Biomedical and Health Informatics Profile

Jean-Raoul Scherrer


As Chairman of the organizing committee for  MEDINFO 92, Dr. Scherrer famously rode into an attendee circus performance astride an elephant.

   In 1969, Dr. Scherrer began building what would become DIOGENE, a medical record system with the then-unusual patient-centric record system.  Rather than try to build a completely new system, Dr. Scherrer sought to integrate already-existing record systems, and build the parts that didn’t exist to create a coherent whole Hospital Information System (HIS).

   In 1992, when the World-Wide Web was in its infancy, Dr. Scherrer’s researchers at Geneva Hospital created the first web-accessible protein research database, gene-identifying system (ExPASy), and the OSIRIS Medical Imaging manipulation system.

    Recognizing the need for improving the quality and trustworthiness of medical information on the Web, Prof. Scherrer created the Health-On-the-Net (HON) foundation in 1995 to study issues in the presentation and protection of health information.

Osiris medical imaging system web navigation image.


I recall one day asking, Wasn't it true that Julius Caesar actually marched through Geneva in olden times? (Julius Caesar, of course, would have called it Transalpine Gaul, not Geneva or Switzerland.) And Jean-Raoul said, “Of course. He stood right here at that corner and reviewed his troops.”

                                        - Donald Lindberg, 2001

(Source:  “Presentation of the Morris F. Collen Award to Jean-Raoul Scherrer”, JAMIA, 2001)