UCSF

People

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. 

Founding Director

Kathryn A. Phillips, PhD

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Kathryn A. Phillips, Ph.D., is Professor of Health Economics and Health Services Research in the Department of Clinical Pharmacy at UCSF. A leader in the application of new technologies to improve healthcare, she is the Founding Director of the UCSF Center for Translational and Policy Research on Personalized Medicine (TRANSPERS). She is a core faculty member in the UCSF Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies and UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and is affiliated with the Institute for Human Genetics, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Baker Computational Health Sciences Institute, and Global Health Sciences.

Kathryn focuses on the value of new technologies and how to most effectively and efficiently implement them into health care. 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. Kathryn led one of the earliest studies on the societal implications of pharmacogenomics, underscoring its potential to reduce the incidence of adverse drug reactions (JAMA, 2001). 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 over 150 articles in major journals including JAMA, New England Journal of Medicine, Science, and Health Affairs and has had continuous funding from the U.S. National Institutes of Health as a Principal Investigator for over 25 years. She serves on the editorial boards for Health Affairs (rated as the top policy journal), Value in Health (a leading outcomes research journal), JAMA Internal Medicine, Genetics in Medicine (section editor), and leading journals on precision medicine. Kathryn has served on national and international scientific advisory committees and workshops including the Board of Directors for Genome Canada, National Academy 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 ~50 biotechnology companies and venture capital firms. In 2016, she was awarded a Rockefeller Foundation award to pursue work on global health. She serves as Chair of the Global Economics and Evaluation of Clinical Sequencing Working Group and is serving on an evidence review committee for the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER).

Collaborators

Jeroen P. Jansen, PhD

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Jeroen Jansen Ph.D. is Associate Professor in the Department of Clinical Pharmacy at UCSF. Jeroen is a senior member of the TRANSPERS team and working, primarily as a methodologist, at the intersection of evidence synthesis, biostatistics, and health economics.

Jeroen has 15 years of research experience and has led or supervised numerous projects to understand the value of healthcare technologies. Prompted by the challenges encountered in applied research projects, he has performed methodological research. Notable contributions are the development of novel statistical methods to overcome the typical challenges in model-based cost-effectiveness evaluations characterized by gaps in the evidence base and complex evidence structures. Furthermore, Jeroen led initiatives to develop guidance for consumers and producers of network meta-analysis studies. He has promoted a more transparent and credible approach to model-based health economic evaluations and led the development of open-source simulation models to illustrate its feasibility. Furthermore, Jeroen has been involved in the ongoing development of an R software package to develop simulation models for health economic evaluations.

His current research interests are the clinical and economic value of precision medicine, incorporating novel elements of value and health disparities in health economic modeling studies, and statistical methods for evidence synthesis. He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed papers and is widely cited. He is co-author of a textbook on network meta-analysis for decision-making. Jeroen has a PhD in epidemiology from the Erasmus University in the Netherlands.

Michael P. Douglas, MS

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Michael Douglas, MS is the Program Manager for TRANSPERS. Michael has worked with Kathryn Phillips, TRANSPERS Founder and Director, and other personalized medicine investigators for over 20 years in varying organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Office of Public Health Genomics, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association’s Technical Evaluation Center, and Bayer Diagnostics.

Michael’s research focuses on the value of new technologies and how to most effectively and efficiently implement them into health care, with a particular focus on personalized (or precision) medicine. His research spans a variety of disciplines, including clinical and social sciences, in the academic, government, and industry sectors. He has extensive expertise in genomic laboratory medicine, evidence-based reviews of molecular-based testing, personalized medicine, and research program management.

As TRANSPERS Program Manager, he has a leadership role in several grants, research and research development, program management, and publication. He’s led or co-authored over 40 publications in the field of genomic medicine and molecular diagnostics.

Jalayne Arias, JD

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Jalayne Arias, JD is an Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology, in the Weill Institute for Neuroscience Institute at UCSF. She collaborates with TRANSPERS on studies of Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias.

