Portrait Isabelle Schmitt-Opitz

Isabelle Schmitt-Opitz
Prof. Dr. med.

Director of Department, Department of Thoracic Surgery


  • Robot Surgery
  • Advanced Oncological Resections
  • Pulmonary Endarterectomy

Employment History

Since 2022Professor/Ordinaria for Thoracic Surgery, University of Zurich
Since 2020Director of Department of Thoracic Surgery, University Hospital Zurich
Since 2019Chair Lung Cancer Center Zurich
Since 2017Head of Research and Education a.i., Thoracic Surgery, University Hospital Zurich
2017Associate Professor for Thoracic Surgery (Professor ad personam), University of Zurich
2015Senior Staff Surgeon, Department of Thoracic Surgery, University Hospital Zurich
2014Sabbatical for specialized training at the Marie Lannelongue Centre Chirurgical, Paris, F
2014Swiss Board of Thoracic Surgery (FMH)
2013European Board of Thoracic Surgery (EBTS)
2011Clinical Fellowship in Thoracic Surgery, University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgery, CA
2011Swiss National Science Foundation Assistant Professor of Surgery, Department of Thoracic Surgery, University Hospital Zurich, CH
2008Venia legendi in Surgery (Privatdozent), University of Zurich, CH
2007Staff Surgeon, Department of Thoracic Surgery, University Hospital Zurich
2005German Board of General Surgery


  • American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS, since 2015)
  • Deutsche Gesellschaft für Chirurgie (DGC, since 2001)
  • Deutsche Gesellschaft für Thoraxchirurgie (DGT, since 2012)
  • European Respiratory Society (ERS, since 2016)
  • European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO, since 2007)
  • European Society of Thoracic Surgery (ESTS, since 2012)
  • European Thoracic Oncology Platform (ETOP, since 2010)
  • International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC, since 2012)
  • International Mesothelioma Interest Group (iMig, since 2018)
  • International Society for Heart & Lung Transplantation (ISHLT, since 2017)
  • Schweizerische Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Klinische Krebsforschung (SAKK)
  • Schweizerische Gesellschaft für Chirurgie (SGC, since 2010)
  • Schweizerische Gesellschaft für Pulmonale Hypertonie (SGPH, since 2015)
  • Schweizerische Gesellschaft für Thoraxchirurgie (SGT, since 2014)
  • Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS, since 2020)

Research Focus

  • Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM)
  • Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH)
  • Lung carcinoma, non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC)

Executive activities / Committees

  • European Thoracic Oncology Platform (ETOP): Mesothelioma Group, since 2011
  • Schweizerische Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Klinische Krebsforschung (SAKK): Thoracic Surgery Representative for the Lung Cancer Group, since 2011
  • European Society of Thoracic Surgeons (ESTS):
    • Councilor, 2012 – 2017
    • Chair Biology Club, 2012 – 2018
    • Member of the Learning Affair Committee, since 2016
    • Program Committee, since 2016
    • Treasurer elect, 2016
    • Treasurer, 2017 – 2022
    • President elect, 2021/2022
    • President, since 2022
  • Annals of Thoracic Surgery (ATS): Editorial Board, since 2015
  • International Association of the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC): Taskforce Mesothelioma, since 2016; IASLC Staging Subcommittee MPM; Program Committee for 2018 and track committee member for NSCLC OMD 2022
  • International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation (ISHLT):
    • Program Committee, since 2017
    • CTEPH Council Vice Chair, 2019 – 2020
    • representative to the Advanced Lung Failure and Transplantation Interdisciplinary Network Steering Committee, 2020
  • International Mesothelioma interest group (iMig):
    • Board Member, since 2018
    • Program Committee, since 2019
  • Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF):
    • National Research Council, since 2019
    • Steering committee IICT SNSF, since 2019
    • Ambizione, since 2020
  • USZ Innovation pool: Commission, since 2020
  • Taskforce for the ERS/ESTS Statement on Management of Pleural Infection, since 2020
  • Stiftungsrat Schulthessklinik, since 2021
  • International Director of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS, since 2022)
  • Program Committee AATS for 2023
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