Precision Medicine

Questions? Contact Office of the Chancellor


Precision medicine aims to collect, connect, and apply vast amounts of scientific research data and information about our health – from the molecular understanding of disease to clinical, environmental, socioeconomic and mobile lifestyle data – to understand why individuals respond differently to treatments and therapies, and help guide more precise and predictive medicine worldwide.

Priority Statement

Gloved hand handles samples

Making precision medicine a reality will take a sustained, collaborative effort by scientists, clinicians, health systems, industry, governments, insurers, patients and healthy individuals.

UC San Francisco’s vision is to be a leader in conceptualizing and implementing precision medicine approaches, convening these stakeholders, and creating a research matrix that yields insights into the determinants of health and disease.

The matrix contains seven overlapping and intersecting elements:

  • Basic Discovery – Defining and understanding fundamental biological processes
  • Clinical Discovery – Determining approaches to diagnosis and treatment, therapeutic development and disease prevention
  • Behavioral/Social Discovery – Uncovering the roles of behavioral, social and environmental factors in health, disease, and clinical outcomes
  • ‘Omics Research – Collecting, analyzing and interpreting different types of molecular information, such as the genome, microbiome and metabolome
  • Digital Health – Motivating and evaluating new technologies and devices for sensing, recording and reporting health and disease information
  • Computational Health – Establishing computational tools, infrastructure and capacity for continuous collection and integration of vast amounts of diverse data relevant to biological processes, health and disease
  • Knowledge Network – Deriving connections, correlations and patterns within and between different types (“layers”) of information in ways that establish evidence-based understanding of health and disease mechanisms, drive new research, and approach prevention, diagnosis, treatments and cures that are precise for each individual.


  • Take the lead to uncover and define the full potential of massive data and information about patients, partnering with others who have the expertise and tools to develop solutions to problems in health care and research.
  • Establish and build dynamic connections between our fundamental discovery research and clinical care to develop precision care at all stages of life that is based on an understanding of molecular, social and environmental determinates of health and disease.
  • Advance precision medicine by serving as both convener and leader to bring key parties and stakeholders, including payers (private and public), patient-citizens, researchers, regulators and potential external partners, to the table to address key challenges.
  • Embed precision medicine approaches into the curriculum of our educational programs.

Learn more about precision medicine at UCSF.