Dear Colleague,

Welcome to the California Initiative to Advance Precision Medicine’s (CIAPM’s) November newsletter. This month, we highlight five open positions, the recent 2022 CIAPM Research Symposium for Adverse Childhood Experiences, and the latest Investigator Spotlight showcasing the CIAPM-funded Cancer Disparities Project CELSUS, led by UCSD Researchers William Kim, PhD, and Pablo Tamayo, PhD. Read on for a preview of the Nov. 14 Advisory Council meeting and updates about the forthcoming Depression Research Program, the Representative Research Collaborative, and more.

In partnership,
The CIAPM Team
First-Ever Research Symposium for ACEs
On Nov. 7, UCLA hosted all seven CIAPM-funded research projects addressing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) with a precision medicine lens. The inaugural one-day event included a showcase of ongoing projects which focus on advancing the science of ACEs, developing innovative community partnership models, and building networks of researchers, community clinics, nonprofit organizations, and others. Discussions focused on data science, federated data systems, and computational tools as well as on evidence-based strategies for collecting community guidance and better engaging the public as partners in research. Opening remarks were delivered by CIAPM Advisory Council Chair and UCLA Precision Health Institute Deputy Director Dr. Lajonchere as well as UCLA ACEs Lead Principal Investigator Dr. George Slavich, who also graciously hosted the event.
Programmatic Updates
Representative Research Collaborative

The Representative Research Collaborative was proposed by the Governor and funded by the Legislature this year to develop California's first-ever interagency, cross-sector network devoted to advancing recruitment strategies and materials to ensure that biomedical and clinical research engage diverse communities, leading to representation in research studies and outcomes. RFPs for external partners, including community-based organizations, advocacy and trade associations, universities, and others, are set to be distributed in Spring 2023.

Pivotal staff positions are being recruited through December 1 to help shape and lead the new cross-sector collaborative. See the advertisements below and follow the links to apply. Additionally, the Advisory Council is scheduled to discuss at its Nov. 14 meeting the formation and structure of a new Steering Committee specific to this project. Partners at the NIH All of Us program see the collaborative as an opportunity to lay the groundwork for additional states to consider engaging as trusted experts of many communities who are so far underrepresented in biomedical research. Please reach out to with questions or interest in the Steering Committee.
Depression Research Program

The CIAPM team is in the process of developing a request for proposals that will provide up to $9 million for research that uses a precision medicine approach to improve the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of depression. The timeline for the RFP process is being finalized. Updates will continue to be shared in our newsletter.

The forthcoming RFP will include many of the parameters outlined in previous funding opportunities, such as the most recent RFP for precision medicine research for Adverse Childhood Experiences.
CIAPM is Hiring!
Science Officer — Apply by December 1
CIAPM is recruiting for a doctorate-level Science Officer to support the program’s work and further the promise of precision medicine for health equity. The full-time staff member will be responsible for innovative research grantmaking, liaising with state-funded researchers, running selections processes, and managing project evaluations. Current and upcoming projects cover Depression, Adverse Childhood Experiences, and Cancer Disparities. The employee will have numerous professional development opportunities, enjoy a hybrid work environment, and interact with high-level academics, community leaders, businesses, legislators, and members of the Newsom Administration. Learn more and apply by Dec. 1

Equity Officer — Apply by December 1
The program’s first-ever Equity Officer will manage an exciting new project that aims to build a cross-agency and cross-sector network alongside partners at the NIH All of Us program. Through stakeholder engagement, grantmaking, and academic partnerships, the goal is to develop content and advance strategies for improving participation of underrepresented communities in biomedical and clinical research. The employee will have numerous professional development opportunities, enjoy a hybrid work environment, and interact with high-level academics, community leaders, businesses, legislators, and members of the Newsom Administration. Learn more and apply here.

Project Administrator — Apply by December 1
CIAPM is recruiting for a talented and driven Project Administrator to support the program’s work of furthering the promise of precision medicine for health equity. The full-time staff member will be responsible for administrative duties to help drive forward new and existing collaborations in science and outreach. Tasks will include meeting coordination, event planning, travel arrangements, contracting, scheduling, and processing invoices. The employee will have numerous professional development opportunities, enjoy a hybrid work environment, and interact with high-level academics, community leaders, businesses, legislators, and members of the Newsom Administration. Learn more and apply here.

Graduate Student Intern: Science Communication
The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research is recruiting for a masters- or doctorate-level graduate student based in California with HTML skills for a remote, 12 hours/week, flexibly scheduled four-month internship. They will work closely with staff and partners in health equity projects within the Office of Precision Medicine, including standing up the new interagency, cross-sector Representative Research Collaborative, designing inclusive and strategic communications, and developing and maintaining webpages. Apply here by Dec. 1.

