Dr. Bettina Zimmermann

Research associate

Dr. Bettina Zimmermann is a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for History and Ethics of Medicine at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and also a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Bio- and Medical Ethics (IBMB) at the University of Basel (Switzerland). She completed her dissertation in 2020 on "Informed Decision Making for Genetic Testing: Public discourse and individual choice" summa cum laude at the University of Basel. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Media and Communication Sciences (Université de Fribourg, Switzerland) as well as a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences (Université de Fribourg, Switzerland) and a Master of Science in Molecular Medicine (Uppsala University, Sweden).

Her research activities relate to the empirical ethics of public health, incorporating public media discourses and social science approaches.

At TUM, she is working as a research associate on the "TherVacB" project, investigating the ethical challenges associated with recruitment for clinical trials via social media.

Bettina Zimmermann has already received several research grants for young researchers and successfully completed research projects under her own leadership. For example, she received the Käthe-Zingg Schwichtenberg Fund of the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences in 2019 and the Research Fund for Young Investigators of the University of Basel in 2020.

  • Genetic testing, autonomy, and public health.
  • Public discourses and the public health
  • Cost coverage for expensive drugs for rare diseases
  • Solidarity in times of a pandemic
  • Study recruitment via social media
Paul, KT*; Zimmermann, Bettina*; Corsico, P; Fiske, Amelia; S, Geiger; Johnson, S; et al, ; (2022) Anticipating hopes, fears and expectations toward COVID-19 vaccines: a qualitative interview study in seven European countries, SSM - Qualitative Research in Health, 100035, 10.1016/j.ssmqr.2021.100035.
Zimmermann, Bettina; Willem, Theresa; Bredthauer, CJ; Buyx, Alena; (2022) Ethical Issues in Social Media Recruitment for Clinical Studies: Ethical Analysis and Framework, Journal of Medical Internet Research, 24, 5, e31231, 10.2196/31231.
Johnson, SB; Lucivero, F; Zimmermann, Bettina; Stendahl, E; G, Samuel; Philips, A; Hangel, Nora; (2022) Ethical Reasoning During a Pandemic: Results of a Five Country European Study, AJOB Empirical Bioethics, 13, 2, 67-78, https://doi.org/10.1080/23294515.2022.2040645
Fiske, Amelia; Schönweitz, Franziska; Eichinger, Johanna; Zimmermann, Bettina; Nora, Hangel; Sierawska, Anna; McLennan, Stuart; Buyx, Alena; (2022) The COVID-19 Vaccine: Trust, doubt, and hope for a future beyond the pandemic in Germany, Plos One, 17, 4, e0266659, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0266659
Fiske, Amelia; Galasso, Ilaria; Zimmermann, Bettina; McLennan, Stuart; Isabella, Radhuber; Prainsack, Barbara; (2022) The Second Pandemic: Examining structural inequality through reverberations of COVID-19 in Europe, Social Science and Medicine, 292, 114634.
Schönweitz, Franziska; Eichinger, Johanna; Kuiper, JM; Ongolly, F; W, Spahl; Prainsack, Barbara; Zimmermann, Bettina; (2022) The Social Meanings of Artefacts: Face Masks in the COVID-19 Pandemic, Frontiers in Public Health, 10.3389/fpubh.2022.829904.
Zimmermann, Bettina; Fiske, Amelia; Prainsack, Barbara; Hangel, Nora; Stuart, McLennan; Buyx, Alena; (2021) Early Perceptions of COVID-19 Contact Tracing Apps in German-Speaking Countries: Comparative Mixed Methods Study, Journal of Medical Internet Research, 23, 2, e25525, https://doi.org/10.2196/25525
Zimmermann, Bettina; Eichinger, Johanna; Schönweitz, Franziska; Buyx, Alena; (2021) Face mask uptake in the absence of mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic: a qualitative interview study with Swiss residents, BMC Public Health, 21(1), 1-10. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-021-12215-4, 21, 2171, https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-021-12215-4
Zimmermann, Bettina; Fiske, Amelia; McLennan, Stuart; Sierawska, Anna; Nora, Hangel; Buyx, Alena; (2021) Motivations and Limits for COVID-19 Policy Compliance in Germany and Switzerland , International Journal of Health Policy and Management, 10.34172/ijhpm.2021.30.
Zimmermann, Bettina; Shaw, DM; Elger, B; Koné, I; (2021) The use of heuristics in genetic testing decision-making: a qualitative interview study, PLoS One, 16, 11, e0260597, 10.1371/journal.pone.0260597.