Her research harnesses training in law and ethics to evaluate critical challenges associated with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias She is funded as a K01 Career Development Awardee from the National Institute on Aging beginning in 2018 to examine employment and insurance discrimination based on biomarkers for Alzheimer’s Disease. She joined UCSF as an assistant professor at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center and joined the Global Brain Health Institute as an Atlantic Fellow for Equity in Brain Health at UCSF in 2016. She is a co-investigator on an R01 on ethical integration in the development of novel neurotechnologies and was previously awarded grants from The Alzheimer's Association, the Hellman Foundation, and the Marcus Family Foundation. She received her undergraduate degree in international studies with a political science emphasis from Pepperdine University, her law degree from Arizona State University, and her master's degree in bioethics from Case Western Reserve University.
Grace A. Lin, MD

Grace Lin, MD is an Associate Professor of Medicine and core faculty in the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies, UCSF. She works with TRANSPERS on a variety of projects on clinician and policy decision-making for precision medicine.

Grace’s research program focuses improving the quality and appropriateness of healthcare provided by helping patients and physicians make high-quality decisions that are reflective of both evidence from the literature and the patient’s individual values. She hypothesizes that improving medical decision-making can improve the quality and efficiency of care and help address disparities in care. The recent focus on greater patient-centered care and more shared decision-making between patients and providers make research in this area imperative.

Grace’s activities have included assessing the current state of clinical decision-making using quantitative and qualitative methods, developing programs to assist physicians and older adults in screening for and prevention of geriatric syndromes, assessing implementation of shared decision-making tools into primary care, and evaluating the clinical and economic value of new therapies. She has also worked on development and validation of an instrument to measure decision quality in patients with coronary artery disease in a national network of cardiology clinics and catheterization laboratories, developing an intervention to assist older adults and patients in assessing the risks and benefits of continued cancer screening, and assessing how insurance coverage, price, and reimbursement may affect ordering of genetic testing for hereditary cancer syndromes. Finally, she works with the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review on assessing the effectiveness and value of new and emerging therapies.
Maren Scheuner, MD, MPH

Maren T Scheuner, MD, MPH is the acting National Program Director for Genomic Medicine in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and the Director of the Clinical Genetics Program at the San Francisco VA Health Care System. She is a Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology-Oncology and Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Medical Genetics at the UCSF School of Medicine. She collaborates with TRANSPERS on a range of studies examining the clinical and policy implications of precision medicine.

Maren is an internist and medical geneticist. She has conducted health services and implementation research in the VA since 2008. Her research activities focus on the integration of genetic services and genetic testing applications into clinical practice. Areas of focus include: care coordination for genomic medicine in the VA; delivery models for clinical genetic services; outcomes of precision medicine and their value; clinical validity and utility of family history tools in risk assessment and disease prevention; genetic testing technologies and communication processes between the laboratory and ordering provider; and the intersection of health information technology and genomic medicine.

Julia R. Trosman, PhD

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Julia Trosman, Ph.D. is Director and Co-Founder, Center for Business Models in Healthcare, a practice of Executive Frameworks, Ltd, a health services research organization focused on researching, developing and implementing innovative models for collaborative care delivery, adoption of medical and care innovation, and reimbursement. She is also an Assistant Adjunct Professor in the Department of Clinical Pharmacy, University of California San Francisco, and Assistant Adjunct Professor, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL. She has collaborated with TRANSPERS since 2007 and provides leadership on payer coverage decision-making studies.

Julia’s research is focused on the area of precision medicine insurance coverage and reimbursement, with an emphasis on payer coverage decision-making. She has conducted innovative primary research with the largest US private payers on factors and criteria of coverage for novel genomic technologies since 2007. The research has focused on a spectrum of relevant diseases (e.g., cancer, prenatal genetic disorders, pediatric developmental and neurologic disorders) and clinical settings (e.g., hereditary syndrome risk assessment in asymptomatic populations and disease management setting). In collaboration with TRANSPERS, she has facilitated numerous multi-stakeholder meetings on precision medicine, including payers. She has collaborated on numerous previous and current grants, studies, and publications, including two NIH grants funded by the National Cancer Institutes and National Human Genome Research Institute.

Christine B. Weldon, MBA

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Christine Weldon, MBA is Director and Co-Founder, Center for Business Models in Healthcare, a practice of Executive Frameworks, Ltd, a health services research organization focused on researching, developing and implementing innovative models for collaborative care delivery, adoption of medical and care innovation, and reimbursement. She is also an Adjunct Instructor at Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL. She has collaborated with TRANSPERS since 2007 on payer coverage decision-paying studies.

