California calls for precision medicine pilot proposals

The University of California (UC) has begun accepting proposals for the first phase of the state's precision medicine initiative. UC has $2.4 million in state funding to dole out to two projects and is looking for programs that will yield immediate benefits and develop long-term resources.

Officials at UC laid out their expectations in a three-page request for proposals, the content of which hints at how it sees the precision medicine initiative progressing. A selection committee made up of UC staffers and external experts will review the proposals against 10 criteria, starting with the potential for a project to deliver tangible benefits to patients within two years. At the other end of the spectrum, the committee is also looking for projects that generate tools, data and measurements that benefit other programs in the future.

The goals are lofty given that research teams can only apply for $2 million--the $2.4 million may be unevenly split between the two winners--but use of existing resources and other sources of cash will help. UC lists access to resources beyond the state funding as one of its criteria. Applicants are also encouraged to make use of the data available across the various UC campuses and external organizations. The potential to tap into the 13.6 million electronic health records from UC Health centers is singled out in the criteria.

Interested research teams have until May 22 to submit a concept proposal, 10 days after which UC will reveal the finalists. Each finalist will then have until July 15 to refine and finalize their proposal. The two winners are due to be confirmed on July 30 and will start work on their projects the following month.

- here's the RFP (PDF)

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California starts statewide precision medicine initiative with Atul Butte at the helm
NIH puts data stitching at top of precision medicine to-do list
FDA puts cloud storage and Google-esque search tools on precision medicine road map

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