CIAPM Hosts Gathering of Experts to Discuss Priorities for Precision Medicine

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August 26, 2016

In an effort to foster greater collaboration, the California Initiative to Advance Precision Medicine (CIAPM) is bringing together stakeholders from academia, industry and non-profits, as well as health care providers, insurers and patient advocates for a two-day gathering beginning Aug. 26 at UCLA’s Luskin Center.

About 200 registered guests are discussing where their goals are in sync and identified areas in need of special attention. They also are hearing presentations from research teams that are applying for a new round of funding under the initiative.

The competition was open to any public or private academic or non-profit institution in California. Up to six proposals will be funded under a $7.2 million appropriation made this year by state lawmakers. Final decisions will be made in the fall.

The first day’s events included a keynote address by Joshua Denny, MD, MS, an associate professor of biomedical informatics at Vanderbilt University, and director of the Data and Research Support Center of the NIH Precision Medicine Initiative.

“It is exciting to see California once again ahead of the rest of the country, increasing its funding to help researchers and clinicians innovate in precision medicine and make connections with entrepreneurs,” said Atul Butte, MD, PhD, who is leading the state initiative and directs the UCSF Institute for Computational Health Sciences.

The impact of the event, and the investment itself, will be far-reaching.

“This investment has the potential to create unique opportunities for collaboration among leading institutions in California, and will allow us to advance the diagnosis and treatment of our patients using big data, genomics, and other new and emerging technologies,” said Dan Geschwind, MD, PhD, the Gordon and Virginia MacDonald Distinguished Professor and Associate Vice Chancellor for Precision Health, UCLA. 

CIAPM is a public-private effort launched in 2014 by Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. and hosted by UC San Francisco (UCSF) in conjunction with UC Health, which comprises the University of California’s five medical centers. It was established in statute in the 2016 budget act.

The initiative has already funded two demonstration projects to find new therapies for children with difficult-to-treat cancer and to help doctors diagnose hospitalized patients with acute infections.