Dr. L. Bitsch (Lise)

Lise Bitsch

Dr. Lise Bitsch

Lise Bitsch
PO Box 217
7500 AE Enschede

E-mail: --
Telephone: (053) 489 3353
Fax: (053) 489 2159


After completing my first three years at a civil engineering education in medical biotechnology at the University of Aalborg Denmark (2006), I moved to the Netherlands to pursue my interest in the interactions between science, technology and society in the international master Philosophy of Science, Technology and Society at the University of Twente. I graduated in September 2008 with a thesis exploring the co-evolutionary interactions between technology and morality in the area of clinical genetics and screening, in order to investigate the possibility of an emergence of genetic screening programs for susceptibility to disease in Denmark. Following my graduation I worked as a research assistant at the Department of Philosophy at the University of Twente.


In January 2009 I joined the Department of Science, Technology and Policy Studies at the University of Twente as a PhD student working on the project Future Scenarios of innovation processes in Medical Genomics a project which is sponsored by the Centre for Society and Genomics (CSG).

Dutch genome researchers are studying a variety of common (chronic) diseases like asthma, COPD, multiple sclerosis, cancer, arthritis, and Alzheimer disease. The focus of these research activities is detailed knowledge of the complex interplay between genetic and environmental factors contributing to disease. The promised outcomes of these investigations are not modest. Expectations are aired of a revolution in healthcare lead by developments in genomics, which will lead to completely new ways of prevention, diagnosis and treatment based on our individual genomic information. Genomics is presented as laying the groundwork for personalized medicine, where individuals and groups in the population are identified as susceptible to certain diseases based on the information contained in their genome. On an international level genomics has become linked to public health, creating an agenda of public health genomics, which aims to integrate targeted personalized interventions with the goal of public health on a population level.

The promises and expectation raise debate on the positive predictive value of genetic susceptibility tests and about the effectiveness and implications of available (lifestyle) interventions. The ethical, legal, social and policy implications of a future genomics-based shift to a more risk and prevention oriented healthcare system are also part of this debate. Particularly the way in which such new options for personalized medicine should be implemented in the current healthcare system is a controversial issue and the choice seems to stand between a national, governmental public health model and what can be called an international, boundless market and consumer-driven model.

The focus of my work will be on clarifying and evaluating promises and expectations to personalized medicine made by genome researchers and to develop scenarios incorporating future social as well as technological developments taking place as a consequence of developments in medical genomics, Scenarios which can then be used to discuss and evaluate social and ethical consequences of such developments.

Promoter and supervisors

  • Promoter of this project is: Prof. Dr. Stefan Kuhlmann (University of Twente)
  • Daily supervisor is: Dr. Kornelia Konrad (University of Twente)
  • Co-promotor is: Prof. Dr. Hedwig te Molder (Wageningen University/University of Twente)


Assistant in the bachelor course “Governance of knowledge and innovation” (2009/2010/2011)


Member of the Netherlands Graduate School of Science, Technology and Modern Culture (WTMC)

Other activities

October 2011, Test je genen! Science Café Enschede, with Cecile Janssens and Terry Vrijenhoek as invited speakers


  • Bitsch, L., Stemerding D. (forthcoming) The Innovation journey of genomics and asthma research, Sociology of Health and Illness, 35(8), 2013
  • Bitsch, L., te Molder, H. (in preparation)About a genome-based revolution: how scientists negotiate the contribution of genomics to common diseases, Minerva
  • Bitsch, L. Konrad, K. (in preparation) Spaces of assessment and the encounter between genomics and research on common disease


  • L. Bitsch “Spaces of assessment and the encounter between genomics and asthma Research”, Society for the Study of Nanoscience and Emerging Technologies (S.NET), October 2012, Enschede, The Netherlands
  • Session organiser and presenter (with Kornelia Konrad and Sampsa Hyysalo), “On the road: journeys of innovations and prospects”, 4S/EASST, October 17-20 2012, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Bitsch, L. “Negotiating Expectations on the Innovation Journey of Asthma and Genomics”, Presentation at the ESRC international conference, Genomics in Society: Facts, fictions and cultures, April 23-24 2012, London, UK
  • Bitsch, L. "The Right fit: Interactional achievements in (future) constructions of Genomics and Healthcare", Presentation at the international conference “Governing Futures: Imagining, Negotiating & Taming Emerging Technosciences”, September 22-24 2011, Vienna, Austria
  • L. Bitsch. “Tentative governance in the innovation journey of genomics and healthcare”, Presentation at the international conference, Tentative Governance of Emerging Science and Technology, October 28-29 2010, Enschede, The Netherlands