CIAPM Academic Committee

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With the recent expansion of the initiative through additional funding appropriated in the FY 2016/17 California State budget, CIAPM has recruited an Academic Committee to advise the core CIAPM team on operational and strategic matters. The Committee is comprised of six members who are broadly representative of precision medicine expertise and perspectives from research institutions throughout California.

CIAPM Academic Committee Members

John Carpten, PhD
Professor and Chair of Translational Genomics
Director, USC Institute For Translational Genomics
University of Southern California

Dr. Carpten currently serves as Professor and Chair for the Department of Translational Genomics, and Director of the Institute for Translational Genomics, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA.  Previously he was Professor and Deputy Director of Basic Sciences, Translational Genomics Research Institute, Phoenix, AZ.  Dr. Carpten’s research background spans a very broad range of topics including work in germ-line genetics, tumor genome analysis, cancer cell biology, and health disparities. His research program centers around the development and application of cutting-edge genomic technologies and bioinformatics analysis in search of germ-line and somatic alterations that are associated with cancer risk and tumor biology, respectively.  His work spans many of the known cancer types including but not limited to prostate cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, brain cancer, multiple myeloma, and pediatric cancers. 

Dr. Carpten has an intense focus on understanding the role of biology in disparate cancer incidence and mortality rates among underrepresented populations. Through his leadership, the African American Hereditary Prostate Cancer Study (AAHPC) Network was conceived.  This study has become a model for genetic studies in underrepresented populations and led to the first genome-wide scan for prostate cancer susceptibility genes in African Americans.  Dr. Carpten also has a very active program in sporadic tumor research.  His laboratory participated in and led several high impact studies including the identification of NF-B pathway mutations in Multiple Myeloma, which was published in Cancer Cell.  He also led a landmark study, which culminated in the discovery of the AKT1(E17K) activating mutation in human cancers, published in Nature.  He also has research published in Science, Nature Genetics, Genome Research, and New England Journal of Medicine. 

To improve the discovery of important alterations associated with cancer, Dr. Carpten co-led the implementation, development, and application of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technologies at TGen.  These technologies offer the opportunity to comprehensively interrogate cancer genomes to uncover the lexicon of somatic events within tumors.  Currently, the largest efforts of the Carpten laboratory are in applying NGS for Precision Medicine approaches, where cancer genomes and transcriptomes are sequenced and used to identify targetable events for select therapeutics.  He and clinical partners performed a precision medicine study using whole genome and transcriptome sequencing on 14 metastatic triple-negative breast cancers to identify therapeutically actionable events that were used for treatment recommendations. The resulting paper was the most cited article in the journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics in 2014. Furthermore, he coordinated the development of a CLIA-certified genomic testing laboratory at TGen, which was later commercialized as Ashion Analytics, LLC.  He is recognized as a thought leader in precision medicine, as shown by a number of papers describing the results of clinical cancer sequencing studies in cancer patients. It is his hope that this work will one day lead to improvements in knowledge-based therapeutics toward improvements in outcomes for cancer patients.

Finally, Dr. Carpten has received research funding awards from various sources to support his research including NIH, NCI, Prostate Cancer Foundation, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, and a number of pharmaceutical companies. 


Kelsey Martin, MD, PhD
Dean, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Professor, Departments of Biological Chemistry and Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences
University of California, Los Angeles

Dr. Kelsey Martin is the Dean for the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, where she is also a Professor in the Departments of Biological Chemistry and Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences. Dr. Martin is very active in the medical community. She serves on the editorial board of Cell, the board of directors for the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the selection committee of the McKnight Scholar Awards, and the board of directors for the McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience. In 2016, she became a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the National Academy of Medicine.

Dr. Martin received her B.A. in English and American Language and Literature at Harvard University. After serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, she entered the M.D., Ph.D. program at Yale University, where she studied influenza virus-host cell interactions in the laboratory of Ari Helenius, Ph.D., receiving her Ph.D. in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry and her medical degree in 1992. She went on to complete her postdoctoral training in neurobiology with Dr. Eric Kandel at Columbia University, and joined the UCLA faculty in 1999.
Dr. Martin directs a productive research laboratory focused on understanding how experience changes connectivity in the brain to store long-term memories. While many aspects of brain circuitry are hardwired, it also is dynamic: the connections between neurons in the brain change with experience to store information, and in this way nature and nurture combine to define a person’s identity. Conversely, experiences that produce maladaptive changes in brain circuitry underlie many neuropsychiatric disorders and age-related decreases in brain plasticity contribute to age-related memory disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Long-lasting changes in brain connectivity require new gene expression and Dr. Martin has discovered a role for specific signaling molecules that travel from stimulated synapses to the nucleus to change the transcription of DNA to RNA. Her research also has highlighted a central role for the localization of RNAs to synapses, where their synthesis into protein is regulated by neuronal activity, and has uncovered a role for local protein synthesis in autism spectrum disorders.


