The Newsom administration created a new California Precision Medicine Advisory Council to provide high-level guidance to the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research on matters relating to the CIAPM program. Members were selected by the Governor and the Legislature, and are experts in precision medicine. They represent patient advocacy and community groups, academia, private industry, health policy, clinical providers, venture capital and philanthropy. They are experts in the areas of data science, bioinformatics, pharmacology, community engagement, medical devices, and public health.

Council Members

Clara Lajonchere, PhD


Dr. Clara Lajonchere is the Deputy Director for the UCLA Institute for Precision Health, Co-Director of the Clinical Neurogenomics Research Center and Adjunct Professor of Neurology in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Dr. Lajonchere's background reflects a wide range of professional, clinical, and research activities across central nervous system disorders. She has spent her career on cross-cutting issues in psychiatric genetics and translational medicine. Through the UCLA Institute for Precision Health, Dr. Lajonchere is working collaboratively with thought leaders across the state of California to advance precision medicine and improve outcomes for patients. She currently serves as chair of the California Precision Medicine Advisory Council for the Governor's Office of Planning and Research. Prior to UCLA, Dr. Lajonchere held faculty appointments at the USC Keck School of Medicine where she served as Principal Investigator and Director of the NIH Center for Genomic and Phenomic Studies in Autism and conducted research on models for inclusion of underserved populations in biomedical research. She also served as VP of Clinical Programs for Autism Speaks for over a decade where she oversaw a diverse portfolio of basic science and clinical programs. She currently consults for several tech start-ups in the autism space focused on AI, robotics, and targeted therapeutics.

Keith Yamamoto, PhD

Vice Chair

Dr. Keith R. Yamamoto is Vice Chancellor for Science Policy and Strategy, and Director of Precision Medicine at UCSF. A UCSF researcher since 1973, he is a leader in determination of gene regulatory mechanisms. He has led or served on national committees focused on public and scientific policy, public understanding of science, science education, open science, and peer review. He chairs the Coalition for the Life Sciences and sits on the National Research Council Governing Board Executive Committee, the Board of Directors of Research!America, the Board of Directors of the Public Library of Science, the Governing Board of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and the Advisory Board for Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. As Chair of the National Academy of Sciences Board on Life Sciences, Dr. Yamamoto created the study committee that produced Toward Precision Medicine, which enunciated the precision medicine concept, and he helped lead efforts in the White House, Congress, Sacramento, and UCSF to implement it. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Debra Cooper, PhD

Dr. Debra Cooper received her undergraduate degree in psychology from Duke University and her PhD in Neuroscience from Emory University. Her graduate research focused on studying treatments for drug addiction. After receiving her doctorate, she continued doing research in drug addiction as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

In 2014, Dr. Cooper was selected to serve as a Policy Fellow for the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST), where she was placed in the California State Senate Office of Research. She continued working in the State Legislature for 8 years, with roles such as Principal Consultant for the Senate Appropriations Committee and as the Chief Consultant for the State Assembly’s Human Services Committee.

She is currently an Assistant Secretary at the California Health & Human Services Agency in the Office of Fiscal and Program Affairs. Additionally, Dr. Cooper serves on the Executive Board of the California Black Health Network.

Ysabel Duron

Ysabel Duron is the Founder/CEO of the California based Latino Cancer Institute working to eliminate the Latino cancer burden nationwide by driving equitable access, research and policy.

Duron was an award-winning TV journalist for 43 years in the San Francisco Bay Area and elsewhere, but stepped away in 2013 to continue her role as a patient advocate and voice for the Latino community.

A cancer survivor, she serves both on the Institutional Review Board of the NIH All of Us Research Program, and most recently joined the Board of California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, a state taxpayer funded initiative to support stem cell research.

She was inducted into the National Association of Hispanic Journalists Hall of Fame in 2009, named one of the 25 most outstanding Hispanics in the Bay Area in 2005 and honored with the W.E.B. DuBois from the SJ Chapter of the NAACP in 2011, amongst other honors that reflect her community engagement.

K. Jones, PhD

Dr. K. Jones (they/them) is the Assistant Secretary of Programs and Fiscal Affairs at the California Health & Human Services Agency.

They received their PhD in Interdisciplinary Neuroscience from the University of Missouri and a BS in Psychology from The Ohio State University.

As a postdoctoral research fellow at UC Davis, they were a leader in the field of autism research, specializing in identifying genetic and environmental risk factors of autism spectrum disorder to move toward precision medicine. They have additional expertise in psychology, neuroimmunology, nutrition, and epidemiology. Dr. Jones has participated in consortiums that resolve science, clinical practice, and policy issues related to autism. They have contributed high-profile scientific manuscripts to the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

After their postdoctoral work, Dr. Jones was selected to be a Society for Neuroscience Policy Ambassador and advocated for voters’ rights and social justice issues as the inaugural Trudy Schafer Advocacy Fellow at the League of Women Voters of California. Prior to joining CalHHS, they served as Legislative Director to Assemblymember Dr. Joaquin Arambula. They continue to serve as the president of the Capitol LGBTQ Association.

