Marcus Program in Precision Medicine Innovation 2020 Awards

George and Judy Marcus Awards

Marcus Program in Precision Medicine Innovation

2020 Awardees

The Marcus Program in Precision Medicine Innovation is pleased to announce the results of the 2020 cycle for innovative collaborative project proposals for the Seeding Bold Ideas, Transformative Integrated Research Initiatives and ELSI in Precision Medicine. We received a total of 44 excellent and potentially transformative trans-disciplinary research proposals from faculty across UCSF. 18 cross-disciplinary teams submitted proposals to the Seeding Bold Ideas (SBI) Initiative, 20 teams submitted to the Transformative Integrated Research (TIR) Initiative and 6 teams submitted to Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications (ELSI) in Precision Medicine Initiative.

A committee of researchers representing basic, clinical, computational health, and social/behavioral sciences reviewed, discussed, and selected 9 SBI projects, 4 TIR projects and 3 ELSI projects for funding, distributing over $2M dollars.

In addition, this cycle we introduced two funding supplement initiatives in support of inclusive excellence. The first program provides a supplement for awarded research projects involving human subjects to receive a Patient and Community Advisory Board (PCAB) review of their proposed study. The UCSF Clinical and Translational Science Institute’s (CTSI) Community Engagement and Health Policy program (CEHP) facilitates the PCAB, which was created to provide an easily accessible and efficient mechanism for UCSF researchers to obtain patient and community stakeholder input for their research projects. Eleven awarded projects are eligible for this supplement (denoted with an & in table below). The second inclusive excellence initiative is a Marcus Diversity Supplement which was awarded to all funded projects where either at least one member of the PI team is of a historically underserved background or where the project includes historically underserved people in the experimental design. We awarded 7 Diversity Supplements (denoted with in table below).

The awardees for the Marcus Program in Precision Medicine Innovation 2020 Seeding Bold Ideas (SBI) Initiative are:


Proposal Title

W. Patrick Devine, MD, PhD

Zian Tseng, MD, MAS

Brian Black, PhD

Somatic Mosaicism in Autopsy-Defined Sudden Cardiac Death

Ernesto Diaz-Flores, PhD

Arun Wiita, MD, PhD

Designing and implementing a selective immunotherapy against mutant p53 towards a curative outcome in deadly childhood leukemia

Xin Duan, PhD

Ying Han, MD, PhD

Benyam Kinde, MD, PhD

A novel application of Osteopontin for treating glaucomatous optic neuropathy & ♦

Michelle Melisko, MD

Max Krummel, PhD

Defining T cell populations in cerebrospinal fluid of patients with leptomeningeal &

Mary Nakamura, MD

Lianne Gensler, MD

Mehrdad Matloubian, MD, PhD

Monica Yang, MD

Timothy Henrich, MD, MMSc

Rachel Rutishauser, MD, PhD

COVID-19 Vaccine Responses in Patients with Autoimmune Disease &

Anne Slavotinek, MD, PhD

Alejandra de Alba Campomanes, MD, MPH

Sergio Baranzini, PhD

RNA-Seq in the diagnosis of Pediatric cataracts & ♦

Alessandro Villa, DDS, PhD, MPH

Kyle Jones, DDS, PhD

Yvonne Kapila, DDS, PhD

The Oral Microbiome in Oral Epithelial Dysplasia and Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma Pathogenesis & ♦

Michael Wilson, MD

Joseph DeRisi, PhD

Large Scale Novel Methods for BCR-Antigen Sequencing &

Matt Zinter, MD

Joseph DeRisi, PhD

Metatranscriptomic Assessment of Lung Health in Pediatric Hematopoietic Cell Transplant Candidates &

The awardees for the Marcus Program in Precision Medicine Innovation 2020 Transformative Integrated Research (TIR) Initiative are:


Proposal Title

Andrei Goga, MD, PhD

Katie Kelley, MD

Daniel Nomura, PhD

Precision therapy of liver cancer by targeting the alanine metabolic pathway &

Aashish Manglik, MD, PhD

Boris Bastian, MD, PhD

Exploiting Gq signaling dynamics for precise inhibition of uveal melanoma oncogenic variants

Aleksander Rajkovic, MD, PhD

Susan Fisher, PhD

Marcelle Cedars, MD

Pre-implantation precision medicine: Prevention and prediction of adverse pregnancy outcomes

David Raleigh, MD, PhD

Luke Gilbert, PhD

William Weiss, MD, PhD

Understanding in vivo cellular and genomic mechanisms of glioblastoma

The awardees for the Marcus Program in Precision Medicine Innovation 2020 Ethics, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) in Precision Medicine Initiative are:


Proposal Title

Galen Joseph, PhD

Aleksander Rajkovic, MD, PhD

Patient and Physician Perspectives on Value, Utility and Implications of Recording Geographic Ancestry from Genomic Sequencing in the Electronic Health Record & ♦

Dean Schillinger, MD

Janet Shim, PhD

William Brown III, PhD, DrPH, MA

Precision Communication: Harnessing Precision Medicine to Transform the Most Common Medical Procedure and Reduce Health Disparities & ♦

Janet Wojcicki, PhD, MPH, MAS

Elissa Epel, PhD

Telomeres are shortening with sugar! Does a motivational intervention for reducing sugar sweetened beverage consumption work better with personal telomere testing?: A Randomized Trial & ♦