Graduate Student Intern: Program Development
The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research is recruiting for a masters- or doctorate-level graduate student based in California with skills in project management, outreach, and/or communications for a remote, 12 hours/week, flexibly scheduled four-month internship. They will work closely with staff and partners in pursuit of several ongoing health equity projects within the Office of Precision Medicine, including standing up the new interagency, cross-sector Representative Research Collaborative, helping to coordinate a Steering Committee, and supporting the Precision Medicine Equity Officer. Apply here by Dec. 1.
CIAPM Staff Updates
Farewell to Policy Fellow
Dr. Aiyana Cortez

Dr. Aiyana Cortez was an integral member of the CIAPM Team for over two years and recently graduated with her PhD in Biophysics from the University of California, Davis. This month, she began a new position with the California Council on Science & Technology as a Science & Technology Policy Fellow. Brought aboard as a graduate student intern to support the first-ever California Surgeon General’s Report, Dr. Cortez has touched nearly every CIAPM project since: She served as the program’s first student project manager for the public-facing Precision Medicine Primer and Educational Resources webpages on the CIAPM website; helped with data analysis and facilitation of the ACEs research project selections process; researched content and developed webpages for the Advisory Working Group on Equitable Consent; advanced the program’s 2022 legislative outreach to new heights linking state-funded research impacts to specific legislative districts; and co-led CIAPM’s first programmatic impact assessment; among other projects too numerous to list. Her professionalism, world-class coding and computational skills, and tireless drive to create and curate equity-centered resources for the broad CIAPM community has raised the bar again and again for the entire team. California is fortunate to have such emerging trailblazers whose passion for bridging the sciences and policy worlds is unstoppable and ever inspiring to those around her.
CA Precision Medicine Advisory Council
The council will meet on Nov. 14 for updates on and discussions about the Depression Research Program and the structure of a Steering Committee for the new Representative Research Collaborative. Council members will also discuss recent meetings of the two working groups. The meeting is open to the public; register here.
Equity Consent Working Group

The Equitable Consent Working Group is developing a website, Equitable Engagement and Consent in Clinical Research. The website will provide research partners with tools, resources, and best practices to increase participation by underrepresented minorities in clinical research. CIAPM staff have created a mockup of the first phase of the content which is currently under review by advisory council members and OPR leadership. Staff will then transfer the content to a test site for review by external partners. If you are interested in participating in the project by reviewing the test site and/or helping with dissemination, please email The next working group meeting will be in December.
Data Integration Working Group

During the Oct. 12 public meeting of the Data Integration Working Group, led by Chair Dr. Hakan Sakul, California Department of Health Care Access & Information Chief Information Officer Mike Valle engaged with CIAPM Advisors in discussing ongoing efforts to stand up the first-ever All-Payer Claims Database for California, called the Health Care Payments Data Program, which will be accessible for research purposes via application as early as next year. Slides from his presentation will be made accessible by emailing The next meeting will take place in January.
CIAPM Network in the News
Dr. Yamamoto at Annual NASEM Meeting

As incoming AAAS President, CIAPM Advisory Council Vice Chair, and UCSF’s Vice Chancellor of Science Policy & Strategy, Dr. Keith Yamamoto served as an expert panelist at the annual meeting of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering & Medicine, participating in the session, “Revolutionizing the Biomedical and Health Sciences.” Read more on the NASEM website.

CIAPM Project Highlighted in Radio Interview

CIAPM-funded Principal Investigators Dr. Dayna Long and Dr. Nicole Bush of the UCSF ACEs research team, advancing their project titled, "The Collaborative approach to examining Adversity and building Resilience (CARE) Program," were interviewed by the Bay Area's KALW to discuss ACEs’ impacts to physical and mental health outcomes. Listen here.
Investigator Spotlight
Project CELSUS is led by Principle Investigators Pablo Tamayo, PhD and William Kim, PhD at the University of California, San Diego.

Project Overview
This project connects a community of researchers, clinicians, patients and community advocates, who join forces as Project CELSUS to apply precision medicine genomic profiling to find new treatments and create a more precise and rational system to match TNBC tumors and existing cancer treatments. The project draws its name from Aulus Cornelius Celsus, an early pioneer of evidenced-based medicine in the 1st century A.D.

Since launching on August 14, 2019, the Project CELSUS team has made important strides towards developing project infrastructure and bringing together stakeholders from 14 separate institutions.

The Project CELSUS team is building on its 2020 accomplishments by improving their models, refining their system for testing the effectiveness of medications, validating their results in additional models, and strengthening engagement with partnering community hospitals. The work will support the ultimate goal of optimizing treatments for Hispanic women with TNBC.

