Dear Colleague,

Welcome to the first newsletter of the California Initiative to Advance Precision Medicine! We will use this monthly opportunity to share updates about the program and Advisory Council, news from our network of grantees and collaborators, and external opportunities relevant to our mission of advancing precision medicine and reducing health disparities. Recommended news and other items for future newsletters are invited; please use the blue button at the end of the email .

With this first newsletter, we would like to make an unequivocal statement about racial equity within precision medicine, the Initiative, and the Governor's Office of Planning and Research. CIAPM has a statutory and moral obligation to use the principles of precision medicine to address health disparities in California. Both the COVID-19 pandemic and incidents of violence against Black Americans have reinforced the long-standing systemic racism that persists within society, including public health and health care. As Governor Newsom recently said, “Our institutions are responsible. We are accountable to this moment... We have a unique responsibility to the Black community in this country and we’ve been paying lip service to that for generations...”

As a State-funded and administered program, CIAPM counts itself among the institutions that have an obligation to amplify the voices of the underserved and underrepresented, and take action to achieve a more equitable and just society. At our inaugural California Precision Medicine Advisory Council meeting this May, we were honored to have Robbin Gaines, from the California Health Care Foundation, present data about health disparities in California. The grim realities Ms. Gaines presented must serve as a call to action for institutions to enact authentic, lasting change and proactively remove barriers that hinder the ability of people of color to live their healthiest lives. 

Since 2018, leaders within California State entities have been working to learn about, plan for, and implement activities that embed racial equity approaches into institutional culture, policies, and practices. The Capitol Collaborative on Race & Equity (CCORE) provides State staff the tools and resources to implement best practices for building racial equity and transforming institutions. Starting in August, CIAPM staff, along with other staff from the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research and the Strategic Growth Council, will begin the year-longCCORE curriculum. We look forward to providing updates about this program in our monthly newsletter. 
Finally, here are a few articles we were inspired by that address the need for diversity within precision medicine, and propose recommendations of how we can move the field to be more inclusive: 

Through education and action, we will work toward our goal: building a California For All.

In partnership,
The CIAPM Team
Precision Medicine Advisory Council
"California is the most racially diverse state in the country, and addressing health disparities experienced by people of color is critically important. This Almanac, produced by the California Health Care Foundation, shows that people of color face barriers to accessing health care, often receive suboptimal treatment, and are most likely to experience poor outcomes in the health care system."

Robbin Gaines
Senior Program Officer, California Health Care Foundation

Council guidelines were discussed and ratified. The guidelines cover the Council's composition, member responsibilities, voting procedures, and other general expectations.

Meeting Materials
The following materials are available to view. Meeting minutes with a draft watermark have not yet been adopted by the Council.

The next Council meeting is expected to occur in August.

Chair and Vice Chair
The Council elected Dr. Clara Lajonchere (UCLA) as Chair , and Dr. Keith Yamamoto (UCSF) as Vice Chair .
Clara Lajonchere, PhD
Chair, California Precision Medicine Advisory Council
Keith Yamamoto, PhD
Vice Chair, California Precision Medicine Advisory Council
OPR Director Kate Gordon said , "We are thrilled that Dr. Lajonchere agreed to serve as Chair of the California Precision Medicine Advisory Council. Her work in both the public and private sectors, and with diverse patient populations, makes her the ideal choice for this role. Through the Council, her experience will enrich the California Initiative to Advance Precision Medicine. Dr. Yamamoto will be a wonderful Vice Chair for the California Precision Medicine Advisory Council. His deep expertise within the field of precision medicine will be an asset to the Council, and to all Californians. And we are particularly glad to have representation from both northern and southern California in our advisory council leadership."
Program Updates
Staff Update
CIAPM Financial Officer Chris Wang concluded his time with the Initiative in June. Chris has been a vital part of the team since January 2018, overseeing programmatic and project budgets. We would like to thank him for years of thoughtful management that helped ensure successful demonstration projects through his work with CIAPM staff and awardees.
Chris is based at UC Davis, where he manages the Center for Precision Medicine and Data Sciences. He is a Certified Research Administrator, holds degrees in Finance and Media Arts, and is currently completing an MBA. We would also like to thank Dr. Fred Meyers and UC Davis for coordinating Chris's gracious contributions to CIAPM.

Current RFP on Adverse Childhood Experiences
Nearly forty Letters of Intent were submitted in February from seventeen research institutions, in partnership with community health leaders. In light of the pandemic, the Concept Proposal deadline was postponed to July 22. The Selection Committee will meet in August to choose finalists. Check the RFP webpage for more details.

Asset Inventory
The Precision Medicine Asset Inventory is an interactive mapping tool hosted and maintained by CIAPM and includes relevant research institutes, organizations, companies, and datasets. Currently, over 475 elements are featured, with recent updates in the field of Infectious Diseases.
News from the CIAPM Network
Dr. David Haussler Accelerates COVID-19 Research and Celebrates 20 Years Since the First Draft Sequence of the Human Genome
While the National Human Genome Research Institute celebrated 20 years since Dr. David Haussler and his team uploaded the first working draft sequence of the human genome, he and his colleagues were busy with another leading project adapting the UCSC Genome Browser to provide all researchers a common platform to access the latest molecular data characterizing the SARS-CoV-2 genome and proteins. A manuscript was recently uploaded with further details. Dr. Haussler is the Scientific Director of the UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute and was one of CIAPM's first grantees in 2015.
External Opportunities
NIH All of Us Research Program Launches COVID-19 Initiatives
The federal precision medicine program has broadened the scope of its data collection efforts to gain insights into the impacts and characteristics of COVID-19.
Community Interventions to Address the Consequences of the COVID-19 Pandemic among Health Disparity and Vulnerable Populations
This Funding Opportunity encourages proposals to implement and evaluate community interventions testing 1) the impacts of mitigation strategies to prevent COVID-19 transmission in NIH-designated health disparity populations and other vulnerable groups; and 2) already implemented, new, or adapted interventions to address the adverse psychosocial, behavioral, and socioeconomic consequences of the pandemic on the health of these groups.