Healthcare Analytics, Population Health Management, Healthcare Big Data

Precision Medicine News

California Gov. Establishes Precision Medicine Advisory Committee

California is taking the lead in precision medicine by establishing an advisory council filled with genomics, population health, and computer science experts.

Precision medicine in California

Source: Thinkstock

By Jennifer Bresnick

- In an effort to tap the rich academic and research resources of his state, California Governor Jerry Brown has formed the new Governor’s Advisory Committee on Precision Medicine, which will promote personalized approaches to patient care.

The Committee, which includes precision medicine researchers, clinicians, patient advocates, population health and public health experts, computer scientists, and members of the health IT vendor and pharmaceutical communities, will advise government officials on emerging policy issues including data sharing and patient privacy.

"California is a world leader in medicine and technology. This committee of experts will help us think through how precision medicine can improve health and health care for Californians," said Brown.

The advisory committee includes UC San Francisco researcher Atul Butte, MD, PhD, recently named the Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg Distinguished Professor after a $10 million donation to the school by the Facebook power couple.

Joining him at the Governor’s table are leaders from Pfizer, Sutter Health, GE Ventures, Stanford University, Verily Life Sciences, PatientsLikeMe, and representatives from many of the top universities in California.

California research labs, vendors, and university partnerships have been aggressively attacking the precision medicine sector, with initiatives focusing on topics ranging from pediatric care equity to genomic biobanking.

In September, five members of the University of California system announced the formation of the UC Cancer Consortium, a collaborative big data analytics and precision medicine research network that aims to combine the computing power and research expertise of UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA, UC San Diego and UCSF.

“The UC Cancer Consortium is uniquely placed to take on California’s most difficult issues related to battling this insidious disease,” said Dr. John Stobo, executive vice president of UC Health.

“Our research mission and high level of skill also mean that our centers often care for patients with rare cancers who cannot be treated in other hospitals that may lack the expertise or access to clinical trials using the latest experimental drugs.”

Bringing the five universities together to share resources will help to improve clinical trials, combine precision medicine approaches with population health management techniques, and develop new methodologies to improve care deliver.

“The University of California — and the people of California — are privileged to have at UC physicians and scientists who are among the very best at what they do: care for patients and conduct research that leads to discovery and new knowledge that benefits us all,” said UC President Janet Napolitano. “The formation of the UC Cancer Consortium will help leverage this institutional strength.”

The Governor’s committee will work in a similar vein to continue the progress started by the California Initiative to Advance Precision Medicine (CIAPM), which was founded in 2015. 

CIAPM has supported a number of demonstration projects at University of California sites and elsewhere, taking advantage of $13 million in state funds to support research into issues including cancer, multiple sclerosis, heart disease, and traumatic brain injury.

“California is a world leader in path-breaking innovations,” said Brown when launching the public-private project. “This initiative will bring together many of California’s brightest minds to integrate and analyze vast amounts of clinical, genomic, environmental and epidemiological data.”

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