Oliver Keown, MD

Dr. Oliver Keown is a UK-trained physician, scientist and former policy advisor turned healthcare and medical technologies venture capital investor with Intuitive Ventures. Prior to joining Intuitive, he was a VC investor with GE Ventures, driving startup deal-flow in the Bay Area and beyond across HealthTech, life science and MedTech domains.

In past roles Oliver has advised and supported a range of US and international healthcare innovation projects across technology, policy, commercial, and academic fields. Early in his career he worked as a junior doctor in the UK National Healthcare Service across a variety of medical and surgical disciplines. He holds an MD and a Bachelor's degree in Pharmacology from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.

Kenneth Kim, MD

Dr. Kenneth Kim received his MD from Harvard Medical School, completed a fellowship at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and received internal medicine and allergy/immunology training at UCLA. He has served on the clinical faculty both at UCLA and UC Irvine for over 15 years. He has been a medical monitor, consultant, and investigator on over 600 clinical trials, having published over 30 research articles and 50 abstracts in peer-reviewed journals. He is a nationally recognized expert in the areas of early stage clinical research, ethnobridging drug development strategy, influenza challenge, mold allergy, and latex allergy.

He has founded numerous health care services businesses, including a 200+ employee clinical research organization which he transitioned to private equity. He is currently the medical director of Ark Clinical Research and a strategic investor in a variety of startups, while also maintaining a private allergy and asthma practice in Southern California.

Yvonne Maldonado, MD

Dr. Yvonne (Bonnie) A. Maldonado is Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Epidemiology and Population Health, Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases, and Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Diversity at Stanford University School of Medicine. Her research activities have included the epidemiology and prevention of viral infections such as rotavirus, measles, mumps, rubella, polio and pediatric HIV infection. Her research is conducted internationally in Zimbabwe and Mexico, as well as in the United States. She has written over 200 articles in peer-reviewed journals, and 50 book chapters on these topics. In 1989, Dr. Maldonado received the Epidemic Intelligence Service Alumni Award from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and she was inducted into the Multicultural Alumni Hall of Fame at Stanford University in 2001 and the Stanford Medical Alumni RISE (Reach, Inspire, Serve and Engage) award in 2018. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, a member of the Society for Pediatric Research, the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society and the American Public Health Association. Dr. Maldonado has devoted substantial effort to teaching and training activities at Stanford University as well as in the national and international setting. Throughout her career, she has invested heavily in her commitment to improving cultural and gender diversity at all levels.

Fatima Muñoz, MD

Dr. Fatima Muñoz is the Director of the Department of Research and Health Promotion at San Ysidro Health (SYHealth), a high performing Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) providing care to over 105,000 patients throughout San Diego County. Fatima completed her medical training in Mexico and earned a Master's in Public Health from Universidad Autónoma de Baja California. She possesses over 15 years of clinical research experience working in health promotion programs and epidemiological research studies, specifically among underserved populations. Fatima’s expertise in public health issues spans both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border with emphasis in the elimination of health disparities. Her award winning research portfolio includes: chronic disease, HIV prevention and treatment, cervical and breast cancer, and the impact of bi-national access to care on health policy. Most recently, SYHealth was awarded the All of Us Research Program from the National Institute of Health. It is only one of six FQHCs west of the Mississippi that is part of this Program and Fatima is the Principal Investigator for SYHealth. In this capacity, she and her team have been contributing in the development and implementation of the program Spanish speaking participants.

Diana Ramos, MD, MBA

California Surgeon General Dr. Diana E. Ramos is dedicated to improving health care quality and equity. She recently served as the Assistant Deputy Director of Chronic Disease Prevention for the California Department of Public Health. Past roles include the Director for Reproductive Health in the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and adjunct Associate Professor at the Keck University of Southern California School of Medicine.

Her areas of expertise include health disparities, social determinants of health, preconception/interconception health, preterm birth, contraception and quality improvement in health. Dr. Ramos has written and contributed numerous articles to the obstetrics and gynecology and public health literature and has lectured in Spanish and English, locally, nationally and internationally.

Dr. Ramos received her medical degree from the University of Southern California with honors and completed her residency training in obstetrics and gynecology at Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center. She received her MBA from the UCI Paul Merage School of business with an emphasis in entrepreneurship and innovation and her master’s in public health from the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Ramos completed her undergraduate degree, a BA in Communications, Arts & Science from the University of Southern California.

