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

  1. Clain E, Trosman JR, Douglas MP, Weldon CB, Phillips KA. Availability and payer coverage of BRCA1/2 tests and gene panels. Nat Biotechnol. 2015 Sep 8; 33(9):900-2.
    View on PubMed
  2. Phillips KA, Pletcher MJ, Ladabaum U. Is the ``$1000 Genome'' really $1000? Understanding the full benefits and costs of genomic sequencing. Technol Health Care. 2015 Jun 10; 23(3):373-9.
    View on PubMed
  3. Phillips KA, Ladabaum U, Pletcher MJ, Marshall DA, Douglas MP. Key emerging themes for assessing the cost-effectiveness of reporting incidental findings. Genet Med. 2015 Apr; 17(4):314-5.
    View on PubMed
  4. Trosman JR, Weldon CB, Kelley RK, Phillips KA. Challenges of coverage policy development for next-generation tumor sequencing panels: experts and payers weigh in. J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2015 Mar; 13(3):311-8.
    View on PubMed
  5. Foster DG, Biggs MA, Phillips KA, Grindlay K, Grossman D. Potential public sector cost-savings from over-the-counter access to oral contraceptives. Contraception. 2015 May; 91(5):373-9.
    View on PubMed
  6. Phillips KA, Trosman JR, Kelley RK, Pletcher MJ, Douglas MP, Weldon CB. Genomic sequencing: assessing the health care system, policy, and big-data implications. Health Aff (Millwood). 2014 Jul; 33(7):1246-53.
    View on PubMed
  7. Balakrishnan N, Pritchard J, Ericson M, Grindem C, Phillips K, Jennings S, Mathews K, Tran H, Birkenheuer AJ, Breitschwerdt EB. Prostatitis, steatitis, and diarrhea in a dog following presumptive flea-borne transmission of Bartonella henselae. J Clin Microbiol. 2014 Sep; 52(9):3447-52.
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  8. Pletcher MJ, Pignone M, Earnshaw S, McDade C, Phillips KA, Auer R, Zablotska L, Greenland P. Using the coronary artery calcium score to guide statin therapy: a cost-effectiveness analysis. Circ Cardiovasc Qual Outcomes. 2014 Mar; 7(2):276-84.
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  9. Phillips KA, Ann Sakowski J, Trosman J, Douglas MP, Liang SY, Neumann P. The economic value of personalized medicine tests: what we know and what we need to know. Genet Med. 2014 Mar; 16(3):251-7.
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  10. Liang SY, Grossman D, Phillips KA. User characteristics and out-of-pocket expenditures for progestin-only versus combined oral contraceptives. Contraception. 2012 Dec; 86(6):666-72.
    View on PubMed
  11. Wang G, Kuppermann M, Kim B, Phillips KA, Ladabaum U. Influence of patient preferences on the cost-effectiveness of screening for lynch syndrome. J Oncol Pract. 2012 May; 8(3 Suppl):e24s-30s.
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  12. Wang G, Kuppermann M, Kim B, Phillips KA, Ladabaum U. Influence of patient preferences on the cost-effectiveness of screening for Lynch syndrome. Am J Manag Care. 2012 May; 18(5):e179-85.
    View on PubMed
  13. Wang G, Beattie MS, Ponce NA, Phillips KA. Eligibility criteria in private and public coverage policies for BRCA genetic testing and genetic counseling. Genet Med. 2011 Dec; 13(12):1045-50.
    View on PubMed
  14. Elkin EB, Marshall DA, Kulin NA, Ferrusi IL, Hassett MJ, Ladabaum U, Phillips KA. Economic evaluation of targeted cancer interventions: critical review and recommendations. Genet Med. 2011 Oct; 13(10):853-60.
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  15. Kiely BE, Friedlander ML, Milne RL, Stanhope L, Russell P, Jenkins MA, Weideman P, McLachlan SA, Grant P. Adequacy of risk-reducing gynaecologic surgery in BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation carriers and other women at high risk of pelvic serous cancer. Fam Cancer. 2011 Sep; 10(3):505-14.
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  16. Harvey SL, Milne RL, McLachlan SA, Friedlander ML, Birch KE, Weideman P. Prospective study of breast cancer risk for mutation negative women from BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation positive families. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2011 Dec; 130(3):1057-61.
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  17. Ladabaum U, Wang G, Terdiman J, Blanco A, Kuppermann M, Boland CR, Ford J, Elkin E, Phillips KA. Strategies to identify the Lynch syndrome among patients with colorectal cancer: a cost-effectiveness analysis. Ann Intern Med. 2011 Jul 19; 155(2):69-79.
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  18. Haas JS, Liang SY, Hassett MJ, Shiboski S, Elkin EB, Phillips KA. Gene expression profile testing for breast cancer and the use of chemotherapy, serious adverse effects, and costs of care. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2011 Nov; 130(2):619-26.
    View on PubMed
  19. Liang SY, Phillips KA, Wang G, Keohane C, Armstrong J, Morris WM, Haas JS. Tradeoffs of using administrative claims and medical records to identify the use of personalized medicine for patients with breast cancer. Med Care. 2011 Jun; 49(6):e1-8.
    View on PubMed
  20. Trosman JR, Van Bebber SL, Phillips KA. Health technology assessment and private payers' coverage of personalized medicine. J Oncol Pract. 2011 May; 7(3 Suppl):18s-24s.
    View on PubMed

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