Effy Vayena: Catalogue data in Autumn Semester 2021

Name Prof. Dr. Effy Vayena
Dep. Gesundheitswiss. und Technol.
ETH Zürich, HOA H 12
Hottingerstrasse 10
8092 Zürich
Telephone+41 44 632 83 01
DepartmentHealth Sciences and Technology
RelationshipFull Professor

376-0303-00LColloquium in Translational Science (Autumn Semester)1 credit1KM. Ristow, A. Alimonti, N. Cesarovic, C. Ewald, V. Falk, J. Goldhahn, K. Maniura, R. M. Rossi, S. Schürle-Finke, G. Shivashankar, E. Vayena, V. Vogel
AbstractCurrent topics in translational medicine presented by speakers from academia and industry.
ObjectiveGetting insight into actual areas and problems of translational medicine.
ContentTimely and concise presentations of postgraduate students, post-docs, senior scientists, professors, as well as external guests from both academics and industry will present topics of their interest related to translational medicine.
Prerequisites / NoticeNo compulsory prerequisites, but student should have basic knowledge about biomedical research.
376-1661-00LEthics of Life Sciences and Biotechnology Restricted registration - show details 3 credits2VA. Blasimme, E. Vayena
AbstractThis semester course enables students to recognize, anticipate and address ethical issues in the domain of health sciences and their technological application. The students will acquire the necessary theoretical and analytic resources to develop critical thinking skills in the field of applied ethics and will practice how to use such resources to address concrete ethical issues in health sciences
ObjectiveThis course is tailored to students who want to become familiar with the analysis of ethical issues in all the different domains of life sciences and biotechnology. The course aims at equipping students with the necessary knowledge and analytic skills to understand, discuss and address the ethical aspects of science and technology in the domain of human health. The specific learning objectives of this course are:

A. Identify ethical issues in in life sciences and biotechnology.
B. Analyze and critically discuss ethical issues in life sciences and biotechnology.
C. Become aware of relevant legal and public policy frameworks.
D. Distinguish different ethical approaches and argumentative strategies in applied ethics.
E. Recognize how ethical issues relate to different accounts of technology and innovation.
F. Develop a personal and critical attitude towards the ethical aspects of life sciences and their technological application.
G. Autonomously anticipate ethical issues.
H. Propose and communicate solutions to ethical challenges and dilemmas.
ContentThe course starts off with an introductory lecture on ethics as a discipline and an overview of the most relevant approaches in the domain of applied ethics. The students will also be introduced to current theoretical accounts of technology and will start to appreciate the relevance of ethics especially with respect to new and emerging technologies. Usable analytic tools will also be provided, thus enabling the students to engage with the discipline in a practical way from the very onset of the semester.
The course will continue with thematic sessions covering a broad variety of topics all of which are relevant to the different study tracks offered by the department. In particular, the course will cover the following domains: digital health technologies and medical AI; food, nutrition and healthy longevity; biomedical engineering; genetics; neuroscience and Neurotechnologies; medical robotics; disability and rehabilitation; environmental ethics. The course will also include sessions on cross-cutting ethically relevant aspects of health sciences and technologies, namely: access to innovation, translational research, and the relation between science and public policy.
All the topics of the course will be illustrated and interactively discussed through many case studies, offering the students the opportunity to prepare and present them, and to use them in individual as well as group exercises. Throughout the course, the students will have multiple opportunities to experiment with ethical argumentation and to practice their evolving skills.
551-1299-00LIntroduction to Bioinformatics Restricted registration - show details 6 credits4GS. Sunagawa, M. Gstaiger, A. Kahles, G. Rätsch, B. Snijder, E. Vayena, C. von Mering, N. Zamboni
AbstractThis course introduces principle concepts, the state-of-the-art and methods used in some major fields of Bioinformatics. Topics include: genomics, metagenomics, network bioinformatics, and imaging. Lectures are accompanied by practical exercises that involve the use of common bioinformatic methods and basic programming.
ObjectiveThe course will provide students with theoretical background in the area of genomics, metagenomics, network bioinformatics and imaging. In addition, students will acquire basic skills in applying modern methods that are used in these sub-disciplines of Bioinformatics. Students will be able to access and analyse DNA sequence information, construct and interpret networks that emerge though interactions of e.g. genes/proteins, and extract information based on computer-assisted image data analysis. Students will also be able to assess the ethical implications of access to and generation of new and large amounts of information as they relate to the identifiability of a person and the ownership of data.
Case studies to learn about applying ethical principles in human genomics research

Genetic variant calling
Analysis and critical evaluation of genome wide association studies

Reconstruction of microbial genomes
Microbial community compositional analysis
Quantitative metagenomics

Network bioinformatics:
Inference of molecular networks
Use of networks for interpretation of (gen)omics data

High throughput single cell imaging
Image segmentation
Automatic analysis of drug effects on single cell suspension (chemotyping)
Prerequisites / NoticeCourse participants have already acquired basic programming skills in Python and R.

Students will bring and work on their own laptop computers, preferentially running the latest versions of Windows or MacOSX.
851-0745-00LEthics Workshop: The Impact of Digital Life on Society Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 40.

Open to all Master level / PhD students.
2 credits2SE. Vayena, A. Blasimme, C. Brall, C. Landers, J. Sleigh
AbstractThis workshop focuses on understanding and managing the ethical and social issues arising from the integration of new technologies in various aspects of daily life.
ObjectiveExplain relevant concepts in ethics.
Evaluate the ethical dimensions of new technology uses.
Identify impacted stakeholders and who is ethically responsible.
Engage constructively in the public discourse relating to new technology impacts.
Review tools and resources currently available that facilitate resolutions and ethical practice
Work in a more ethically reflective way
ContentThe workshop offers students an experience that trains their ability for critical analysis and develops awareness of responsibilities as a researcher, consumer and citizen. Learning will occur in the context of three intensive workshop days, which are highly interactive and focus on the development and application of reasoning skills.

The workshop will begin with some fundamentals: the nature of ethics, of consent and big data, of AI ethics, public trust and health ethics. Students will then be introduced to key ethical concepts such as fairness, autonomy, trust, accountability, justice, as well different ways of reasoning about the ethics of digital technologies.

A range of practical problems and issues in the domains of education, news media, society, social media, digital health and justice will be then considered. These six domains are represented respectively by unique and interesting case studies. Each case study has been selected not only for its timely and engaging nature, but also for its relevance. Through the analysis of these case studies key ethical questions (such as fairness, accountability, explain-ability, access etc.) will be highlighted and questions of responsibility and tools for ethical practice will be explored. Throughout, the emphasis will be on learning to make sound arguments about the ethical aspects of policy, practice and research.