California Launches Initiative to Advance Precision Medicine


UCSF to lead a public-private effort on data-driven medicine

SACRAMENTO – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced the creation of the California Initiative to Advance Precision Medicine to better understand disease through advanced computing and spur public-private collaboration throughout the state.

“California is a world leader in path-breaking innovations,” said Governor Brown. “This initiative will bring together many of California’s brightest minds to integrate and analyze vast amounts of clinical, genomic, environmental and epidemiological data.”

Precision medicine aims to use data driven tools and analysis to develop new diagnostics, therapies and insights into disease. Under the initiative, led by the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), the UC system will collaborate with public and private academic and industry partners to begin building infrastructure and assembling resources necessary to advance precision medicine-oriented data, tools and applications.

UCSF will host the two-year initiative, in conjunction with UC Health, with $3 million in startup funds from the state. The initiative will develop two demonstration projects in disease areas where the UC and external partners have deep expertise and leverage contributions from academic and industry partners. Such work could eventually help doctors and scientists understand why people who seem to have the same disease often respond differently to treatments, or why certain diseases, such as heart, lung and kidney disease, or asthma, affect racial and ethnic groups in different ways.

In addition to developing these demonstration projects, the initiative will inventory the public and private precision medicine projects in the state. It also will convene experts in medicine, technology, privacy, bioethics and intellectual property to ensure the secure and fair exchange of data and knowledge.

In his 2014 State of the State Address, Governor Brown stated, “Just as California has led the way with stem cell research, so too can we pioneer the new field of precision medicine.” The 2014-15 budget appropriated $3 million for precision medicine efforts in the state.