Zimmermann, Bettina; Eichinger, Johanna; Baumgartner, MR; (2021) A systematic review of moral reasons on orphan drug reimbursement , Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases, 16, 1, 292, 10.1186/s13023-021-01925-y.
Lucivero, F; Marelli, L; Hangel, Nora; Zimmermann, Bettina; B, Prainsack; Galasso, I; et al, ; (2021) Normative positions towards COVID-19 contact-tracing apps: findings from a large-scale qualitative study in nine European countries, Critical Public Health, 32, 1, 1-14, 10.1080/09581596.2021.1925634
Zimmermann, Bettina; Fiske, Amelia; Prainsack, B; Hangel, Nora; Stuart, McLennan; Buyx, Alena; (2021) The Conceptualization of COVID-19 Contact Tracing Apps in German-speaking Countries in April 2020: A Comparative Mixed Methods Study, Journal of Medical Internet Research, 23, 2, e25525.
Zimmermann, Bettina; Koné, I; Shaw, D; Elger, B; (2020) Autonomy and social influence in predictive genetic testing decision-making: a qualitative interview study, Bioethics, 35, 2, 199-206, 10.1111/bioe.12816.
Kollbrunner, L; Rost, M; Koné, I; Zimmermann, Bettina; Y, Padrutt; Wangmo, T; Elger, B; (2020) Acute and transitional care or rehabilitation? Retrospective analysis of discharge planning from a municipal hospital in Switzerland, BMC Health Services Research, 20, 1, 1-8, 10.1186/s12913-020-05547-1.
Zimmermann, Bettina; Shaw, D; Heinimann, K; Knabben, L; B, Elger; Koné, I; (2020) How the "control-fate continuum" helps explain the genetic testing decision-making process: a grounded theory study, European Journal of Human Genetics, 28, 8, 1010-1019, 10.1038/s41431-020-0602-3.
Zimmermann, Bettina; Starke, G; Shaw, D; Elger, B; I, Koné; (2020) Actionability and scope should determine the extent of counselling for presymptomatic genetic testing , Swiss Medical Weekly, 150, w20274, 10.4414/smw.2020.20274.
Zimmermann, Bettina; Shaw, D; Heinimann, K; Knabben, L; B, Elger; Koné, I; (2020) How the control-fate continuum helps explain the genetic testing decision-making process: " a grounded theory study, European Journal of Human Genetics, 28, 8, 1010-1019, 10.1038/s41431-020-0602-3.
Zimmermann, Bettina; Fanderl, J; Koné, I; Rabaglio, M; N, Bürki; Shaw, D; Elger, B; (2020) Examining information-seeking behavior in genetic testing for cancer predisposition A qualitative interview study, Patient Education and Counseling, 104, 2, 257-264, 10.1016/j.pec.2020.09.019.
Zimmermann, Bettina; Kolb, S; Zimmermann, F; Elger, B; D, Shaw; (2019) Influence of content, events and culture on the public discourse about medical genetics in Switzerland a quantitative media content analysis, Communication & Medicine, 16, 1, 92-106, 10.1558/cam.34832.
Zimmermann, Bettina; Elger, B; Shaw, D; (2019) Media coverage of ethical issues in predictive genetic testing: a qualitative analysis, AJOB Empirical Bioethics, 10, 4, 250-264, 10.1080/23294515.2019.1670275
Zimmermann, Bettina; Aebi, N; Kolb, S; Shaw, D; BS, Elger; (2019) Content, evaluations and influences in newspaper coverage of predictive genetic testing: A comparative media content analysis from the United Kingdom and Switzerland, Public understanding of science, 28, 3, 256-74, 10.1177/0963662518816014
Zimmermann, Bettina; Koné, I; Rost, M; Leu, A; T, Wangmo; Elger, BS; (2019) Factors associated with post-acute discharge location after hospital stay: a cross-sectional study from a Swiss hospital, BMC Health Services Research, 19, 1, 289, https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-019-4101-6
Koné, I; Zimmermann, Bettina; Nordström, K; Elger, BS; T, Wangmo; (2018) A scoping review of empirical evidence on the impacts of the DRG introduction in Germany and Switzerland , The International journal of health planning and management, 34, 1, 56-70, 10.1002/hpm.2669.
Koné, I; Zimmermann, Bettina; Wangmo, T; Richner, S; M, Weber; Elger, B; (2018) Hospital discharge of patients with ongoing care needs: The current situation using data from a city hospital under SwissDRG, Swiss Medical Weekly, 148, w14575, 10.4414/smw.2018.14575
Farnsworth, B; Radomska, KJ; Zimmermann, Bettina; Kettunen, P; E, Jazin; Emilsson, LS; (2017) mRNA levels are upregulated in schizophrenia and predict expression , Brain Research, 1669, 63-68, 10.1016/j.brainres.2017.05.027.
Farnsworth, B; Peuckert, C; Zimmermann, Bettina; Jazin, E; P, Kettunen; Emilsson, LS; (2016) Gene Expression of Quaking in Sporadic Alzheimer's Disease Patients is Both Upregulated and Related to Expression Levels of Genes Involved in Amyloid Plaque and Neurofibrillary Tangle Formation , Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 53, 1, 209-219, 10.3233/JAD-160160.
  • Digital Literacy, Medical Ethics Module