETH Zurich. Co-organizer.

December 12-13, 2019            International Workshop on Philosophy and Ethics of Aging. Padua (Italy). Co-organizer. 

January 27, 2017                      «Le Humanitiesin ambito biomedico : attualità e futuro». (biomedical humanities: present and future). Symposium organized by BIOM (Società Italiana di Storia, Filosofia e Studi Sociali della Biologia e della Medicina) – Pistoia (Italy). Co-organizer of the session on Science and Technology Studies of Biomedicine.  

December 1, 2016                   International symposium «Digital health: exploring ethics and policy», University of Zurich (Switzerland). Co-organizer.

September 3, 2016                   Co-organizer of the «Topography of clinical translation» track at 4S/EEAST annual meeting in Barcelona (Spain).

July 27, 2016                            Health Ethics and Policy Lab Summer seminar with Prof. Sheila Jasanoff (Harvard University). University of Zurich (Switzerland). 

May 11-12, 2016                      International workshop: «Stem cells in translation: the governance of clinical promise in regenerative medicine». Held at Centre de Recherches Politiques (Cevipof) – SciencesPo, Paris (France). 

June 25-27, 2015.                     Panel co-organizer (with E. Aarden, D. Holloway and L. Marelli): «The politics and ethics of translational medicine». Individual oral presentation: «Expanding access/remaking risk». Science & Democracy Network annual meeting. Harvard University (USA).

May 18-19, 2015                      International workshop: «Making sense of clinical translation: ethical, regulatory and policy challenges for Europe and the US». Held at Foundation Brocher, Geneva (Switzerland).  

October 1-3 2014                    European Science Foundation workshop: «Regulating stem cell-based regenerative medicine: new ethical challenges for Europe». Held at Université Paul Sabatier, Faculty of Medicine – Toulouse (France).

Other Academic Activities



·      ETH representative for IDEA LEAGUEworking group on ethics (2018-).

·      Grant reviewer for: European Science Foundation, European Science Foundation-FWO, Branco Weiss Foundation, Canadian Stem Cell Network Policy Review Committee

  • Peer reviewerfor: 
    • Big Data and Society
    • BMC Medical Ethics
    • BMJ Open
    • Body & Society
    • Cambridge University Press – Bioethics and Law series
    • Canadian Journal on Aging
    • Disputatio
    • Environmental Values 
    • European Data Protection Law Review
    • European Journal of Human Genetics
    • Frontiers in Oncology – Cancer Genetics
    • History and Philosophy of Science
    • Information, Communication and Society
    • Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 
    • Journal of Frailty and Aging
    • Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences
    • Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation
    • Medicine, Healthcare & Philosophy
    • Neuroethics
    • Notizie di Politeia
    • Regenerative Medicine
    • Science As Culture
    • Science, Technology & Human Values
    • Sciences Sociales et Santé
    • Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science (Part C)
    • Theoria


·      Member of the executive board of the journal Mefisto: Collana di Storia, Filosofia e Studi Sociali della Biologia e della Medicina (ETS, Italy)

·      Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Insitute – University of Zurich: in charge of organizing the departmental seminars (2015-2017).

·      Member of editorial board: Journal of Frailty and Aging.

·      Collaborator of the Bassetti Foundation for Responsible Innovation – Milan. http://www.fondazionebassetti.org/  

·      Contributor to http://www.scienzainrete.it/

·      Contributor to http://scienzaedemocrazia.blogspot.com/

·      Contributor to “The Bill of Health” blog – Harvard Law School.



Expert Advice



  • Nominatedmember of the Data and Society Governance Adivsory Group, EUCAN-connect platform (funded by the European Commission, H2020 824989). 
  • Nominatedmember of the Ethics Advisory Board for FAIRplus IMI project(Innovative Medicines Initiative by European Commission and European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations – EFPIA) on data sharing (2019-2024).
  • NominatedFellowof the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Longevity and Human Enhancement. (2018-19)
  • European Parliament, Science and Technology Option Assessment (STOA), Report on “The impact of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on scientific research” Co-author (2018-19).

·      Nominatedmember of Advisory Boardfor MOVECAREH2020project on robotic health assistance (2018-).

·      Member of Councilat Fondazione Sasso Corbaro for Medical Humanities and Clinical Ethics in Bellinzona, Switzerland (2018-).

·      Invited expertto OECDExpert Meeting on “Gene Editing for Advanced Therapies” (Berlin 6-7 July, 2017).

·      Expert policy advisorto Office Parlementaire d'Évaluation des Choix Scientifiques et Technologiques(OPECST – Assemblée Nationale, France): report on the regulatory landscape for the use of gene editing in China (March 2017). 

·      Advisor and consultant for Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences – ELSI advisory group for the Swiss Personalized Health Network (SPHN). Background research and expert advice on ethics and policy frameworks development. Themes: data sharing, ethical guidelines, return of research findings policies (December 2016 – present).

·      Independent Ethics Advisorof the HSCFORLSDBRAINERC Consolidator Grant(2014-2020). Member of expert network at Executive Insight AG (healthcare consulting).

  • Nominatedmember of the Expert Group on Genome Editing of the Société Française de Génétique Humaine.







Italian (native); English (excellent); French (very good); German (basic, currently enrolled in  a course of ETH/UZH Sprachenzentrum).







Anne Cambon-Thomsen – CNRS – France: anne.cambon-thomsen@univ-tlse3.fr

Emmanuelle Rial-Sebbag – INSERM – France: emmanuelle.rial@univ-tlse3.fr

Eric Meslin – Council of Canadian Academies – Canada: eric.meslin@scienceadvice.ca

Sheila Jasanoff – Harvard University – USA: sheila_jasanoff@harvard.edu

Pier Paolo Di Fiore – Universityof Milan – Italy: pierpaolo.difiore@ieo.eu

Andrew Webster – University of York – UK: andrew.webster@york.ac.uk

Matteo Cesari – University of Milan – Italy: matteo.cesari@unimi.it




Community Service



From 2003 to 2006      Volunteer for CARITAS in Rome, Italy.








Work email:                 alessandro.blasimme@hest.ethz.ch

Personal email:             alessandro.blasimme@gmail.com                    

Mobile:                        +39 340 7114474         

Skype name:                alessandroblasimme

Twitter:                        @a_blasimme


Date of birth:               31stAugust, 1976



Year Distinction
2013 Fulbright-Schuman fellowship (Harvard University)

Course Catalogue

Autumn Semester 2022

Number Unit
376-1661-00L Ethics of Life Sciences and Biotechnology
551-1299-00L Bioinformatics
851-0745-00L Ethics Workshop: The Impact of Digital Life on Society
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