1) What are the major goals of your project, and how does the project address health impacts of cancer disparities, and advance equity in California?
We made significant progress over the past decade in the development of novel treatments and molecular cancer diagnostics to guide the choice of treatment for Breast Cancer. However, in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC), which accounts for approximately 20% of all breast cancers and have a poor clinical outcome, the treatment options are limited because they lack specific drug targets. Because they are more prevalent among Hispanic women, this results in a major health disparity in cancer diagnosis and treatment.

A major goal of our project is to leverage the rich scientific, and clinical expertise at Moores Cancer Center (MCC), UC San Diego, and the large Hispanic population in the greater San Diego area to apply precision medicine approaches to medically underserved Hispanic TNBC patients. We have thus worked to better understand TNBC biology, towards better intervention strategies, and improved clinical management of TNBC Hispanic patients and community stakeholder engagement for optimal study implementation, interpretation, and dissemination. In the process, we were aiming to foster a strengthened relationship and dialogue between UCSD, community cancer physicians, community hospitals, patients, and stakeholders to ensure equitable participation and benefit.

2) What are the most exciting project accomplishments or developments so far?
We are excited about several accomplishments so far. First, we are completing the development of the novel Cancer States and Archetypes (CSA) analysis framework, a multi-omic methodology incorporating over 20 different algorithms as a comprehensive disease model. The CSA breast cancer disease model represents the most common oncogenic states and incorporates predictive models that defines a high-resolution functional taxonomy of breast cancer, identifies novel targets for investigation, and provides a precision medicine paradigm to inform the choice of therapeutics for individual or groups of patients.

Second, as molecular tumor data and preclinical models from Hispanic TNBCs are enormously underrepresented, we are excited that our project has facilitated the collection of a number of rare tumor specimens from Hispanic patients, some of which are being cultured in the laboratory, and some of which are being molecularly profiled. This will be of great resource for the cancer research community as we learn more about the specific biology that may underlie Hispanic breast cancer patients.

Third, the project has allowed us to learn a great deal about the biology of TNBCs. We have systematically tested more than 40 individual agents, and 35 drug combinations across 24 breast cancer cell lines resulting in more than 1000 assays in triplicates. We are hopeful that some of these results may lead to promising therapeutic strategies towards TNBCs.

This project has also allowed us as the first and only academic center in San Diego to establish remote consenting and blood/tissue acquisition with patients seen at community hospitals. This successful collaborative model between UCSD and El Center Regional Medical Center through the CIAPM project has sparked further discussions regarding future collaborations with ECRMC to expand across all other disease types. We believe that this will facilitate other investigators at MCC to engage in research through community partnership.

Finally, we have generated community report from interviewing 44 patients and other stakeholders in San Diego and Imperial Counties will be published soon in both Spanish and English to disseminate key findings and recommendations. This will provide a unique opportunity to understand, through their own words and experiences, the stories of some amazing Latina women who have survived breast cancer in hopes that these stories will help guide future research – and practice – in breast cancer care.

3) How do projects funded by CIAPM differ from those funded by other sponsors?
CIAPM project has served as a one-of-a-kind opportunity to bring together a large number of investigators, clinicians, cancer patients and survivors, and stakeholders across various disciplines, institutions and backgrounds with the common goal to recognize and to address a broad unmet problems of cancer disparities within our communities.

The CIAPM’s approach to support the projects in a problem-centric way has made possible for us to expose a number of real-life challenges that were not obvious until they are executed. While some of these involve administrative and logistical issues that can eventually be resolved, we have also come to further appreciate the enormous complexities underlying cancer as a disease and the major challenges of effectively treating them in the clinic. While realization of such complexities can be discouraging and appear to thwart immediate progress, it is through projects like those supported by CIAPM that will help revisit and re-assess many current state of the knowledge to better understand what it takes to eventually tackle this terrible disease.

We believe that the lessons and resources from these investigations, uniquely made possible through the CIAPM support, will seed many more future efforts to help bring us closer to realizing precision cancer medicine and narrowing the health disparities of underrepresented patients.
External Events & Opportunities
Precision Medicine World Conference (PMWC) January 25-27, 2023
Date: January 25, 2023

Time: 8-5pm PST

Place: Santa Clara Convention Center

Learn more about the conference here.
State Resource: The California Grants Portal

CIAPM is currently developing two funding opportunities, described above. Additionally, the State of California regularly provides many other grant opportunities, covering health, environmental stewardship, economic development, and other topics, all searchable in the new California Grants Portal. Users can subscribe to receive notifications for new funding opportunities, and can filter by subject area (e.g., health and human services).
Explore curated external opportunities on the CIAPM website here.

For example, the National Institutes of Health has two relevant funding opportunities available: the Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP) and Technology Development to Reduce Health Disparities.

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Sacramento, CA 95814-3022
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