News and Events
The CIAPM network of grantees, advisors, patient communities, collaborators, partners, and supporters push the boundaries of precision medicine every day in California and beyond, upholding principles of health equity, scientific rigor, and impact-driven cooperation.
Key Steps to Reduce Racial Cancer Disparities Include Supporting Minority Scientists, Diversifying Medical Schools and Clinical Trials
September 25, 2020
Former CIAPM Advisor John Carpten, PhD, addressed Congress this month as the Chair of the inaugural AACR Cancer Disparities Progress Report 2020, published September 16 by the American Association of Cancer Research. In his presentation to Congress and a recent interview for the American Journal of Managed Care (AJMC), he discussed the root causes of racial inequality in cancer care, how inequality in research leads to disparities in outcomes and mortality, and how cancer researchers can change these circumstances.
"By diversifying the cohort, we learn more about the efficacy of the therapy, or perhaps the toxicity profile...by diversifying trials, we help everyone. The whole concept of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research will probably be part of the answer. And we have to break down the barriers, break down the walls, and break down the silos, and begin to work together and come up with novel study designs that bring to bear various disciplines to address these issues."John Carpten, PhD
Dr. Carpten is the Chair of the Department of Translational Genomics at the University of Southern California (USC) and co-leads the Translational and Clinical Sciences Program at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Carpten was a member of the Precision Medicine Advisory Committee, which produced the 2018 report Precision Medicine: An Action Plan for California.
Dr. David Haussler Accelerates COVID-19 Research and Celebrates 20 Years Since the First Draft Sequence of the Human Genome
August 20, 2020
This summer, the National Human Genome Research Institute celebrated 20 years since Dr. David Haussler and his team at UC Santa Cruz uploaded the first working draft sequence of the human genome. Not long after, the UCSC Genome Browser was released, enabling graphical visualization of the data. The framework continues to provide researchers the opportunity to contribute their findings for others to use. Since its release, the UCSC Genome Browser has been used extensively, nearing 40,000 citations in the literature.
In the early days of the pandemic, Dr. Haussler's team worked to adapt the UCSC Genome Browser to provide researchers around the world with a common platform to access the latest molecular data characterizing the SARS-CoV-2 genome and proteins. Scientists can use the community resource to analyze how the virus has mutated, compare the genome with other coronaviruses, and upload their own findings to further shared understanding. A manuscript was recently posted with full details.
Dr. Haussler is the Scientific Director of the UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute and was one of CIAPM's first grantees in 2015.
California Precision Medicine Advisory Council holds its first meeting, selects leadership
May 15, 2020
The California Precision Medicine Advisory Council (CPMAC) held its first meeting on May 12 and 15, 2020. Both sessions were through videoconference. The Council selected Clara Lajonchere, PhD to be Chair and Keith Yamamoto, PhD for Vice Chair. Dr. Lajonchere is the Deputy Director of the Institute for Precision Health at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine. Dr. Yamamoto is Vice Chancellor for Science Policy and Strategy at UCSF.
Information about the CPMAC’s meetings, including minutes, can be found on the Meetings page.
CIAPM-Supported Research Advances Pandemic Response
April 3, 2020
A CIAPM grant recipient is using the techniques he refined and expanded as a Principle Investigator to sequence viral genomes from hundreds of COVID-19 patients, informing health officials of how the virus is mutating and spreading around the world. Charles Chiu, MD, PhD, an infectious disease physician and professor of laboratory medicine at University of California San Francisco, received the grant in 2015 for his project “Precision Diagnosis of Infectious Diseases.” Dr. Chiu conducted the research in collaboration with four other Universities of California, the Department of Public Health, a number of California-based companies, and other partners.
Read more in the press:
CIAPM Grantee Helps Characterize COVID-19
April 2, 2020
New research from Dr. Brennan Spiegel, MD and a Wuhan-based medical team sheds light on a lesser-known form of COVID-19. While the coronavirus pandemic continues to unfold, doctors and scientists around the world are rapidly developing diagnostic tests, searching for possible treatments, testing vaccine candidates, and caring for patients using every medical tool and technique available. Those critical efforts depend on a comprehensive understanding of how COVID-19 impacts all patients, not just the majority. Dr. Spiegel serves as Director of Health Services Research at the Cedars-Sinai Health System in Los Angeles and is a 2017 CIAPM grant recipient for research in cardiology and remote biosensors.
While the most prevalent and threatening symptoms of COVID-19 are respiratory, the research team found that some patients with a more mild form of the disease experience gastrointestinal problems before or entirely without any of the commonly associated symptoms, like fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Such patients tend to be diagnosed later than others, and are at-risk of spreading the virus for days without suspecting they would test positive for the disease.
Read the pre-published study made available by the American Journal of Gastroenterology and national press coverage:
Announcing the New California Precision Medicine Advisory Council
February 26, 2020
The Newsom Administration has created a new California Precision Medicine Advisory Council (CPMAC) to provide high-level guidance to the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) on matters relating to CIAPM. OPR selected the members in close coordination with the Governor’s Office and Legislative leadership. The Advisors represent a broad range of sectors including patient advocacy and community groups, academia, private industry, health policy, clinical providers, venture capital, and philanthropy. They have expertise in a variety of precision-medicine related fields, including data science, bioinformatics, pharmacology, community engagement, medical devices, and public health, among others.