Marcus Program is Precision Medicine Innovation - Overview

George and Judy Marcus Awards
Marcus Program in Precision Medicine Innovation
2018 Awardees

The Marcus Program in Precision Medicine Innovation is pleased to announce the results of the 2018 call for innovative collaborative project proposals for the Seeding Bold Ideas and Transformative Integrated Research Initiatives. We received a total of 39 excellent and potentially transformative trans-disciplinary research proposals from faculty across UCSF. 17 cross-disciplinary teams submitted proposals to the Seeding Bold Ideas (SBI) Initiative and 22 teams submitted to the Transformative Integrated Research (TIR) Initiative.

A committee of researchers representing basic, clinical, computational health, and social/behavioral sciences reviewed, discussed, and selected 7 SBI projects and 4 TIR projects for funding.

The awardees for the Marcus Program in Precision Medicine Innovation 2018 Seeding Bold Ideas (SBI) Initiative are:


Proposal Title

Eric Collisson, MD
Adam Renslo, PhD

Combination Therapy Targeting Autophagy and the MEK/ERK Pathway in Pancreatic Cancer

Hannah Glass, MD, CM, MAS
Adam Numis, MD
Elliott Sherr, MD, PhD

UCSF NSR-GENE (University of California, San Francisco Neonatal Seizure Registry, GEnetics of post-Neonatal Epilepsy)

Bo Huang, PhD
Trever Bivona, MD, PhD

Oncogenic signaling by intracellular kinase protein granules

R. Katie Kelley, MD
Lawrence Fong, MD, PhD
John Gordon, MD, PhD

Hepatitis B Virus-associated mechanisms of immune escape and resistance to immunotherapy in HCC

A. Hunter Shain, PhD
Sarah Arron, MD, PhD

Mutation burden of individual keratinocytes as a biomarker to predict squamous cell carcinoma

Joseph Shieh, MD, PhD
Aleksandar Rajkovic, MD, PhD

Essential Genes and Early Disease Diagnostics

Doris Wang, MD, PhD
Coralie deHemptinne, PhD

Using chronic brain implants to understand and enhance motor learning in Parkinson's disease

The awardees for the Marcus Program in Precision Medicine Innovation 2018 Transformative Integrated Research (TIR) Initiative are:


Proposal Title

Eric Collisson, MD
Jeroen Roose, PhD

Tailored, Real-­time Models of Rare Driver Mutations in Human Cancer

Robert Blelloch, MD, PhD
Lawrence Fong, MD
James Fraser, PhD

Suppression of exosome biogenesis as a means of overcoming resistance to immunocheckpoint inhibitors

Andrei Goga, MD, PhD
Sarah Knox, PhD
Patrick Ha, MD

Understanding Nerve-Tumor Cell Interactions in Oral Cancer Perineural Invasion and Metastasis

Jimmie Ye, PhD
Lindsey Criswell, MD, MPH, DSc
Jinoos Yazdany, MD, MPH

Single cell RNA and Protein Profiling to Monitor Lupus Flares and Response to Treatment

Important Marcus Awards FAQs:

Emeritus appointments are not eligible to serve as PIs.

Subcontracts: For the Transformative Integrated Research award – a subcontract cannot budget more than $75,000 of the $300,000 budget; For the Seeding Bold Initiatives award - only $15,000 can be used for non-UCSF budget lines.

F&A / Indirect costs are not allowed in the budget.

George and Judy Marcus Innovation Fund
Marcus Program in Precision Medicine Innovation
MPPMI 2018 Call for Proposals

Program Overview

The Marcus Program in Precision Medicine Innovation (MPPMI) seeks to fuel innovation in precision medicine by fostering creative, high risk, high impact team science projects anchored in basic science and extending into the precision medicine continuum toward improved patient outcomes.

Precision medicine aims to harness vast amounts of biological and biomedical data– from basic molecular research to clinical, environmental, socioeconomic and mobile lifestyle data – and use it to define biological processes and disease mechanisms, to understand why different individuals respond differently to treatments, and to help guide more precise, predictive and preventative medicine.

George and Judy Marcus have generously provided funds since 2016 to drive innovative and collaborative efforts between basic researchers and clinical or social/behavioral/implementation/population scientists, which are essential to making precision medicine a reality. The MPPMI will advance precision medicine at UCSF through events that actively motivate and foster collaborations, and through direct funding of innovative research projects and fostering of researcher collaboration.

Past Marcus Awardees and Events

Funding Innovation:

The MPPMI supports two award categories, Seeding Bold Ideas, and Transformative Integrated Research. Each category:

  • supports translational precision medicine research with a strong basic science core.
  • requires two or more co-PIs: at least one a basic scientist, and at least one a clinical, social/behavioral, implementation or population scientist; either existing or newly formed teams may apply.
  • seeks high-risk thinking or approaches that will likely yield explicit “deliverables” (including discovery that the idea was wrong) after one year.

In addition, we have introduced the Marcus Award Supplement for the MP-TIR awards. Eligible projects can receive additional funds to support projects that include a partnering social/behavioral, implementation or population scientist OR include a novel and substantive computational science element that ties the project and contributes to the development of the Information Commons or Knowledge Network.

Marcus Program Seeding Bold Ideas Award (MP-SBI)

  • Up to $75,000 for one year
  • SBI awards enable initial exploration of untested concepts or hypotheses with great potential impact

Marcus Program Transformative Integrated Research Award (MP-TIR)

  • Up to $300,000 for one year
  • TIR awards support new directions for established basic science-driven translational studies

Marcus Program Transformative Integrated Research Award Supplement (Marcus Award Supplement)

  • Up to $100,000 MP-TIR Supplement
  • To encourage inclusion of social/behavioral, implementation or population science, as well as novel computational science
    • Social/behavioral science: anthropology, family studies, psychology, social work, sociology, or other areas within behavioral science
    • Implementation science: research on methods to promote putting research findings into routine healthcare practice in clinical, organizational or policy contexts
    • Population science: Sitting at the intersection of medicine and public health, spanning basic and social sciences, Population studies examine the relationships between many health determinants and/or health outcomes in large populations. It sits at the intersection of medicine and public health, spanning basic and social sciences, enabling integrated research that encompasses virtually every domain of life and society
    • Computational science: rapidly growing multidisciplinary field that uses advanced computing capabilities and expertise to understand and solve complex biomedical problems

See MPPMI 2018 Call for Proposals for eligibility, proposal instructions, deadlines, criteria and selection process.

Fostering Collaborations:

To foster a pipeline of bold ideas and novel collaborations, the MPPMI will actively promote creative networking between researchers in basic science and clinical, social/behavioral, implementation or population sciences as well as computational science.

  • Written Progress Reports: At the end of each award period, teams will submit a brief progress report; reports will be collected as an annual MPPMI summary.
  • Annual Workshop: Awardee presentations mixed with networking opportunities (e.g., topical roundtables) will be held at the end of each award period to showcase progress and facilitate new collaborations.
  • Networking events: MPPMI will host 1-2 networking events to foster collaborations, e.g., speed-networking or collaboratory meet-ups

Past Marcus Awardees and Events