Research Overview

The TRANSPERS Center uses an integrated, interdisciplinary, and innovative approach to gather evidence about how genomic information is being translated into clinical practice and health policy. Our goal is to identify ways to harness this knowledge to improve healthcare, while also reducing waste and inefficiency.

We explore critical questions about the application of precision medicine in clinical care, including:

  • Who has access to the newest technologies, particularly gene panels and sequencing tests?
  • Is access provided equally across social and economic groups?
  • How do providers and payers make decisions about the use of precision tests and/or drugs?
  • What information do insurers need to make the most appropriate decisions about whether to cover precision medicine technologies?
  • How can we better design policies to encourage the most effective use of these technologies?

We collaborate with world-leading experts and organizations in precision medicine to develop projects and working groups that focus on:

  • Payer Coverage and Decision-making
  • Evidence Development and Evaluation of Implementation
  • Measuring Economic Value
  • Health Disparities
  • Assessing Global Implementation and Economic Evaluation
  • Translating Science into Policy


Areas of Focus

In order to make precision medicine accessible, we must first understand its use and impact on clinical care, health economics, and health policy. TRANSPERS is at the leading edge of these fields, applying multidisciplinary approaches to collect and study real-world examples that can guide the future use of personalized / precision medicine, primarily genetic testing and next-generation sequencing, to improve health and healthcare. Our research focuses on:


Payer Coverage and Decision-making

How do key stakeholders make decisions about different types of precision treatments? TRANSPERS is leading several research projects that address how clinicians and healthcare payers make decisions. These studies range from qualitative interviews and focus groups to quantitative, population-based surveys. Our emphasis is on systematic reviews of payer coverage policies and in-depth analyses of payer decision-making. We focus on diverse populations, including patients, clinicians, health care payers, and industry.


Evidence Development and Evaluation of Implementation

Understanding how precision medicine unfolds in the real world requires gathering real-world data and evidence. TRANSPERS is working with clinics and health plans to gather data that we can use to examine questions about utilization, implementation, and costs of precision medicine. Our ongoing work harnesses real-world evidence around several important technologies in precision medicine for cancer and other major diseases.


Measuring Economic Value

Medical technologies, such as genetic testing and next-generation sequencing, have the potential to improve human health, but we also need to consider their value relative to their cost and how to reduce waste and inefficiency TRANSPERS brings together leaders from a wide array of fields, including economics, policy, and clinical medicine, to develop and apply methods that can help define the value of precision medicine. Examples of these methods include:

  • Mixed quantitative and qualitative methods
  • Cost-effectiveness and cost-utility analysis
  • Evidence synthesis and technology evaluation

These diverse perspectives and approaches allow us to consider translation from multiple angles and pursue truly interdisciplinary research to advance our knowledge of personalized medicine.


Health Disparities

TRANSPERS is committed to promoting health equity and access to precision medicine healthcare services through multidisciplinary and collaborative research into the root causes of health disparities. We bring our unique expertise in payer coverage, stakeholder decision-making, and quantifying value to examine a range of policy issues that drive inequities and unequal access to precision medicine.


Assessing Global Implementation and Economic Evaluation

We focus on improving methods of evaluation, identifying challenges in accessing value, suggesting innovative solutions, and conducting research on moving evaluation of precision medicine into practice on a global scale.


Translating Science into Policy

Policy decisions require a robust evidence-base to guide and inform them. TRANSPERS is building frameworks to develop and analyze the evidence needed to accelerate the translation of precision medicine into policies that improve health outcomes. We focus on clinical application, economics, and reimbursement, and apply real-world examples to highlight current challenges and potential solutions. We develop frameworks to assess the economic value of precision medicine that can be useful for policy decisions such as in reimbursement and coverage decision-making.


Funding organizations

TRANSPERS has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) since its founding in 2008 (National Cancer Institutes and National Human Genome Research Institute). The Center has also received funding from other government organizations and foundations.

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