Dear Colleague,

Earlier this month, we came across the term syndemic, defined by The Lancet in 2017 as "the presence of two or more disease states that adversely interact with each other, negatively affecting the mutual course of each disease trajectory, enhancing vulnerability, and which are made more deleterious by experienced inequities." We came across syndemic in a context unrelated to COVID-19, but the application of the term to California’s concurrent emergencies is obvious (we weren’t the first to make this connection- an internet search of "COVID-19 syndemic" yields more than 36,000 results). As of yet it is the most appropriate way we know to identify the complicated intersection of a novel infectious disease, inequitable health outcomes rooted in racial discrimination, and an ongoing natural disaster with major health implications. This syndemic typifies why a precision medicine approach to health and healthcare is so vital; only by understanding the unique Venn diagram of someone’s genetic, environmental, and behavioral risks can we provide optimal, equitable care.  

This month we’re introducing our phenomenal new graduate student interns, providing news about CIAPM’s ongoing participation in the Capitol Collaborative On Race and Equity, sharing an interview with one of CIAPM’s former advisors, and highlighting best practices for research collaboration in a new report from the Greenlining Institute. If you are conducting exciting work in the field of precision medicine, we’d love to tell your story, too. Send us an email or use the blue button at the bottom of this newsletter. 

In partnership, 
The CIAPM Team 
Precision Medicine Advisory Council
Cover of WEF Precision Medicine Vision Statement
During the second meeting, Genya Dana, PhD, Head of Health Care Transformation at the World Economic Forum, discussed the Precision Medicine Vision Statement: A Product of the World Economic Forum Global Precision Medicine Council. Many of the governance gaps identified in the Vision Statement overlap with the regulatory challenges described in the 2018 report Precision Medicine: An Action Plan for California (available below). The Council then discussed potential projects CIAPM could pursue to advance precision medicine and address health disparities in California.

Further reading:
Program Updates
New CIAPM Graduate Student Interns
In August, two Graduate Student Interns joined the team to contribute to the ongoing RFP selections process and the forthcoming CA Surgeon General’s Report on Adverse Childhood Experiences.
Aiyana Emigh is a computational biologist and PhD candidate in Biophysics at the University of California, Davis. Her research aims to identify the molecular interactions that determine cardiotoxicity of medicinal drugs. During her graduate studies, she has dedicated her time to advocating for student needs and promoting equity in STEM. Before graduate school, Aiyana served for over two years in the US Peace Corps as a Math and Science Teacher Trainer in The Gambia, West Africa. Emigh earned her Bachelor of Science from California State University, Long Beach where she majored in Microbiology and Cell & Molecular Biology, double minored in Chemistry and Applied Mathematics, and completed her single-subject teaching credential in Biology.
Hyunsoo Gloria Kim is currently pursuing a PhD in Microbiology at the University of California, Davis. Kim holds Bachelor's degrees in Molecular & Cellular Biology and Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her current and previous research projects span the fields of synthetic biology, metabolic regulation, tissue engineering, cancer epidemiology, cognitive neuroscience, and science education. Kim is passionate about exploring the intersections between science, equity, policy, education, and public engagement.
Adverse Childhood Experiences RFP
Twelve proposals from seven institutions throughout the state advanced as Finalists after the CIAPM Expert Selection Committee met virtually on August 28. The Full Proposal deadline has been extended to January 14, 2021 due to persistent challenges related to the pandemic. The Committee will next meet in early March to determine the 3-5 awardees. Learn more about the 15 out-of-state experts supporting CIAPM, representing the fields of Precision Medicine, Adverse Childhood Experiences, Community Engagement, Big Data, Trauma, and others.
CIAPM Expert Selection Committee Meeting, August 28, 2020.
Capitol Collaborative on Race and Equity (CCORE)
CIAPM is participating in CCORE, a 14-month racial equity capacity-building program for state employees.

The second module of CCORE began by exploring and recognizing manifestations of white supremacy culture, followed by an introduction to Results-Based Accountability. Using the methodologies of Results-Based Accountability, each agency represented within the cohort will begin drafting a results statement and community indicators specific to their organization.
News from the CIAPM Network
Key Steps to Reduce Racial Cancer Disparities Include Supporting Minority Scientists, Diversifying Medical Schools and Clinical Trials
Former CIAPM Advisor John Carpten, PhD, addressed Congress this month as the Chair of the inaugural AACR Cancer Disparities Progress Report 2020, published September 16 by the American Association of Cancer Research. In his presentation to Congress and a recent interview for the American Journal of Managed Care (AJMC), he discussed the root causes of racial inequality in cancer care, how inequality in research leads to disparities in outcomes and mortality, and how cancer researchers can change these circumstances.

Dr. Carpten is the Chair of the Department of Translational Genomics at the University of Southern California (USC) and co-leads the Translational and Clinical Sciences Program at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Carpten was a member of the Precision Medicine Advisory Committee, which produced the 2018 report Precision Medicine: An Action Plan for California.
John Carpten
"By diversifying the cohort, we learn more about the efficacy of the therapy, or perhaps the toxicity profile...by diversifying trials, we help everyone.

The whole concept of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research will probably be part of the answer. And we have to break down the barriers, break down the walls, and break down the silos, and begin to work together and come up with novel study designs that bring to bear various disciplines to address these issues."

John Carpten, PhD
Best Practices in Research 
Making Equity Real in Research report cover
Making Equity Real in Research
On September 15, the Greenlining Institute published Making Equity Real in Research, a report examining the obstacles to meaningful, authentic equity within research collaboration. The report identifies five steps for improving partnership-based research: 1) understand the context of racism in research past and present; 2) review the challenges, best practices, and opportunities for centering racial equity in research; 3) conduct an internal equity assessment of your research institution, department, or team; 4) partner with and pay a community partner; and 5) co-create the research questions and scope of work with a community partner.

Full report:
External Opportunities
National Institute on Aging logo
Integrative Research to Understand the Impact of Sex Differences on the Molecular Determinants of Alzheimer's Disease Risk and Responsiveness to Treatment
Funding is available for a precision medicine approach to gain mechanistic understanding of the impacts of sex differences on the trajectories, prevention, and treatment of Alzheimer's Disease.

Letter of Intent due October 10, 2020
Collaborative Research in Computational Neuroscience
Two classes of proposals will be considered in response to this solicitation: Collaborative research projects and data sharing models and resources.

Full proposal due December 10, 2020
Resolution of Inflammation in Environmentally Related Disease (RESTORE)
The RESTORE program advances understanding of inflammation at the cellular and molecular levels and how exposure to environmental pollutants interferes with these pathways. The initial phase of this program focuses on chronic exposure to air pollution and inflammation in pulmonary, cardiovascular, and metabolic systems and diseases.

Letter of Intent due January 11, 2021