Mary Maxon, PhD 
Associate Laboratory Director for Biosciences
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Mary Maxon is the Associate Laboratory Director for Biosciences at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where she is responsible for developing strategies for the use of biosciences to address national-scale challenges in energy and environment. She has extensive experience in both the public and private sectors, having served as the Assistant Director for Biological Research at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) in the Executive Office of the President, where she developed the National Bioeconomy Blueprint, Director of the Marine Microbiology Program at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and in executive and management roles at Cytokinetics and Microbia, Inc. Maxon received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley and performed postdoctoral research in biochemistry and genetics at the University of California, San Francisco.


Jill Mesirov, PhD, MA
Associate Vice Chancellor for Computational Health Sciences 
Professor of Medicine, UC San Diego School of Medicine
University of California, San Diego

Jill Mesirov is associate vice chancellor for computational health sciences and professor of medicine UC San Diego School of Medicine.  As associate vice chancellor, Mesirov is responsible for the overarching strategy for computational health sciences and research computing at UC San Diego School of Medicine.  She is a member of the UCSD Moores Cancer Center, where she serves as co-lead for the cancer genomes and networks research program.

Mesirov’s research focuses on the application of machine-learning methods to functional genomics data in cancer. Her lab analyzes molecular data to determine the underlying biological mechanisms of specific tumor subtypes, to stratify patients according to their relative risk of relapse, and to identify possible new drug targets. In addition, Mesirov is committed to the development of practical, accessible software tools to bring the methods developed in her lab to the general biomedical research community.  These tools are used by hundreds of thousands of investigators worldwide.

Before moving to UCSD in 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, where she directed the Computational Biology and Bioinformatics Program. She previously served as manager of computational biology and bioinformatics in the Healthcare/Pharmaceutical Solutions Organization, director of research at Thinking Machines Corporation and has also held positions in the mathematics department at the University of California at Berkeley and served as associate executive director of the American Mathematical Society.

Mesirov, a former president of the Association for Women in Mathematics, is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the American Mathematical Society (AMS), and the International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB).

Mesirov received her B.A. in mathematics from the University of Pennsylvania. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in mathematics from Brandeis University.


Fred Meyers, MD, MACP
Associate Dean, Precision Medicine 
Professor, Internal Medicine / Hematology-Oncology, UC Davis School of Medicine
University of California, Davis

Dr. Frederick Meyers is the Associate Dean for Precision Medicine and professor of internal medicine / hematology-oncology at UC Davis School of Medicine. He has served UC Davis as chief of hematology-oncology, chair of the Department of Internal Medicine and vice dean of the School of Medicine.

Dr. Meyers has a long-standing interest in cancer biology, with a focus on advanced and metastatic malignancies. His earliest publications in the molecular oncology of urologic cancers emphasized clinical trials with laboratory correlative studies. He recognized the inherent ethical conflict between early-phase cancer clinical trials and the need to deliver palliative and end-of-life care. Many of his early grants and publications highlighted this apparent paradox that he resolved by developing a model of simultaneous or concurrent care. The systems-based improvement of cancer care delivery integrated cancer therapy and palliative care at the same time, rather than sequentially, and changed the paradigm of the care of patients with both advanced malignancy and nonmalignant illnesses, successfully introducing palliative care earlier in the trajectory of illness.  This forms the basis for his ongoing commitment to quality of care improvement, and he has long been an advocate for integrating it into health sciences education.

Dr. Meyers is strongly committed to the career development of junior scholars, MD and PhD, pre-and postdoctoral. He directs the Research Education and Career Development core of the UC Davis NIH-funded Clinical Translational Science Center (CTSC). His commitment is reflected in his service as principal investigator of several training grants including the CTSC Mentored Clinical Research Training Program, a California stem cell research training grant and a grant from HHMI Integrating Medicine into Basic Sciences. He is principal investigator of the UC Davis NIH Common Fund Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training (BEST) award. His current focus is leading and integrating precision medicine across all of the colleges and schools at UC Davis and the communities it serves.


Arnold Milstein, MD, MPH 
Director, Clinical Excellence Research Center
Professor of Medicine 
Stanford University 

Dr. Milstein is a Professor of Medicine, an Affiliated Scholar at the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies and directs Stanford's Clinical Excellence Research Center. The Center is a collaboration of the Schools of Medicine, Engineering and Business to design and demonstrate in multi-state locations innovative health care delivery models that safely lower per capita health care spending while improving patients' health and experience of their care.

Before joining Stanford's faculty, his career of applied research spanned private and public sector healthcare delivery and policy.  After creating a healthcare performance improvement firm that he expanded globally following its acquisition by Mercer, he co-founded two nationally influential public benefit initiatives, the Leapfrog Group in 1998 and the Consumer-Purchaser Disclosure Project (now the Consumer-Purchaser Alliance) in 2001. He was appointed to a six year term as a Congressional MedPAC Commissioner, originating several subsequently enacted legislative changes. Since its inception, he has served as the Medical Director of the Pacific Business Group on Health (PBGH), the largest employer-led regional healthcare improvement coalition in the U.S. 
Citing his national impact on innovation in health care policy and delivery methods, he was selected for the highest annual award of both the National Business Group on Health (NBGH) and of the American College of Medical Quality. Elected to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences, he chaired the planning committee of its series on best methods to lower per capita health care spending and improve clinical outcomes. He was educated at Harvard (BA–Economics), Tufts (MD) and UC Berkeley (MPH Healthcare Evaluation).