Ernst Hafen, PhD, is a Professor of Systems Genetics at ETH Zurich and former President of ETH. In addition to 26 years of academic research, he has founded and advised several biotechnology companies.
He endeavors to assist scientific discovery and its efficient translation into products that help society and the economy. As a trained geneticist, Ernst Hafen has a strong interest in human genetics and personalized medicine. He posits that an individual’s control over his or her personal health data will be a key asset for better and more effective health care.
In 2012 he acted as a founding member of the Association “Data and Health” (Daten und Gesundheit) whose aim it is to discuss legal, ethical and societal issues about health data ownership and to find commercial models permitting owners, not third parties, to benefit from their personal data assets.