You are here

Atul Butte, MD, PhD
Principal Investigator, California Initiative to Advance Precision Medicine

Atul Butte is the director of the Bakar Computational Health Sciences Institute at the UC San Francisco and is a Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics.

He is also the Chief Data Scientist for UC Health Sciences and Services, a position in which he will assist in the ongoing development and implementation of a UC-wide clinical data warehouse and analytic platform.

Butte trained in Computer Science at Brown University, and worked as a software engineer at Apple and Microsoft. He received his MD at Brown University, trained in Pediatrics and Pediatric Endocrinology at Children's Hospital Boston, then received his PhD from Harvard Medical School and MIT. Dr. Butte has authored over 200 publications, with research repeatedly featured in Wired Magazine, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal. Butte is also the principal investigator of ImmPort, an archival and dissemination repository for clinical and molecular datasets funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. 
In 2013, Butte was recognized by the White House as an Open Science Champion of Change for promoting science through publicly available data. Other recent awards include the 2015 induction into the National Academy of Medicine, the 2014 E. Mead Johnson Award for Research in Pediatrics, the 2013 induction into the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the 2012 FierceBiotech IT “Top 10 Biotech Techies”, and the 2011 National Human Genome Research Institute Genomic Advance of the Month. Butte is also a founder of three investor-backed data-driven companies: Personalis, providing clinical interpretation of whole genome sequences, Carmenta, discovering diagnostics for pregnancy complications, and NuMedii, finding new uses for drugs through open molecular data.



Elizabeth Baca, MD, MPA
Senior Health Advisor, Governor’s Office of Planning and Research

Elizabeth Baca serves as the Senior Health Advisor in the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) and provides vision, leadership and oversight of CIAPM. She is engaged in innovation in the public sector to foster health through multiple projects including public-private partnerships, big data, and healthy planning. She is passionate about innovations to foster total health and well-being. Baca is skilled at using collaborative approaches to accomplish cross-sector work. Her portfolio involves working across agencies and departments in California as well as with many foundation, non-profit, for-profit groups, and entrepreneurs.

Previously, Baca served on the General Pediatric Faculty at Stanford Medical School and directed the Community Pediatric and Child Advocacy Rotation. In addition to teaching medical students and residents about the social, economic, and environmental factors that affect health, Baca was the lead faculty mentor on several projects to increase access to healthy foods, reduce environmental triggers of asthma, increase physical activity opportunities, and improve the built environment.

Baca studied health policy at Universidad Simon Bolivar in Venezuela. She completed her Masters in Public Administration at Harvard Kennedy School of Government and her medical degree at Harvard Medical School. Baca completed her pediatric residency in the Pediatric Leadership for the Underserved (PLUS) program at UC San Francisco.


Theresa O’Brien, PhD
Associate Chancellor, UC San Francisco

Theresa O'Brien was appointed Associate Chancellor at UC San Francisco in September 2014, having served as Interim Assistant Chancellor for the University and Associate Dean for Research Strategy in the School of Medicine. She serves as an advisor to and designate of the Chancellor, leading key initiatives in support of UCSF’s operational and strategic priorities. O’Brien is accountable for a wide range of Chancellor Office activities related to UCSF governance structure, strategic planning, the Chancellor’s Executive Cabinet (CEC), and emergent priority issues on a day-to-day basis. In all aspects of her work, she partners closely with fellow CEC members and internal and external stakeholders to further UCSF’s mission.

The advancement of precision medicine is one of the Chancellor’s priorities for UCSF. O’Brien led UCSF’s partnership efforts with the Governor’s Office and UC Health to establish the CIAPM, and she serves as the lead for aligning the goals of UCSF, the Governor’s Office and CIAPM. 

O’Brien is also an Assistant Adjunct Professor of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology. Her research and teaching interests primarily focus on career and professional development for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars at UCSF. She directs the Graduate Student Internships for Career Exploration (GSICE) program, which provides career path education, career planning, and internship opportunities for UCSF’s basic and biomedical PhD students in fields outside of academic research. O’Brien is co-PI on a grant from the NIH to provide better resources for PhD students and postdocs to explore career options and better support faculty mentors through the Motivating INformed Decisions (MIND) program.

Theresa is a graduate of UCSF's Tetrad Graduate Program and completed her doctoral work in biochemistry under the guidance of Jim McKerrow, MD, PhD. After graduation, she worked as an Industry Contracts Officer at UCSF, negotiating industry sponsored research agreements. A Northern California native, she graduated summa cum laude with a BA in Biology from Williams College in Williamstown, Mass.


India Hook-Barnard, PhD
Executive Director, California Initiative to Advance Precision Medicine

Director of Research Strategy; Associate Director, Precision Medicine, UC San Francisco

Dr. Hook-Barnard is Director of Research Strategy and Associate Director, Precision Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. She serves as director of the UCSF Precision Medicine Platform Committee, which aims to conceptualize and build precision medicine as a central overarching institutional vision at UCSF. She helped launch and serves as Executive Director for the California Initiative to Advance Precision Medicine (CIAPM). In the UCSF Office of Science Policy and Strategy, she works with scientific experts and leaders from across academia, industry and government sectors to identify and frame scientific opportunities, technical feasibility, and organizational challenges. She develops and supports efforts to secure major research and infrastructure funding, supports research training programs, and provides advice, consultation and analysis on scientific initiatives.

