Alexander Bischoff was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and trained as a nurse in Switzerland. He was involved in primary health care in Angola for several years, received his Masters in Community Health at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, and his PhD in Epidemiology at the University of Basel. He carried out short-term assignments and consultancies in countries including Rwanda, Zanzibar, Guinea-Bissau, Angola, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Belarus, Tanzania, Cameroon, South Africa, Togo and Tajikistan. He is dean of research and development at the School of Health Sciences, University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland, Fribourg. He is also with the Division of Tropical and Humanitarian Medicine, University Hospitals of Geneva.