Christine’s research has been focused on the area of coverage/reimbursement and care delivery for precision medicine for many years and barriers to adoption, as well as developing and implementing relevant interventions. She co-led a national survey of the NCI-designated cancer centers on testing practices for tumor mutation testing. As a collaborator with Dr. Phillips and UCSF TRANSPERS, she has participated in coverage policy and payer decision-making studies, with a focus on hereditary and tumor multi-gene testing and whole genome and whole exome sequencing. In the area of provider decision-making, she has led a study to examine gaps and barriers in cancer care delivery, including decision-making on adoption of genetic testing, at 54 hospitals in the Chicago area and over 20 sites serving vulnerable breast cancer patients.

Allison W. Kurian, M.D., M.Sc.

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Allison Kurian, MD, MSc is a Professor of Medicine and of Epidemiology and Population Health at Stanford University School of Medicine. She is the Associate Director, Stanford Program for Clinical Cancer Genetics, and Director, Stanford Women's Cancer Genetics Clinic. She has worked with TRANSPERS for many years, providing expert advice on clinical implementation of genomic medicine, particularly in cancer.

Allison’s research focuses on the identification of women with elevated breast and gynecologic cancer risk, and on the development and evaluation of novel techniques for early cancer detection and risk reduction. One area of investigation is the utility of next-generation sequencing technology for clinical decision-making. Her professional goal is to improve breast and gynecologic cancer outcomes through clinically-oriented research on the early detection, prevention, and treatment of these cancers, including hereditary risk assessment through genetic testing. She has significant experience in leading epidemiologic studies of risk factors for breast and ovarian cancer, clinical trials of novel approaches to the treatment and prevention of breast cancer, and decision analyses of strategies to optimize breast and gynecologic cancer outcomes. Her research has been supported by National Institutes of Health, foundation, and institutional grants, and she has published widely in peer-reviewed journals.
Su-Ying Liang, PhD

Su-Ying Liang, Ph.D. is Research Economist at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute (PAMFRI). She also holds appointments as a research health economist (since 2000) and adjunct professor at the University of California, San Francisco (since 2011). She is a past TRANSPERS Team member and participates in several TRANSPERS projects.

Su-Ying’s research applies economics and quantitative methods to examine policy issues in health care delivery and organization. Her research interests are medical care utilization and its impact on clinical care, with an emphasis on personalized medicine, genetic testing, and cancer screening procedures, physician compensation arrangements, and women’s health.

Her work has been published in peer-reviewed journals such as American Journal of Managed Care, Cancer, Contraception, Health Services and Outcomes Research Methodology, Health Services Research, JAMA, Medical Care, Medical Care Research and Review, and Nature Biotechnology. Dr. Liang serves as an ad hoc reviewer for ~10 journals. She is a former member of the scientific review committee for the International Health Economics Association.

Postdoctoral Fellows and Students

Christopher F. Weyant, PhD

Christopher Weyant, Ph.D. is a postdoctoral fellow within TRANSPERS, in the Department of Clinical Pharmacy at UCSF. His research focuses on the development and application of techniques from health economics and outcomes research, operations research, and data science to improve patient health, focusing on precision medicine. He has extensive modeling experience integrating diverse methodologies.

During his Ph.D. research, he published three papers in top medical journals (PLOS Medicine, Annals of Internal Medicine, and Medical Decision Making). His work has been featured by media outlets, such as NPR. His graduate research was supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and a merit-based departmental research fellowship.

Current and Previous Participating Organizations

Academic and research organizations

  • American Institutes for Research
  • Baylor University School of Medicine
  • Center for Business Models in Healthcare
  • Center for Medical Technology Policy
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    • Evaluation of Genomic Applications in Practice and Prevention (EGAPP)
  • Dana Farber Cancer Institute
  • Harvard Medical School; Brigham and Women’s Hospital
  • Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute
  • Research Triangle Institute
  • Stanford University
  • Tufts University Medical Center
  • University of Calgary
  • University of Chicago Medical Center
  • University of Oxford
  • Veteran's Affairs Medical Center San Francisco

Health plans and payers

  • Aetna
  • Anthem
  • Beacon Laboratory Benefit Solutions
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield Association
  • Blue Shield of CA
  • CIGNA
  • EviCore
  • Health Care Services Corporation (BCBS of IL, TX, NM, OK)
  • HealthNet
  • HealthPartners, Inc.
  • Highmark Inc. (a BlueCross BlueShield affiliate)
  • Humana Inc
  • Independence Blue Cross
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • Oklahoma Health Care Authority
  • Premera
  • UnitedHealth Group