Prof. Heike A. Bischoff-Ferrari, MD, DrPH

Principal Investigator and Coordinator of DO-HEALTH


Prof. Bischoff-Ferrari designed DO-HEALTH with input by the partners and advisors/collaborators to DO-HEALTH. Her team at the University of Zurich is responsible for the preparation, coordination and eventually analysis of the DO-HEALTH study. Prof. Heike Bischoff-Ferrari is an MD and clinical researcher with specialty board certifications in Geriatrics, General Internal Medicine, and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. After her clinical training at the University of Basel, and a fellowship at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, she was faculty at Harvard Medical School from 2002 till 2005. In 2002 she received a Master of Public Health Degree in Clinical Effectiveness from Harvard School of Public Health. From 2002 to 2008, she trained in nutritional epidemiology with Prof. Walter Willett and received a Doctor of Public Health Degree from Harvard School of Public Health in 2008. Upon her return to Switzerland, she also received a Swiss National Foundations Professorship and became the director of the Centre on Aging and Mobility at the University of Zurich in 2008. In 2013, she was appointed by the University of Zurich as the first Chair of Geriatrics and Aging Research and Director of the Geriatric Clinic at the University Hospital in Zurich. Prof. Bischoff-Ferrari’s research focus is extending healthy life expectancy among the senior population with a focus on muscle function, falls, fractures, and osteoarthritis. Prof. Bischoff-Ferrari published 64 original publication and 45 reviews/letters/editorials and 13 book chapters with a total impact factor of 588.

Prof. Bischoff-Ferrari built the Centre on Aging and Mobility at the University of Zurich together with Dr. Daniel Grob, Chief of Acute Geriatric Care at the City Hospital Waid in Zurich, supported by an effective Board of Directors and experienced Team of Scientific Advisors ( . The Centre is located at the Waid City Hospital in Zurich, includes 24 staff members, and is equipped with an Xtreme CT device for bone quality assessment, IDEXA for muscle mass and bone density assessment, and various technologies for the evaluation of cognitive, physical and multi-organ functionality at older age.

Prof. Bischoff-Ferrari is the PI of the DO-HEALTH feasibility trials (recruitment and visit load) and the 3 DO-HEALTH pilot trials1-3 set up with collaborators at Harvard School of Public Health (Prof. Walter C. Willett), Tufts University (Prof. Bess Dawson-Hughes), the Triemli City Hospital Zurich (Prof. Robert Theiler developed the DO-HEALTH exercise program) and the University of Basel (Prof. Hannes B. Stähelin), who are key advisors and collaborators to DO-HEALTH. DO-HEALTH was designed as a complementary trial to the VITAL led by Prof. JoAnn Manson (Harvard Medical School), who is an advisor to DO-HEALTH.

1. Bischoff-Ferrari HA, Orav EJ, Willett WC, et al. A pooled analysis of vitamin D dose requirements for fracture prevention. New England Journal of Medicine;  July 5th 2012. 2012.

2. Bischoff-Ferrari HA, Dawson-Hughes B, Platz A, et al. Effect of high-dosage cholecalciferol and extended physiotherapy on complications after hip fracture: a randomized controlled trial. Arch Intern Med. 2010;170(9):813-20.

3. Bischoff-Ferrari HA, Shao A, Dawson-Hughes B, et al. Benefit-risk assessment of vitamin D supplementation. Osteoporos Int. 2010;21(7):1121-32.



Prof. Dr. med. Heike A. Bischoff-Ferrari, DrPH
Chair, Dept. of Geriatrics and Aging Research, University of Zurich
Director, Geriatric Clinic, University Hospital Zurich
Director, Centre on Aging and Mobility,
University Hospital Zurich and City Hospital Waid
Coordinator DO-HEALTH

Geriatric Clinic, University Hospital Zurich
RAE B, Rämistrasse 100
8091 Zürich
Tel: 044-255 27 57