The first session of the Steering Board of the UNESCO Office for Bioethics in Bosnia and Herzegovina was held at the International University of Sarajevo on April 10, 2015. (https://news.ius.edu.ba/news/first-session-board-unesco-office-bioethics-bih).

Prof. Dr. Sabina Semiz has been appointed as the Head of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Unit of the UNESCO Chair in Bioethics. She is a member of the Management Committee for the COST action titled “Citizen's Health through public-private Initiatives: Public health, Market and Ethical perspectives”. In order to ensure benefits of personalized diagnosis and treatment, which is one of her primary research interests, Prof. Semiz is particularly interested in the ethical considerations and dilemmas associated with this medical approach, such as potential health disparities, stigma, DTC, genetic data handling, patient’s privacy, and other socioeconomic barriers.

The International University of Sarajevo is particularly interested in this field. Recent developments in the natural sciences and technology, including biotechnology, have greatly facilitated better living conditions and offered novel therapeutic options to people worldwide. In order to deal with the difficult decisions that new technologies demand, bioethics is becoming an important interdisciplinary field of several life sciences, most notably medicine, biology, genetics, biochemistry, biophysics, bioinformatics, as well as areas such as medical law, medical anthropology, medical sociology, health politics, and health economics.

Prof. Dr. Semiz initiated the activities and the “Bioethics” course was introduced within the curriculum of the Genetics and Bioengineering Program at the International University of Sarajevo in 2017/2018 academic year. In addition, there is a course “Law and Ethics” that is also addressing several important bioethical and legal issues. Future professionals, including physicians, geneticists, pharmacists, and biotechnologists should be taught about the importance of bioethical, legal, and social issues in their professional practice, so bioethics has to receive a higher priority in their education.