Dr. Hook-Barnard’s primary interests are in areas of emerging science, technology, and medicine, spanning fundamental discovery to translational application, clinical practice, and population health research, including issues of policy, regulation, ethical and societal concerns, and workforce. From 2008- 2015, she worked as a senior program officer with the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM). At the NAS and IOM, she developed and administered a variety of programs, working with academic faculty, scientists, engineers, clinicians, business leaders and policy experts. She served as the study director for six National Academies reports, including Toward Precision Medicine: Building a Knowledge Network for Biomedical Research and a New Taxonomy of Disease (2011), Determining Core Capabilities in Chemical and Biological Defense Science and Technology (2012) and Sharing Clinical Trial Data: Maximizing Benefits, Minimizing Risk (2015.)

Dr. Hook-Barnard was a postdoctoral research fellow at the National Institutes of Health. She earned her PhD in Microbiology-Medicine from the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Missouri. 


Keith Yamamoto, PhD
Vice Chancellor for Science Policy and Strategy, UC San Francisco

Keith Yamamoto is UCSF vice chancellor for science policy and strategy, vice dean for research in the school of medicine, and professor of cellular and molecular pharmacology at UCSF. He is a leading researcher investigating transcriptional regulation by nuclear receptors, which mediate the actions of essential hormones and cellular signals; he uses mechanistic and systems approaches to pursue these problems in pure molecules, cells and whole organisms. He has led or served on numerous national committees focused on public and scientific policy, public understanding and support of biological research, and science education; he chairs the Coalition for the Life Sciences, and sits on the National Academy of Medicine Council and the National Academy of Sciences Division of Earth and Life Studies Advisory Committee. As chair of the National Academy of Sciences' (NAS) Board on Life Sciences, he created the study committee that produced “Toward Precision Medicine: Building a Knowledge Network for Biomedical Research and a New Taxonomy of Disease”, the report that enunciated the precision medicine concept, and he has helped to lead efforts in the White House, in Congress, in Sacramento and at UCSF to implement it. This includes serving as chair of the UCSF Precision Medicine Platform Committee, and continued leadership and support of CIAPM.

Yamamoto has chaired or served on many committees that oversee training and the biomedical workforce, research funding, and the process of peer review and the policies that govern it at NIH. He is a member of the advisory board for Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the board of directors of Research!America. He was elected to the NAS, the National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Academy of Microbiology, and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.


Courtney McFall, MSc
Scientific Project Manager, CIAPM & UCSF Office of Science Policy

Courtney serves as the Scientific Project Manager in the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Science Policy and Strategy and with the California Initiative to Advance Precision Medicine (CIAPM). Courtney works closely with India Hook-Barnard, PhD, Director of Research Strategy and Keith Yamamoto, PhD where she provides project management and coordination for various local, state and national initiatives including; precision medicine, graduate funding, intramural funding programs, local and national research initiatives. Courtney works to convene stakeholders, identify strengths and opportunities, and develop efficiencies and solutions for the multiple programs she supports. Previous to this position Courtney was a member of the Virtual Home team of the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) at UCSF and a member of the UC BRAID team. Prior to CTSI she was a Lab Manager for multiple Pediatric Oncology & Immunology labs at UCSF. She comes to UCSF with a professional background in nonprofit program management, clinical research management, program management for international and domestic HIV/AIDS outreach and education programs.


Ben Rubin, PhD
Science Officer, California Initiative to Advance Precision Medicine 

Ben Rubin serves as a Science Officer for CIAPM at UCSF, where he oversees the selection, execution, and evaluation of demonstration projects, and otherwise provides strategy and support to CIAPM and its research and governmental partners. He brings to CIAPM a strong background and commitment to advancing positive health outcomes and achieving health equity, convening and collaborating with diverse public and private partners, and conducting and communicating policy research and analysis. Before joining CIAPM, Rubin directed efforts at Children Now to leverage the science of resilience, toxic stress, and childhood trauma to support multi-sector public policy efforts; help build and lead the California Campaign to Counter Childhood Adversity; and advance legislative, budget, and administrative strategies to expand access to school-based mental health services. Previously, he served in the California State Senate Health Committee as a Science & Technology Policy Fellow, where he authored policy analysis and provided recommendations on diverse health-related bills including biomedicine, health data access, medical privacy, and health care reform.

Ben was a postdoctoral researcher at the California Institute of Technology and Brandeis University, earned his PhD in Neurobiology from Duke University, and graduated summa cum laude with a BA in Biology and Psychology from Cornell University.


David R. Paquette, PhD
Science Officer, California Initiative to Advance Precision Medicine 

David serves as a Science Officer for CIAPM at UCSF, where he oversees the current set of demonstration projects, coordinates the communication efforts of the initiative, and provides support and insight to CIAPM and its partners. As a student at UCSF, he was a member of the leadership team for the Science Policy Group. He was responsible for event advertising, creating a website, and was part of the team that helped coordinate a student advocacy day in Washington DC.  David brings a passion for science communication and outreach, having been active in the past with SEP and the Bay Area Science Discovery Days. He is a strong proponent of open science and has contributed templates for making preprints more digestible. He was a finalist for both the Biophysical Society Congressional Fellowship and the AAAS S&T Executive Fellowship.   

David received his PhD in Biophysics from UCSF where he was an NSF Graduate Research Fellow and graduated summa cum laude with a BS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from UMass Amherst.