Kathryn Phillips, PhD

Karen Shuster
Phone: +1 415 502-8271
Fax: +1 415 502-0792
490 Illinois Street, Rm 32Q
UCSF Box 0613
San Francisco, CA 94158
United States

What I do

My work focuses on the translation of new technologies into improved patient outcomes, particularly the translation of personalized/precision medicine—targeting health care interventions to patients based on their genetics—into clinical care and health policy.

Departmental research area

My research expertise

health services research, health economics, policy analysis, personalized medicine, precision medicine, access and use of new technologies - economic value and cost-effectiveness, translation of research into practice - particularly adoption and coverage/reimbursement, cancer screening, targeted cancer therapies, cross–disciplinary research, methodological approaches including secondary dataset analysis, systematic literature review, comparative effectiveness research, quantitative preference measurement (“stated choice” and “conjoint analysis”), women’s reproductive health

Clinical expertise

Genetic Testing, targeted therapies


Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Prevention Sciences, University of California, San Francisco, 1993
PhD, Policy Analysis and Health Economics, University of California, Berkeley, 1991
MPA, Policy Analysis, Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University, 1986
BA, Psychology, University of Texas at Austin, 1978


Kathryn A. Phillips, PhD, is Professor of Health Economics and Health Services Research in the Department of Clinical Pharmacy at UCSF. A leader in the application of new technologies to improve healthcare, she is the Founding Director of the UCSF Center for Translational and Policy Research on Precision Medicine (TRANSPERS). She is a core faculty member in the UCSF Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies and UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, and is affiliated with the Institute for Human Genetics, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Baker Computational Health Sciences Institute, and Global Health Sciences.

Kathryn focuses on the value of new technologies and how to most effectively and efficiently implement them into health care. Her core specialty is precision medicine — a new era of healthcare where medical interventions can be tailored to individual patients based on their unique genetic make-up. Her work spans multiple disciplines, including basic, clinical and social sciences, and brings together leading experts in academia, industry, healthcare, payers, and government. Her pioneering research on the application of health services research to personalized medicine has revealed insights on how to bridge the gap between emerging technologies and their use in the clinic. Kathryn led one of the earliest studies on the societal implications of pharmacogenomics, underscoring its potential to reduce the incidence of adverse drug reactions (JAMA, 2001). Kathryn has also conducted seminal work on HIV, as her analysis of HIV home testing informed the FDA’s decision to approve the first home collection HIV test (New England Journal of Medicine, 1995).

Kathryn has published over 150 peer-reviewed articles in major journals including JAMA, New England Journal of Medicine, Science, and Health Affairs. She has had continuous funding from NIH as a Principal Investigator for over 25 years and was recently awarded a 5-year, $6M NIH grant to examine payer coverage and economic value for emerging genomic technologies (cell-free DNA tests and tests based on polygenic risk scores). Kathryn serves on the editorial boards for Health Affairs, Value in Health, JAMA Internal Medicine, Genetics in Medicine; is a member of the National Academy of Medicine Roundtable on Genomics and Precision Health; and has served on the governing Board of Directors for GenomeCanada and as an advisor to the FDA, CDC, and the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. She has also served as an advisor to many diagnostics, sequencing, and pharmaceutical companies. Kathryn is Chair of the Global Economics and Evaluation of Clinical Sequencing Working Group, and a member of an evidence review committee for the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER).

Research keywords

  • creating a high value health care system
  • systematic literature review
  • cancer
  • health economics
  • policy analysis
  • Economic evaluation
  • big data
  • personalized/precision medicine
  • cost-effectiveness analysis
  • coverage/reimbursement policies
  • secondary dataset analysis
  • Insurer coverage
  • utilization and cost-effectiveness of care
  • population screening
  • Health Services Research
  • comparative effectiveness research
  • value of diagnostics
  • Technology Assessment, Biomedical
  • genomics
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Insurance Carriers
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • pharmacogenetics
  • Whole Exome Sequencing
  • precision medicine
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • health policy
  • Decision Making
  • Insurance, Health, Reimbursement
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Genetic Testing