Dear Colleague,

August has shaped up to be yet another challenging month in our state’s history, and we continue to work to fulfill our mission to uplift equitable medical research and coordinate multi-sector partners to address deeply embedded health disparities. We wish every Californian safety and health in this unique moment of extreme heat, over 370 active wildfires, and a persistent pandemic. Precision Medicine extends far beyond the sophisticated pharmaceuticals and complex treatment efforts that often make the headlines; it also applies to targeted heat warnings and standing up cooling stations in strategic locations, delivering locality-specific and practical directions to those who must evacuate their homes while simultaneously considering physical distancing guidance, and using data to further our understanding of why some people experience worse outcomes from SARS-CoV-2 infection than others.

This month we have many programmatic updates to share, including the upcoming first Selection Committee Meeting for the RFP on Adverse Childhood Experiences, the next meeting of the Advisory Council, and the unveiling of a new online resource that highlights upcoming external events of interest. Thank you for your continued support, and as ever, please keep us updated on how you are advancing Precision Medicine in California.

In partnership, 
The CIAPM Team 
Precision Medicine Advisory Council
Genya Dana, PhD
Genya Dana, PhD, Head of Health Care Transformation at the World Economic Forum, will present the Precision Medicine Vision Statement: A Product of the World Economic Forum Global Precision Medicine Council [pdf]. The report, published in May, identifies many of the same governance gaps and proposes similar recommendations to those in the 2018 report Precision Medicine: An Action Plan for California [pdf]. After the presentation, the Council members will draw on the information from both reports and their own extensive experience to help guide the future direction of CIAPM. 

Other agenda items include amendments to the Council Guidelines and updates from the Governor’s Office, Office of Planning and Research leadership, and CIAPM staff about current state and programmatic topics. 

Please join us via Zoom. Meeting information can be found in the agenda.
Program Updates
Ken McCullough, PhD
Farewell to CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellow, Ken McCullough, PhD 
After nine months in the Governor’s Office of Planning & Research, Dr. Ken McCullough will conclude his dual fellowship with CIAPM and the Office of the Surgeon General, facilitated by the California Council on Science & Technology. Ken has become an integral member of the CIAPM team during this tumultuous year. Trained as a Molecular Neurobiologist, he graciously accepted assignments from several programmatic and project areas, including writing major sections of the upcoming Surgeon General’s Report on Adverse Childhood Experiences, assisting with the ongoing CIAPM RFP, and contributing to the Testing Innovations Workstream as a member of the Governor’s COVID-19 Testing Task Force. We will miss his diligence, sincerity, humor, and willingness to tackle any task no matter the subject area. Ken will return to the research world as a Scientist at a Bay Area biotechnology firm working in Precision Medicine. We wish him the best of luck, and know that he will continue to make us proud!
First Meeting of the RFP Expert Selection Committee 
A world-class committee of out-of-state experts has been recruited for the ongoing Request for Proposals selections process. Chaired by Melissa Merrick, PhD, the committee will gather virtually on Friday, August 28 at 8:00 am PT to select the Concept Proposals that will advance to the final stage in competition for $9 million total in state funds for three-year research projects investigating and addressing health impacts of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). Overall, 30 proposals were submitted from 14 institutions. During the first part of the meeting, the public will have an opportunity to tune in and comment. Advanced registration is required, accessible through the agenda or on the Meetings page. California Surgeon General Nadine Burke Harris, MD, MPH, a member of the CIAPM Advisory Council, will provide brief remarks about the importance of furthering the science of ACEs and toxic stress. Finalists will be notified on Monday, August 31, and awardees are expected to be announced on December 8. Learn more about the Selection Committee members from across North America, representing extraordinary expertise in ACEs, Health Equity, Child Development, Data Science, Trauma, Neuroscience, Genetics, and more.

Expanded Meetings and Events Webpage
Countless conferences, symposia, meetings, and presentations help drive scientific and clinical progress by serving as platforms for collaboration, discussion, and idea generation. To make such events more visible, the CIAPM Meetings webpage now features both internal meetings and relevant external events. To submit an event for inclusion on our website, email

Monthly Update About the Capitol Collaborative on Race and Equity
Megan Varvais, Science Communication Specialist and Administrator, serves as CIAPM’s Team Liaison for the Capitol Collaborative on Race and Equity (CCORE), a 14-month racial equity capacity-building program for state employees. The first session was held on August 20 and focused on identifying implicit and explicit biases and differentiating between individual, institutional, and structural racism. Megan is working with all staff to implement CCORE’s concepts into CIAPM’s activities. 
CIAPM Showcased at the Legislative Hearing on Rare Diseases 
On August 12, the California Legislative Rare Disease Caucus held an informational hearing titled, “Rare Access During COVID and Beyond.“ CIAPM Co-Director Julianne McCall, PhD, delivered the opening remarks, providing an overview of the initiative, priorities of the Newsom Administration, and how Precision Medicine is transforming diagnostic and treatment capabilities for people with rare diseases. 
External Opportunities
Advancing Research to Develop Improved Measures and Methods for Understanding Multimorbidity
Funding is available for projects that improve the availability, quality, and utility of data and measures that capture multimorbidity or multiple chronic conditions and methods for analyzing multimorbidity data. Also sought are patient-focused studies that capture patient reports and related constructs, such as functional limitations and quality of life, analytic approaches best suited for use with multimorbidity data and matched to target populations, and approaches that fully harness the wealth of multimorbidity data available in EHR systems.

Identifying Innovative Mechanisms or Interventions that Target Multimorbidity and Its Consequences
Funding is available for projects that identify shared mechanisms and develop innovative interventions to address multimorbidity or multiple chronic conditions (MCCs) and their consequences. Intervention research supported by this initiative should be designed to study: (1) mechanisms or pathways that prevent MCCs, including the identification of early biomarkers, behavioral pathways, and individual and contextual risk factors and interactions that contribute to the development of common MCCs; (2) targeted therapies and management, including self-management, of MCCs to delay progression and prevent onset of new diseases; and (3) innovative health care partnership models for managing or treating MCCs.
Research to Advance Models of Care for Medicaid-Eligible Populations
The Health Systems Transformation Research Coordinating Center (HSTRC)—a partnership between Avalere and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation—aims to transform health system care to promote health equity for Medicaid-eligible individuals. Through this call for proposals, we will fund research on health systems models of care to better understand which model components are essential to promoting health equity.
Mechanisms of Selective Vulnerability in Lewy Body Dementia and Frontotemporal Dementia (R01, Clinical Trial Not Allowed) 
The purpose of this funding opportunity announcement is to encourage research applications that are focused on identifying mechanisms that may explain the characteristic selective vulnerability to abnormal protein deposition that is seen in the brains of patients with LBD or FTD.