Our Team


Our interdisciplinary team brings together diverse perspectives to advance Medical Knowledge and Decision Support.


Janna Hastings, Assistant Professor 

Janna was born in Cape Town, South Africa where she completed her undergraduate studies in Mathematics and Computer Science. Thereafter, she moved to Cambridge, UK to join the Cheminformatics and Metabolism group at the European Bioinformatics Institute (2006-2015) where she led the development of the ChEBI molecular ontology and metabolism knowledgebase. She completed part-time Master’s degrees in Computer Science (University of South Africa, 2011) and Philosophy (Open University, 2012). She obtained her PhD in Computational Biology from the University of Cambridge (2015-2019), where she studied the role of metabolism in healthy ageing using multi-omics data and a time-series modelling approach. 

She completed postdoctoral studies at the Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg (2019-2022) working at the intersection between knowledge-based systems and artificial intelligence, at the EPFL (2020-2022) in neurodegenerative disease bioinformatics, and with the Human Behaviour-Change Project at University College London (2017-2022) where she helped to create an artificial intelligence-driven knowledge system for evidence about human behavior change to support decision-making, policy and practice.

Since August 2022 she is Assistant Professor of Medical Knowledge and Decision Support at the Institute for Implementation Science in Health Care, Faculty of Medicine, University of Zurich, and Vice-Director of the School of Medicine at the University of St. Gallen. The focus of her research is on digitalization in the clinic and how new digital technologies can be harnessed to accelerate biomedical discovery and improve the working lives of clinicians.


Paula Muhr, Postdoctoral Researcher

Paula studied physics, theory of literature, and visual arts in Novi Sad, Belgrade, and Leipzig. She holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Fine Arts from the University of Fine Arts in Leipzig (2009) and is a practising visual artist. She obtained her PhD in Art and Visual History from Humboldt University Berlin (2021), where she investigated active functions that diverse types of images played in generating medical knowledge of hysteria/functional neurological disorder from the late 19th to early 21st century. 

She was a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for History of Art and Architecture, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (2022-2023), where she worked on the DFG project “Browser Art” and conducted her own research into the algorithmic reconstruction of images from sparse data in neuroimaging and black hole imaging. 

Paula is an active member of the History Philosophy and Culture (HPC) Working Group of the Next Generation Event Horizon Telescope (ngEHT) Collaboration and, since January 2024, a visiting researcher at the Department for Social Studies of Science and Technology at the Technical University Berlin.

Since February 2024, Paula is a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for Implementation Science in Health Care at the Medical Faculty of the University of Zurich in the Sinergia project “VascX”. Her research focus is on examining knowledge-producing functions of new imaging and visualisation technologies in natural sciences, from neuroscience over medicine to physics.


Marie Wosny, PhD Student and Research Assistant

Marie studied biology at the Heinrich-Heine-University in Düsseldorf and at the Michigan State University from 2014-2018. Afterwards, Marie completed her Master’s degree in Molecular Biosciences with a major in Tumor Biology at the University of Heidelberg in cooperation with the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ). During her studies, Marie could gain various experiences abroad as well as in the pharmaceutical industry.

From 2021-2023, Marie worked as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company in Zurich. 

Since January 2023, Marie is a PhD student in Management at the Chair of Medical Knowledge and Decision Support at the University of St. Gallen (HSG), as well as at the Institute for Implementation Science in Health Care (IfIS) at the Medical Faculty of the University of Zurich. Marie is investigating future changes in access to medical information and the impact of increasing digitalization on physicians’ working lives, including their workflows, professional identities, their relationships with each other and with their patients. Moreover, she explores the decision-making process for cancer treatments, specifically treatment planning for prostate cancer.


Esther Federspiel, External PhD Student

Esther pursued her academic studies in Health Psychology at the University of Zurich from 2001 to 2007. Following her academic pursuits, Esther has been involved in various roles within the fields of research and practice, with a specific focus on Behavior Change. She implemented these methodologies in both practical and research settings, addressing areas such as Energy Conservation, Customer Engagement, Ecologically Sustainable Behavior, Employee Engagement, and Health Behavior.

Since 2012, she has been working as a researcher and lecturer. Initially at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, and since 2017 at Eastern Switzerland University of Applied Sciences. There, she was engaged in innovation development for six years. Currently, she teaches at the intersection of computer science and psychology in the field of Digital Health.

Starting February 2024, Esther has taken on the role of an external Ph.D. candidate in the DOK program at the School of Medicine, specifically at the Chair of Medical Knowledge and Decision Support at the University of St. Gallen (HSG). Her doctoral research focuses on exploring the potential for personalization within digital behavior support interventions within the realm of women’s metabolic health. Her research also investigates the feasibility of integrating digital support mechanisms with medical counseling services.


Björn Gehrke, Semantic Technologist

Björn pursued his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science at Otto-von-Guericke University in Magdeburg from 2018 to 2022. Currently, he is continuing his studies in Computer Science at the master’s level at the same university.

From 2016 to 2020, Björn worked as a software developer. 

Since October 2023, Björn has been employed as a Semantic Technologist at the Institute for Implementation Science in Health Care at the University of Zurich. There, he is focused on facilitating the development and management of ontologies.


Livia Strasser, Student Research Assistant

Livia completed her bachelor’s in medicine at the University of Zurich from 2019-2022. She is continuing her studies within the Joint Medical Master at the University of St.Gallen until the end of 2025. Through her work at the Chair, Livia will gain new perspectives on her future career as a physician and will bring her young experience in clinical medicine to her work at the university.

Since February 2023, Livia is a student assistant at the Chair of Medical Knowledge and Decision Support at the University of St. Gallen (HSG). Her work focuses on selected projects in research and teaching. Together with the team she is studying the impact of digital systems in the medical working environment and implementing ideas for the education of medical students in St.Gallen.


Joshua Sammet, Student Research Assistant

Joshua finished his bachelor’s in computational science & engineering at the ETH Zurich from 2017-2021. Since then, he is continuing his studies with a Master in Biomedical Engineering at the same university, where he focused on the usage of machine learning onto medical research questions.

Between 2021 and 2023, he worked as a research assistant at the Child- and Adolescent Research Department of the Psychiatric University Hospitals Basel analysing medical images to understand the neurobiology of psychiatric diseases.

Since joining the team in December 2023, Joshua supports the team with the programming tasks and code testing on selected research projects