Kathryn A. Phillips, PhD

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

Cancer Center Program Membership

Cancer Control

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 and other conditions (“precision medicine"). In 2008, I founded the UCSF Center for Translational and Policy Research on Personalized Medicine (TRANSPERS), which focuses on how personalized/precision medicine can 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 25 years and have published over 150 peer-reviewed articles in the leading journals in health policy. A 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 (funded by NCI and others). I work closely with the UCSF HDFCCC as a long-time member of the Population Sciences/Cancer Control Program and previously was 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 R01s and a Program Project Grant (P01) funded by NCI.

Research Funding

  • July 1, 2018 - June 30, 2021 - Coverage, Price, and Reimbursement for Multigene Tests for Cancer and Related Conditions, Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH/NCI, Sponsor Award ID: R01CA221870
  • February 15, 2013 - July 31, 2016 - Risk-Benefit Trade-Offs for Whole Genome Sequencing, Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH/NHGRI, Sponsor Award ID: R01HG007063
  • September 16, 2008 - August 31, 2013 - Personalized Medicine for Colorectal and Breast Cancer, Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH/NCI, Sponsor Award ID: P01CA130818
  • April 28, 2004 - March 31, 2009 - Screening for Colorectal Cancer: An Integrated Approach, Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH/NCI, Sponsor Award ID: R01CA101849


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

Honors & Awards

  • 1996
    Article published in New England Journal of Medicine contributed to FDA decision to approve the first home collection HIV test
  • 2009
    Grollman Lecture (honorary), University of Maryland School of Pharmacy
  • 2010
    NHGRI Director's Lecture, National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)
  • 2013
    Accelerated Promotion due to sustained productivity, UCSF
  • 2016
    Promotion to Full Professor Step 7 requiring “international prominence” and university review, UCSF
  • 2016
    Rockefeller Center Bellagio Residency Award for Global Scholars, Rockefeller Foundation
  • 2017
    Nominated, National Academy of Medicine
  • 2017
    Honorary Lectureship, Program for Personalized and Genomic Medicine Seminar, University of Maryland
  • 2018
    Honorary Lectureship, Opportunities and Challenges for Moving New Genomic Technologies into Clinical Care and Health Policies, University of British Columbia & BC Cancer Agency
  • 2019, 2020
    Dean’s Apple Award for Outstanding Teaching (multiple), University of California, San Francisco

Selected Publications

  1. Phillips KA, Douglas MP, Wordsworth S, Buchanan J, Marshall DA Availability and funding of clinical genomic sequencing globally.  View on PubMed
  2. Arias JJ, Tyler AM, Douglas MP, Phillips KA Private payer coverage policies for ApoE-e4 genetic testing.  View on PubMed
  3. Phillips KA, Douglas MP, Marshall DA Expanding Use of Clinical Genome Sequencing and the Need for More Data on Implementation.  View on PubMed
  4. Douglas MP, Gray SW, Phillips KA Private Payer and Medicare Coverage for Circulating Tumor DNA Testing: A Historical Analysis of Coverage Policies From 2015 to 2019.  View on PubMed
  5. Phillips KA Methods for Moving the Evaluation of Precision Medicine Into Practice and Policy.  View on PubMed
  6. Marshall DA, Grazziotin LR, Regier DA, Wordsworth S, Buchanan J, Phillips K, Ijzerman M Addressing Challenges of Economic Evaluation in Precision Medicine Using Dynamic Simulation Modeling.  View on PubMed
  7. Deverka PA, Douglas MP, Phillips KA Use of Real-World Evidence in US Payer Coverage Decision-Making for Next-Generation Sequencing-Based Tests: Challenges, Opportunities, and Potential Solutions.  View on PubMed
  8. Mackay ZP, Dukhovny D, Phillips KA, Beggs AH, Green RC, Parad RB, Christensen KD Quantifying Downstream Healthcare Utilization in Studies of Genomic Testing.  View on PubMed
  9. Trosman JR, Douglas MP, Liang SY, Weldon CB, Kurian AW, Kelley RK, Phillips KA Insights From a Temporal Assessment of Increases in US Private Payer Coverage of Tumor Sequencing From 2015 to 2019.  View on PubMed
  10. Phillips KA, Marshall DA, Kurian AW Can precision medicine help achieve the goal of reducing care when the risks exceed the benefits?  View on PubMed
  11. Trosman JR, Weldon CB, Slavotinek A, Norton ME, Douglas MP, Phillips KA Perspectives of US private payers on insurance coverage for pediatric and prenatal exome sequencing: Results of a study from the Program in Prenatal and Pediatric Genomic Sequencing (P3EGS).  View on PubMed
  12. Phillips KA, Trosman JR, Douglas MP Emergence of Hybrid Models of Genetic Testing Beyond Direct-to-Consumer or Traditional Labs.  View on PubMed
  13. Zakinova A, Long-Boyle JR, French D, Croci R, Wilson L, Phillips KA, Kroetz DL, Shin J, Tamraz B A Practical First Step Using Needs Assessment and a Survey Approach to Implementing a Clinical Pharmacogenomics Consult Service.  View on PubMed
  14. Phillips KA, Douglas MP The Global Market for Next-Generation Sequencing Tests Continues Its Torrid Pace.  View on PubMed
  15. Phillips KA Assessing the Value of Next-Generation Sequencing Technologies: An Introduction.  View on PubMed
  16. Christensen KD, Phillips KA, Green RC, Dukhovny D Cost Analyses of Genomic Sequencing: Lessons Learned from the MedSeq Project.  View on PubMed
  17. Phillips KA, Deverka PA, Marshall DA, Wordsworth S, Regier DA, Christensen KD, Buchanan J Methodological Issues in Assessing the Economic Value of Next-Generation Sequencing Tests: Many Challenges and Not Enough Solutions.  View on PubMed
  18. Trosman JR, Weldon CB, Gradishar WJ, Benson AB, Cristofanilli M, Kurian AW, Ford JM, Balch A, Watkins J, Phillips KA From the Past to the Present: Insurer Coverage Frameworks for Next-Generation Tumor Sequencing.  View on PubMed
  19. Douglas MP, Parker SL, Trosman JR, Slavotinek AM, Phillips KA Private payer coverage policies for exome sequencing (ES) in pediatric patients: trends over time and analysis of evidence cited.  View on PubMed
  20. Phillips KA Evolving Payer Coverage Policies on Genomic Sequencing Tests: Beginning of the End or End of the Beginning?  View on PubMed

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