Jennifer O’Brien is Executive Director, Public Affairs. She previously covered UCSF’s research in cancer, neurology, the neurosciences, telomerase research and stem cell science. An ongoing focus is UCSF's role in advancing the field of “precision medicine” – the effort to integrate the wealth of data emerging from the human genome and studies on the molecular basis of disease with information on environmental factors and patients’ electronic medical records. The data will inform laboratory research and, ultimately, patient care, leading to ways to precisely diagnose the individual patient, based on his or her own genetics and background, and to customized therapies that are more effective, with fewer side effects. The plan grew out of a National Academy of Sciences committee report in 2011 co-chaired/co-authored by former UCSF Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellmann, MD, MPH. O’Brien holds degrees from Williams College (BA, English) and Johns Hopkins University (MA, Science Writing).