UCSF Experts Among Highlights at 2021 Precision Medicine World Conference Focused on COVID-19

By Sarah Paris

Established in 2009 and co-hosted by UC San Francisco, the prestigious Precision Medicine World Conference (PMWC) will be held online and free for the first time in a special, three-day meeting focused on the COVID-19 pandemic. The gathering is a unique opportunity to hear from top leaders in academia, government, and the pharmaceutical industry, particularly for anyone not able to attend previously due to lack of travel time or funds.

“This conference will convene leading university and pharma/biotech researchers, together with academic and government policymakers, to consider both the impact of the pandemic and how it has spurred unprecedented collaborations and innovations and transformed healthcare delivery, streamlined clinical trials, and highlighted disparities,” said Keith Yamamoto, PhD, director of UCSF Precision Medicine and vice chancellor for Science Policy and Strategy. Yamamoto co-organized the meeting, along with Leroy Hood, PhD, (Providence St. Joseph Health) and Tal Behar (PMWC).

Scientific presentations will include advances in understanding the immune response, and precision medicine-driven development of new diagnostics, therapeutics, vaccines, and population health strategies. UCSF Panelists include:

Other prominent academic speakers include Eric Topol, MD, (Scripps Institute); Stanford professors Yvonne Maldonado, MD, and Michael Snyder, PhD; Vanderbilt Dean and CEO Jeffrey Balser, MD, PhD; and Duke chancellor emeritus and director of Personalized Healthcare, Ralph Snyderman, MDLeading pharma executives, include Pfizer’s Philip Dormitzer, MD, PhD, and Moderna’s Tal Zaks, MD, PhD; government speakers include the FDA’s Peter Marks, MD, PhD, and acting commissionar Janet Woodcock, MD.

Anthony Fauci, MD, who has been called “the face of America's fight against coronavirus,” will receive the PMWC’s Luminary Award, recognizing him as a “relentless crusader against some of humanity’s most virulent medical threats.”

The conference runs from January 25-27. Full program and registration here: https://www.pmwcintl.com/covid/

Advancing precision medicine is one of Chancellor Hawgood’s priorities. UCSF has co-sponsored the Precision Medicine World Conference since 2016 to help bring key parties and stakeholders together to address major issues in health care and science. 

The UCSF Precision Medicine program uses advanced computing tools to aggregate, integrate and analyze vast amounts of data from basic science, clinical, personal, environmental and population health to better understand biological processes and define disease mechanisms, and to develop and deliver more precise diagnostics, therapeutics, and prevention measures. Everyone, including patients, can contribute their own data to this dynamic network. 

To-date, UCSF is home to dozens of major research projects as part of its precision medicine program. They can be accessed in this searchable database.

Precision Medicine in Action


What does “Precision Medicine” mean in practical terms? How does it work in the real world? How does it address challenges, such as the COVID-19 pandemic? This video shows precision medicine as a dynamic process, which integrates vast amounts of data into a “knowledge network.” Using COVID-19 as an example, it demonstrates how precision medicine leads to better prevention, enhanced diagnoses, and more effective treatments for individual patients and communities.


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