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Population Genomics Health Economists Working Group Members

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Members of the Global Economics and Evaluation of Clinical Genomics Sequencing Working Group (GEECS) include:

James Buchanan, DPhil

University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom

James is a Senior Researcher in the Health Economics Research Centre at the University of Oxford. He is currently working on a number of projects in the area of genomic testing. These include economic evaluations of the use of genomic testing to guide treatment decisions for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia patients, to identify gastrointestinal pathogens to improve hospital infection control practice, and to stratify patients to more or less intensive screening in the UK Bowel Cancer Screening Programme. James is also applying stated preference techniques to evaluate the preferences of patients and clinicians for these tests, and contributing to health economic analyses related to the 100,000 Genomes Project in England. Alongside this academic work, James curates the Health Economics and Genomics blog

Kurt Christensen, PhD

Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA

Kurt is a member of the Genomes to People (G2P) Research Program at Harvard Medical School where he is also an instructor in the Department of Medicine. Kurt uses his training in health economics, biochemistry, public health, and health behavior and health education to address these issues by focusing on three interrelated questions: 1) How do patients and physicians respond, behaviorally and psychologically, to information generated from emerging genomic technologies like whole genome sequencing? 2) What is the healthcare service and economic impact of integrating genomics into the everyday practice of medicine? 3) How can programs be improved to maximize the benefits and minimize the harms of genomic testing? The answers to these questions are essential as healthcare providers and policymakers make decisions about how to offer and support new genomic services.

Patricia Deverka, MD, MS

American Institutes for Research, Chapel Hill, NC, USA

Patricia is a principal researcher in health policy research at the American Institutes of Research. She also holds appointments as an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at University of Maryland’s School of Medicine as well as at the School of Pharmacy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Patricia has worked in the field of outcomes research/comparative effectiveness research in both non-profit and for-profit settings as a researcher, educator, consultant, and department head. She has extensive experience with drug and diagnostic product development, reimbursement planning, cost-effectiveness analysis, and bioethical issues surrounding the use of new technologies. She is a recognized expert in the area of coverage and reimbursement for new genomic-based technologies and has worked collaboratively with stakeholders to recommend standards for a more predictable reimbursement pathway. She is currently leading a National Human Genome Research Institute-funded study to develop and analyze a registry of public and private payer coverage policies for next-generation sequencing based tests. She has published extensively regarding how engaging stakeholders can lead to greater alignment between the goals of researchers and the evidentiary requirements of health care decision-makers, and speaks often at national and regional conferences regarding pragmatic approaches for improving the relevancy of research.

Deborah Marshall, PhD

University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Deborah holds a Canada Research Chair, Health Services and Systems Research as a Professor at the University of Calgary and Arthur J.E. Child Chair of Rheumatology Outcomes Research in the McCaig Institute of Bone and Joint Health. She is the Director of Health Technology Assessment at the Alberta Bone and Joint Health Institute, a Senior Scientist at Arthritis Research Canada, and a member of the OBrien Institute of Public Health. Deborah has experience in technology assessment agencies, academia and pharmaceutical and diagnostics industry research settings in Canada, the United States, and Europe. Her research program focuses on patient preferences and patient engagement research, cost-effectiveness analysis, and dynamic simulation modeling of health services delivery to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of health care services. Deborah is an active member of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) as the Past President of the Board of Directors.

Kathryn A. Phillips, PhD

University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA

Kathryn is the founding director of the Center for Translational and Policy Research on Personalized Medicine (TRANSPERS) in the School of Pharmacy at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). She is also a professor of health economics and health services research in the Department of Clinical Pharmacy at UCSF, with additional appointments in the UCSF Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies and UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. Kathryn is a health services researcher and health economist and leader in the application of new technologies to improve healthcare, and focuses on issues around access, quality, and value of new technologies. . Her core specialty is personalized (or precision) medicine — a new era of healthcare where medical interventions can be tailored to individual patients based on their unique genetic make-up. Her work spans multiple disciplines, including basic, clinical and social sciences, and brings together leading experts in academia, industry, healthcare, payers, and government. Her pioneering research on the application of health services research to personalized medicine has revealed insights on how to bridge the gap between emerging technologies and their use in the clinic.

Dean Regier, PhD

University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Dean is a Scientist within Cancer Control Research, BC Cancer and the Canadian Centre for Applied Research in Cancer Control (ARCC), and an Assistant Professor, School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia. Dean’s research focuses on improving methods to enumerate preference-based utility, with applications to genetic and genomic technologies and the ‘value of genomic knowledge’ i.e. how genes play a role in our personal lives and how publics value and trade between benefits and risks when making decisions to undergo genomic testing. He incorporates this person-centered evidence into economic models that answer questions of value for money. Dean’s contributions to health economics include publications in the areas of econometric analysis of discrete choice data, incorporating willingness to pay into probabilistic decision analytic models, and combining insights from experimental design and behavioral economics to improve the statistical efficiency of discrete choice models. His applied work consists of economic evaluations alongside clinical trials and Bayesian approaches to cost-effectiveness analysis. Increasingly, Dean is interested in improving discrete choice experiment methods through better information-giving through preferences tools and technologies.

Sarah Wordsworth, PhD

University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom

Sarah is an associate professor and university lecturer in the Nuffield Department of Population Health, Medical Sciences Division. Sarah joined the Health Economics Research Centre (HERC) in January 2003 and has developed a research program within HERC on the economics of genetic and genomic technologies. Of particular interest are the economics of translating genomic high-throughput technologies from research into clinical practice, in both cancer and cardiovascular disease. In October 2006, Sarah took up a post-doctoral fellowship from the National Institute for Health Research. This fellowship involved methodological and applied research on the economic evaluation of novel genomic technologies in the NHS. Sarah's other interests include costing methodology and trial-based evaluations in the areas of eye disease, blood transfusion, cardiac surgery and surgery for obesity.