Kathryn A. Phillips, PhD, MPA

Kathryn A. Phillips, PhD, MPA

Professor of Health Services Research and Health Economics, Department of Clinical Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy; Director/Founder, Center for Translational and Policy Research on Personalized Medicine (TRANSPERS), UCSF


Phone: (415) 502-8271 (voice)
Box 0613, UCSF
San Francisco, CA 94143-0613

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Cancer Center Membership

Program Member » Cancer Control» Cancer Genetics

Research Summary

My research focuses on the value of new technologies, with a specific emphasis on the application of genetics to cancer care and control (“personalized medicine”). In 2008, I founded the UCSF Center for Translational and Policy Research on Personalized Medicine (TRANSPERS), which focuses on how personalized medicine can be most effectively and efficiently be adopted into health care delivery and health policies. I have had continuous funding from the NIH as Principal Investigator for over 20 years, have led or participated in over 50 funded research grants, and have published over 100 peer-reviewed articles in all of the leading journals in health policy. A particular focus is cross-disciplinary/cross-sector research as exemplified by my advisory role to many government and industry organizations.
My work in cancer screening spans almost my entire academic career, with early work on predictors of mammography screening followed by work on colorectal cancer screening. I now work on policy issues relevant to hereditary cancer risk assessment testing and tumor profiling using sequencing technologies. I work closely with the UCSF HDFCCC as a long-time member of the Population Sciences/Cancer Control Program and as the designated leader for comparative effectiveness research. I have presented at multiple IOM, NCI, and other meetings focused on cancer and have published in leading cancer journals. My work has been funded by several cancer organizations, including two R01s and a Program Project Grant (P01) funded by NCI.


University of Texas, Austin, BA, 1978, Psychology
Kennedy School of Government, Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA, MPA, 1986, Policy Analysis
University of California, Berkeley, PhD, 1991, Health Services Research
Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, Univ. of CA San Francisco, Postdoc, 1993, Health Services Research

Professional Experience

  • 1993-1995
    Assistant Research Professor, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)
  • 1995-1998
    Assistant Professor (non-tenure track), UCSF
  • 1998-2004
    Associate Professor of Health Economics and Health Services Research, UCSF
  • 2007
    Visiting Scholar, Harvard Partners Center for Genetics and Genomics and New England Health Care Institute, Boston, MA
  • 2004-present
    Professor of Health Economics and Health Services Research (tenured) and Director/Founder, Center for Translational and Policy Research on Personalized Medicine (TRANSPERS), Department of Clinical Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy (home department); Institute for Health Policy Studies & UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center (affiliated faculty) University of California, San Francisco

Honors & Awards

  • 1977
    Phi Beta Kappa
  • 1985-1986
    Long-Term Civilian Training Award for study at Harvard University, Department of Navy
  • 1987
    Special Achievement Award, Federal Aviation Administration
  • 1987-1988
    University of California-Berkeley Graduate Fellowship
  • 1989
    Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor, University of California-Berkeley
  • 2003
    Named as one of the "50 Most Cited HIV Behavioral Researchers in the Past Decade"
  • 2006
    Nominated to HHS Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Genetics, Health, and Society
  • 2009
    Grollman Lecture at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy
  • 2010
    Director’s Lecture, National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)

Selected Publications

  • (from ~100 peer-reviewed publications)
  • Phillips KA. Closing the Evidence Gap in the Use of Emerging Testing Technologies in Clinical Practice. JAMA, 2008: 300(21): 2522-2544. PMCID: PMC2910511
  • Phillips KA, Van Bebber SL, Issa AM. Building an evidence base for personalized medicine’s translation to clinical practice and health policy, Personalized Medicine 2006, 3(4): 411-414.
  • Phillips KA, Van Bebber SL. A systematic review of cost-effectiveness analyses of pharmacogenomic interventions. Pharmacogenomics. 2004 5(8):1139-49.
  • Phillips KA, Veenstra DL, Sadee W, Oren E, Lee JK. The potential role of pharmacogenomics in reducing adverse drug reactions: A systematic review. JAMA, 2001: 286 (18): 2270-2279.
  • Phillips KA, Shlipak M, Coxson P, Goldman L, et al. The potential economic and health benefits of improved beta-blocker utilization following myocardial infarction. JAMA. 2000, 284(21): 2748-2754.
  • Liang S, Phillips KA, Wang G, et al. Tradeoffs of Using Administrative Claims and Medical Records to Identify the Use of Personalized Medicine for Patients with Breast Cancer. Medical Care. 2011 Mar 18 (Epub ahead of print)
  • Trosman JR, Van Bebber SL, Phillips KA. Coverage Policy Development for Personalized Medicine: Private Payer Perspectives on Developing Policy for the 21-Gene Assay. Journal of Oncology Practice. 2010;6(5):238-242. PMCID: PMC2936466
  • Phillips KA, Marshall DA, Haas JS, MD, MSPH3; Elkin EB, Liang SY, Hassett MJ, Ferrusi I, Brock JE, Van Bebber SL. Clinical Practice Patterns and Cost Effectiveness of Human Epidermal Growth Receptor 2 Testing Strategies in Breast Cancer Patients. Cancer, 2009. PMCID: PMC2783254
  • Phillips KA, Van Bebber S, Liang SY, and the CANPERS Research Group. Challenges to the translation of personalized medicine: Utilization, preferences, and economic value. Curr Opin Mol Ther 2008, 10(3):260-6. PMCID: PMC2910510
  • Phillips KA. The intersection of biotechnology and pharmacogenomics: health policy implications. Health Affairs. 2006;25(5):1271-1280.
  • Phillips KA, Van Bebber S, Issa A. Priming the pipeline: A review of the clinical research and policy agenda for diagnostics and biomarker development, Nature Reviews Drug Discovery 2006 Jun;5(6):463-9.
  • Phillips KA, Van Bebber SL. Measuring the value of pharmacogenomics. Nature Reviews Drug Discovery. 2005;4(6):500-509.
  • Phillips KA, Veenstra DL, Ramsey S, Van Bebber SL, Sakowski J. Genetic testing and pharmacogenomics: Issues for determining the impact to health care delivery and costs. American Journal of Managed Care 2004:10(7):425-432.
  • Phillips KA, Veenstra D, Van Bebber S, Sakowski, J. An Introduction to cost-effectiveness analysis and cost-benefit analysis of pharmacogenomics. Pharmacogenomics: May 2003;4(3):231-9
  • Phillips KA, Veenstra DL, Sadee W. Implications of the genetics revolution for health services research: Pharmacogenomics and improvements in drug therapy. HSR. 2000:35:5, Part III:128-140.
  • Veenstra DL, Higashi MK, Phillips KA. Assessing the cost-effectiveness of pharmacogenomics. Pharmaceutical-Sciences. 2000 (Sept. 14); 2(3): Article 29.
  • Phillips KA, Flatt SJ, Morrison KR, Coates TJ. Potential use of home HIV testing. N Engl J Med. 1995;332(19):1308-1310.
  • Phillips KA, Lowe RA, Kahn JG, Lurie P, Avins A, Ciccarone D. The cost-effectiveness of HIV testing of physicians and dentists. JAMA. 1994;271(11):851-858.