Effy Vayena

Professor of Bioethics at the Health Ethics and Policy Lab, ETH Zürich

Speaker Themes

  • AI, data and the metaverse through the lens of healthtech
  • Ethical implications of precision health
  • Ethical oversight of big data
  • Policy initiatives in healthcare
  • Public participation in healthcare
  • Genomics & biotech

Travels from

Zürich, Switzerland


Professor Effy Vayena leads an interdisciplinary team at the Health Ethics and Policy Lab at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, where she focuses on ethical and policy challenges in precision medicine and digital health.

Her research centres around the medical applications of big data, that is, the exceptionally large and wide-reaching datasets currently available to healthcare officials and governments. Her talks cover the ethical implications of using such data, including concerns over privacy, consent, accountability, and the development of an involved, data-literate public.

Effy co-chaired the World Health Organisation’s expert group on the Ethics and Governance of AI for Health. The group was tasked with developing guidance and recommendations  for Health AI. Published in 2021, it’s the first such global guidance in the space of health.

Effy served in the Swiss Science Task Force for COVID-19. She has also been an advisor board member for the World Economic Forum’s Global Risk Report.

Effy Vayena studied Medical History and Bioethics at the University of Minnesota before completing her habilitation in Bioethics and Health Policy at the University of Zürich. She spent several years working for the WHO, for whom she continues to act as a consultant.

She was awarded a professorship by the Swiss National Science Foundation for her work on the ethics of personalised medicine. She is a visiting faculty member of the Harvard Centre for Bioethics at the Harvard Medical School, a faculty associate at the Berkman Klein Centre for Internet and Society at Harvard University, and has presented talks to a worldwide audience of academic institutions and world governments.

For more information on Effy Vayena’s speaking topics, contact leo@vbqspeakers.com.


Whilst developments in precision medicine and digital health promise a new age in healthcare, they also raise profound ethical and economic questions. Effy’s talks use innovative, multidisciplinary thinking about bioethics to suggest concrete policy recommendations for an age of data-driven, personalised medicine. More broadly, she can use the lens of healthtech to examine AI, data and the metaverse. Her insights are essential for organisations looking to understand the possibilities and potential pitfalls of such new technologies. 

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