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Committee Created to Guide California’s Precision Medicine Initiative

October 9, 2017
by David Raths
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Topics include data sharing and data privacy, clinical utility of precision medicine approaches to care

In April 2015 Gov. Edmund Brown announced the California Initiative to Advance Precision Medicine (CIAPM), the first state-level effort to fund focused precision medicine projects to improve care and treatment for specific diseases. Last week Brown established an advisory committee on precision medicine to guide that effort.

Since the initial launch, CIAPM has supported several demonstration projects, ranging from childhood cancer to traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis and heart disease. To date, California has invested $13 million out of the total $23 million in allocated state funding for precision medicine. Private companies and foundations have also provided additional funding and donated in-kind support directly to the projects.

The committee will advise the Governor's Office on emerging precision medicine policy issues, such as data sharing and data privacy within and across technology platforms and tools; clinical utility of precision medicine approaches to care; patient and provider engagement and education; and economic impact and sustainability of precision medicine-based treatments. The committee will also provide recommendations on further actions the public and private sectors can take to integrate precision medicine into health care.

The 14-person advisory committee members are: 

• Tomás J. Aragón, MD, MPH, DrPH, 57, of San Francisco, has been the health officer of the City and County of San Francisco and director of the Population Health Division at the San Francisco Department of Public Health since 2011.

• Atul Butte, MD, PhD, 48, of Menlo Park, has been principal investigator of the California Initiative to Advance Precision Medicine, director of the Institute for Computational Health Sciences, and Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg Distinguished Professor at the University of California, San Francisco since 2015.

• John Carpten, PhD, 52, of Los Angeles, has been chair of the Department of Translational Genomics at the University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine and co-director at the University of Southern California Institute for Translational Genomics since 2016. He was director of the Integrated Cancer Genomics Division at the Translational Genomics Research Institute from 2003 to 2015, where he was deputy director of basic sciences from 2012 to 2015.

• Jay Gellert, 63, of Woodland Hills, was president and chief executive officer at Health Net Inc. from 1998 to 2016. Gellert was president and chief operating officer of Health Systems International Inc. (HSI) from 1996 to 1998 and was a member of the Health Systems International Inc. Board of Directors and chairman of the board for HSI's principal operating subsidiaries, Health Net and QualMed, from 1996 to 1998.

• Kim Goodwin, 46, of Oakland, has worked with PatientsLikeMe - a social network, decision-support tool and medical research platform dedicated to connecting patients and analyzing patient-shared data - in various capacities since 2011, including as vice president of product and user experience and as a consultant to guide the development of software tools as well as the patient experiences of longitudinal research.

• Stephen H. Lockhart, MD, MPhil, PhD, 59, of Oakland, has been chief medical officer for Sutter Health since 2015, where he has held several positions, including East Bay regional chief medical officer from 2010 to 2015.

• Kelsey Martin, MD, PhD, 59, of Los Angeles, has served as dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles since 2016, where she has served as a faculty member in the departments of Biological Chemistry and Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences since 1999.

• Mary E. Maxon, PhD, 55, of San Francisco, has been associate laboratory director for biosciences at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory since 2017, where she was biosciences area principal deputy from 2012 to 2017. Maxon is responsible for developing strategies for the use of biosciences to address national-scale challenges in energy, environment, health and biomanufacturing.

• Jessica Mega, MD, MPH, 43, of Portola Valley, has been chief medical officer at Verily Life Sciences since 2015. She led large, international, randomized trials evaluating novel cardiovascular therapies as a senior investigator with the TIMI Study Group and a cardiologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital from 2008 to 2015, and as a faculty member at Harvard Medical School, where she is currently on leave.

• Jill P. Mesirov, PhD, MA, 67, of Solana Beach, has been associate vice chancellor for computational health sciences and professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine since 2015. Mesirov served as associate director and chief informatics officer at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard - formerly the Whitehead Institute/MIT Center for Genome Research - from 1997 to 2015, where she directed the Computational Biology and Bioinformatics Program from 1997 to 2015.

• Frederick J. Meyers, MD, 66, of Sacramento, has been associate dean for precision medicine at University of California, Davis Health since 2016, where he has served in several leadership positions since 1992, including chairperson of the Department of Internal Medicine and vice dean of the School of Medicine.

• Arnold Milstein, MD, MPH, 71, of San Francisco, has been a professor of medicine and director of the Clinical Excellence Research Center at Stanford University since 2010. The Center designs and demonstrates scalable health care delivery innovations that provide better care with less health care spending

• Hakan Sakul, MS, PhD, 55, of San Diego, has been vice president of diagnostics at Pfizer since 2016, with responsibility for development of companion diagnostics across Pfizer's pharmaceutical portfolio.

• Sue Siegel, MS, 57, of Menlo Park, has been chief executive officer of GE Ventures, General Electric's growth and innovation business comprised of ventures, licensing and new business creation spanning the health care, energy and transportation industries, since 2012. Siegel served as a founding member of President Obama's Precision Medicine Initiative Working Group.


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