Ponce and Liang receive TOP 10 award from Health Affairs

Dear Colleagues,

When we think of summer we often think of “heat,” and we’re excited to report the work heating up at TRANSPERS! In this newsletter we report on new honors (from Health Affairs and the Rockefeller Foundation), new publications (in Health Affairs and Genetics in Medicine), and new presentations (including at the BIO International Conference and the Health and Medicine Division of the National Academy of Sciences, formerly the Institute of Medicine).

As always, we welcome your thoughts, comments, and ideas for collaboration.


Kathryn Phillips signature

Kathryn Phillips, PhD

TRANSPERS Center Director

In this issue

Health Affairs editor bestows a TOP 10 publication award to TRANSPERS collaborators


Ninez A. Ponce, PhD, MPP

TRANSPERS collaborators Ninez Ponce and Su-Ying Liang were honored to have their Health Affairs publication chosen by editor-in-chief Alan Weil as a TOP 10 Pick for 2015. Their article on “Early Diffusion Of Gene Expression Profiling In Breast Cancer Patients Associated With Areas Of High Income Inequality” found “in areas with high income inequality, gene expression profiling receipt was higher than elsewhere, but it was associated with a 10.6-percentage-point gap between high- and low-income women.” Details: Health Affairs In 2015: Editor’s Picks. Congratulations to Ninez and Su-Ying.

TRANSPERS goes global with Rockefeller Foundation Award, World Scientific Handbook, and more

TRANSPERS Director Kathryn Phillips was awarded a Rockefeller Foundation Residency Award to pursue her research on the global implications of personalized medicine and digital health technologies. She will be in residence with other scholars at their Bellagio Center at Lake Como Oct. 10–24.


In addition, with collaborators Katherine Payne (University of Manchester) and Ken Redekop (University of Erasmus Rotterdam), Kathryn published a chapter on “Personalized Medicine: Economic Evaluation and Evidence” in the three-volume Global Handbook for Health Economics and Public Policy recently released through World Scientific Publishing, edited by Richard Scheffler, University of California-Berkeley.

TRANSPERS and its collaborators have presented our work all over the world in the past six months including the CAHSPR Conference in Toronto, Canada (Marshall), MedTech meeting in San Francisco (Phillips), and the American Diabetes Association Meeting in New Orleans (Phillips). TRANSPERS Director Kathryn Phillips also moderated a panel on the value of Personalized Medicine and Digital Medicine at the BIO International Convention in San Francisco, which included panelists from a start-up biotech company, venture capital firm, and consulting firm.

TRANSPERS collaborators led by Deborah Marshall (University of Calgary) publish in Genetics In Medicine on whole genome sequencing willingness to pay and returning results

TRANSPERS collaborators recently published an article on Whole Genome Sequencing titled “What are people willing to pay for whole-genome sequencing information, and who decides what they receive?” in this month’s issue of Genetics in Medicine. This study, based on a US nationally representative survey, found that more people preferred to decide for themselves what information from whole genome sequencing would be returned to them (43%) instead of having their doctors or experts decide. In addition, although respondents valued actionable information more than non-actionable information, some respondents perceived that genetic information could negatively impact them.

Kathryn Phillips presents on Reimbursement Issues at Health and Medicine Division of the National Academy of Sciences (formerly the Institute of Medicine)

Kathryn presented TRANSPERS research on reimbursement for personalized medicine at a recent meeting on the Evidence Base for Genetic Testing.

TRANSPERS collaborator Barbara Koenig to lead UCSF Bioethics Program

Barbara Koenig will lead the recently established UCSF Bioethics Program -a cross-school, interdisciplinary program sponsored by the Schools of Nursing and Medicine as well as the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost. Genomics, physician assisted death, and precision health are being debated and discussed at a global level, and the opportunity to bridge these burgeoning areas at UCSF with an excellent bioethics program is extremely exciting. Details: Barbara Koenig Named Head of New Bioethics Program.

TRANSPERS gets widespread media coverage for Health Affairs article

Another type of personalized medicine being studied by TRANSPERS is the personalized of information on price and quality of health care. TRANSPERS Director Kathryn Phillips and collaborators David Schleifer and Carolin Hagelskamp from Public Agenda published an article in the April 2016 issue of Health Affairs titled “Most Americans Do Not Believe That There Is An Association Between Health Care Prices And Quality Of Care.” The study found that most Americans did not think that price and quality are associated, but a substantial minority did perceive an association or were unsure. Responses to questions framed in terms of high price and high quality differed from responses to questions framed in terms of low price and low quality, as predicted by behavioral economics. The article got widespread media coverage with > 60 mentions including in Forbes, Reuters, Kaiser Health News, and others.

TRANSPERS joins forces with Stanford- and NHGRI-funded consortium

TRANSPERS Director Kathryn Phillips was selected to serve as a member of the Stanford Medicine X Precision Medicine Advisory Panel, and TRANSPERS was welcomed as an Affiliate Member of the NHGRI-funded IGNITE network. The IGNITE network was formed to accelerate the pace of incorporating patients’ genomic information into clinical care and to carefully evaluate implementation efforts.