Faculty & Staff

Prof Doris Schopper


Prof Doris Schopper

Doris Schopper is Professor at the medical faculty of the University of Geneva and Director of CERAH since July 2011. She obtained a medical degree at the University of Geneva (1978), trained as a specialist in Internal Medicine (1986) and completed a Doctor in Public Health at the Harvard School of Public Health (1992).Between 1982 and 1990 Doris Schopper spent several years with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in the field. She was president of the Swiss branch of MSF (1991–1998) and twice president of the MSF International Council during this period. In 2001 Doris Schopper was asked to constitute an Ethics Review Board for MSF International. Since then she has chaired the Board coordinating the ethical review of MSF research proposals and providing advice on ethical matters to the organisation.

Doris Schopper also worked as health policy adviser in the Global Programme on AIDS at WHO headquarters in Geneva (1992-95). Further international work includes two years as senior health policy adviser at the Swiss Tropical Institute and developing several policies and strategies for WHO (e.g. guideline for policy makers on national policies for violence and injury prevention; strategy for mother-to-child transmission of HIV in Europe; WHO-wide strategy on child and adolescent health). Professor Schopper has also been responsible for the development of health policies and strategies at the national and regional level in Switzerland (e.g. Swiss National Cancer Control Programme 2005-2010; framework to prevent obesity at the national level; comprehensive health policy for the canton of Geneva).

In November 2012, Doris Schopper was appointed member of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).


  • Director
  • Member of the Scientific Committees of the CAS
  • Coordinator - Chronic Diseases and the Humanitarian Response 


  • Public health in humanitarian contexts
  • Development and analysis of health policy
  • Research ethics in humanitarian contexts
  • Ethics of humanitarian medical intervention
  • HIV-Aids, Cancer


  • Research Ethics Governance in Times of Ebola. Doris Schopper, Raffaella Ravinetto, Lisa Schwartz, Eunice Kamaara, Sunita Sheel, Michael J. Segelid, Aasim Ahmad, Angus Dawson, Jerome Singh, Amar Jesani, Ross Upshur. Public Health Ethics, 2016; doi: 10.1093/phe/phw039
  • Sheather J, Jobanputra K, Schopper D, Pringle J, Venis S, Wong S, Vincent-Smith R. A Médecins Sans Frontières ethics framework for humanitarian innovation. PLoSMed, 2016, 13(9): e1002111.doi:10.1371/ journal.pmed.1002111
  • Schopper D. "Responding to the needs of survivors of sexual violence: do we know what works?" International review of the Red Cross 10.1017/S1816383114000460, 2015.
  • Schopper D, Dawson A, Upshur R, Ahmad A, Jesani A, Ravinetto R, Selgelid MJ, Singh JA, Sheel S. Innovations in research ethics governance in humanitarian settings. BMC Medical Ethics 2015, 16:10  doi:10.1186/s12910-015-0002-3
  • Schopper D. Research Ethics Governance in Disaster Situations. Chapter 12. In: Disaster Bioethics: Normative Issues When Nothing is Normal. Ed O’Mathúna DP, Gordijn B, Clarke M. Public Health Ethics Analysis, Volume 2, Springer, January 2014
  • Schopper D., Upshur R, Matthys F, Singh JA, Sheel Bandewar S, Ahmad A, van Dongen E. Research Ethics Review in Humanitarian Contexts: the Experience of the Ethics Review Board of Médecins Sans Frontières. PLoS Medicine, 28 July 2009.
  • Schopper D., Healthy Body Weight among Children and Adolescents. What are the lessons learnt since 2005? State-of-the-art report, Promotion Santé Suisse, Bern, 2010.
  • Schopper D., de Wolf C. How effective are breast cancer screening programmes by mammography? Review of the current evidence. EJC 2009;45:1916-1923. Schopper D, Lormand JD, Waxweiler R (eds). Developing policies to prevent injuries and violence: guidelines for policy-makers and planners. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2006.
  • Schopper D., de Wolf C. Breast cancer screening by mammography: international evidence and the situation in Switzerland. Swiss Cancer League and Oncosuisse, Bern. June 2007.


"I would like to express my gratitude to our students. They bring a wealth of experience and expertise to CERAH and come with an open and curious mind. They challenge us to think harder and are a perfect representation of the diversity and complexity of the current humanitarian world - complexity that calls for ever more co-operation and co-creation, two ubiquitous concepts in CERAH education and research."

Testimonial collected in July 2016