Hakan Sakul, PhD

As former VP and Head of Diagnostics, Dr. Hakan Sakul founded and led Pfizer’s Diagnostics group, with dozens of drug/diagnostics combination approvals in global markets under his leadership. During his 24-year tenure at Pfizer, Hakan also held leadership positions in Clinical Pharmacogenomics, Molecular Profiling, and Translational Oncology. One of his most significant professional accomplishments was to lead Pfizer’s flagship CDx program for Xalkori®, resulting in simultaneous FDA approvals of the drug/diagnostic combination in 2011. Prior to Pfizer, Hakan worked in the biotech industry in human genetics and statistical genetics. Hakan’s contributions to precision medicine and diagnostics have been widely recognized through both internal and external awards and frequent speaking engagements. He is a former member of the Board of The Personalized Medicine Coalition, served as a Scientific Advisory to Luminex Corp, and currently is a Board member of Progentec Diagnostics, as well as BASH Biotech. Hakan is a member of California Gov Newsom’s Precision Medicine Advisory Council. He received his BS and MSc degrees from Ankara University in Turkey, PhD in Quantitative Genetics from the University of Minnesota as a Rotary Foundation Scholar and conducted postdoctoral studies at the University of California-Davis. He has authored over 30 refereed scientific articles as well as many other publications. Hakan is keenly interested in molecular diagnostics, liquid biopsy and related medical technologies to advance Precision Medicine for the improvement of individualized healthcare.

Former Advisors

Corrin Buchanan, MPP

Corrin Buchanan serves as the Deputy Secretary for Policy and Strategic Planning at the California Health & Human Services Agency.

Corrin has spent most of her career in systems change work in state and local government. Prior to joining CalHHS, Corrin served at the Assistant Director of Housing and Homelessness for the California Department of Social Services. She worked for the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services as the Deputy Director for the Office of Diversion and Reentry where she oversaw countywide behavioral health diversion, reentry, and youth diversion and development efforts. Also with Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, she launched and managed the Flexible Housing Subsidy Pool, a locally funded rental subsidy program with the Housing for Health division. Corrin was Health Program Planner for Housing and Urban Health at the San Francisco Department of Public Health and the Community Programs Director for the San Francisco Women’s Building. Corrin holds a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in Public Policy from UC Berkeley.

Dr. Devika Bhushan, MD, FAAP

Dr. Devika Bhushan is an equity-focused pediatrician and public health practitioner who serves as California’s Former Surgeon General, who focussed on three key cross-sector priorities: Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and toxic stress, early childhood development, and health equity. Previously, Dr. Bhushan served as the inaugural Chief Health Officer of the Office of the California Surgeon General.

Nadine Burke Harris, MD, MPH

Dr. Nadine Burke Harris is an award-winning physician, researcher and advocate dedicated to changing the way our society responds to one of the most serious, expensive and widespread public health crises of our time: childhood trauma. She was appointed as California’s first-ever Surgeon General by Governor Gavin Newsom in January 2019. Her career has been dedicated to serving vulnerable communities and combating the root causes of health disparities. Dr. Burke Harris founded the Center for Youth Wellness in one of San Francisco's most underserved communities, Bayview-Hunters Point, an organization leading the effort to advance pediatric medicine, raise public awareness, and transform the way society responds to children exposed to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and toxic stress. She also founded and led the Bay Area Research Consortium on Toxic Stress and Health, to advance scientific screening and treatment of toxic stress.

Samar Muzzafar, MD, MPH

Dr. Samar Muzaffar is an assistant secretary at the California Health and Human Services Agency. Prior to her appointment she was a population health and health systems design consultant for Integrated Health Solutions LLC. Dr. Muzaffar previously served as chief medical officer at the Missouri Department of Social Services for Missouri's Medicaid program and was the Emergency Medical Services medical director at the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. She served as an adjunct instructor at Washington University’s Brown School, and was a clinical instructor and clinical assistant professor at the University of Missouri - Columbia University Hospital. Dr. Muzaffar is a member of the American College of Preventive Medicine's Board of Regents and Health Systems Transformation Task Force, and the American Academy of Pediatrics Institute for Healthy Childhood Weight TEAM UP Payer Advisory Board. She earned a Master of Public Health degree from Johns Hopkins University and a Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine.

Mary Anne Schultz, PhD, MBA, MSN, RN

Dr. Mary Anne Schultz is an accomplished Senior Executive and Consultant with more than 40 years of success across the nursing service, nursing education, informatics, and clinical/business intel venues. Her broad areas of expertise include data analysis, program evaluation, and evidence-based practices customized to a system's health care client. Throughout her executive career, Mary Anne has held faculty and leadership positions within the California State University and University of California systems, and $chultz & Associates. Dr. Schultz is a Professor, Informaticist and former Chair for the Nursing Department at California State University, San Bernardino. She holds a PhD in Nursing Systems and Economics from UCLA, an MBA from Claremont Graduate University, and a certificate in Health Informatics from UC Davis.

For More Information

Julianne McCall, PhD
Julianne McCall is Co-Director of the California Initiative to Advance Precision Medicine at OPR.