Keith Yamamoto Honored for Work in Precision Medicine

Keith Yamamoto
Keith Yamamoto, PhD, has been a tireless advocate for precision medicine across public and private sectors. Photo by James Kegley

The Precision Medicine World Conference has named Keith Yamamoto, PhD, a 2017 recipient of the Luminary Award, which recognizes outstanding individuals who have advanced precision medicine, a bold concept that captures and merges the endeavors and the outcomes of basic discovery, health and health care.

Yamamoto, UC San Francisco’s vice chancellor for science policy and strategy, and director of UCSF precision medicine, was selected as one of three recipients for his remarkable efforts in conceiving, implementing and advocating for precision medicine as a bold concept that captures and merges the endeavors and outcomes of basic discovery, health and health care. The other winners are National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins, MD, PhD, and geneticist Elaine Mardis, PhD.

A tireless advocate for precision medicine across public and private sectors, Yamamoto chaired the National Academy of Sciences Board on Life Sciences, impaneling and serving on the committee that produced a groundbreaking report, catapulting precision medicine into the public eye. The 2011 report recommended creating a computational “knowledge network” to integrate data on the molecular basis of disease with environmental factors, social forces and patients’ electronic health records, in order to develop diagnostics and treatments tailored to individual patients.

Keith Yamamoto (right), PhD, helped to stimulate President Barack Obama’s interest in precision medicine. Official White House photo by Pete Souza

He also helped stimulate President Barack Obama’s interest in the field, which led to the national Precision Medicine Initiative, as well as Gov. Jerry Brown’s 2015 launch of the California Initiative to Advance Precision Medicine.

Yamamoto also serves as UCSF’s vice dean for research at the School of Medicine and a professor of cellular and molecular pharmacology, and has been a member of the UCSF faculty since 1976. He has spent his career doing outstanding basic research, recognized by his election to the National Academies of Sciences and Medicine, while working to improve the practice of science and amplify its impact beyond the walls of academia.

The Precision Medicine World Conference is a preeminent forum held annually at several venues worldwide, and attracting top researchers, medical professionals, policymakers and innovators in health care, public health and biotechnology. Yamamoto, who chaired the Silicon Valley edition of PMWC early this year, will accept his award and give remarks on May 24 at PMWC Duke University.

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