Director and founder

Kathryn A. Phillips, PhD




Kathryn A. Phillips, PhD, a health services researcher and health economist and leader in the application of new technologies to improve healthcare, 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 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. Kathryn led one of the earliest studies on pharmacogenomics, underscoring its potential to reduce the incidence of adverse drug reactions (JAMA, 2001). 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. Kathryn has also conducted seminal work on HIV, as her analysis of HIV home testing informed the FDA’s decision to approve the first home collection HIV test (New England Journal of Medicine, 1995).

Kathryn has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles in major journals, including JAMA, the New England Journal of Medicine, and Health Affairs and has had continuous funding from the US. National Institutes of Health as a principal investigator for 25 years. She currently serves on the editorial boards of the journal Health Affairs and several leading journals on personalized medicine. Kathryn has served on national and international scientific advisory committees and workshops including work for Genome Canada, Institutes of Medicine, Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. She has also served as an advisor to various international and industry organizations, including more than 35 biotechnology companies and venture capital firms.


The TRANSPERS Center includes collaborators, advisors, and board members representing an array of interests and disciplines. Our work integrates national and international academic groups, government agencies, cross-cutting research organizations, health plans and payers, patient advocates, and industry representatives. Participating institutions include:

Academic and research organizations

  • American Institutes for Research
  • Baylor University School of Medicine
  • Center for Business Models in Healthcare
  • Center for Medical Technology Policy
  • Dana Farber Cancer Institute
  • Harvard Medical School; Brigham and Women’s Hospital
  • Research Triangle Institute
  • Stanford University
  • Tufts University Medical Center
  • University of Calgary
  • University of Chicago Medical Center

Health plans and payers

  • Aetna
  • Anthem
  • BCBS of Tennessee
  • Blue Shield of CA
  • Cambia Health Solutions / Regence
  • Health Care Services Corporation (BCBS of IL, TX, NM, OK)
  • HealthNet
  • Highmark Inc. (a BlueCross BlueShield affiliate)
  • Humana Inc
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • Premera
  • UnitedHealth Group