Photos from Dr. Yamamoto’s visit to the White House to participate in President Obama’s announcement of the Precision Medicine Initiative

Throughout his career, Dr. Yamamoto has been involved in a wide range of science and public policy matters. He has defined four broad, overlapping areas of interest:

  • Science discovery and education
  • Execution and funding of research
  • Review and reporting of research
  • Research organizational infrastructure and interfaces

His overarching strategy is to define or select an important issue, and then to approach it simultaneously from multiple directions, creating a matrix of activities that commonly includes both local and national activities, and touch the four different sectors— .edu, .gov, .org, and .com.

To provide more clarity to the matrix idea, here is a specific example, Precision Medicine: Keith Yamamoto chaired the National Academies (National Research Council) Board on Life Sciences that empaneled a study committee (on which he served) that developed the Precision Medicine concept, and published the eponymous consensus report in late 2011 (click here for report). As a member of the National Research Council Division of Earth and Life Studies Committee (which oversees the Board on Life Sciences and numerous other boards) he has encouraged other National Academies Boards to develop studies on particular aspects of Precision Medicine; he is aiding two boards that are collaborating on a study to build a computational knowledge network, the primary enabling tool for Precision Medicine. As a member of the Institute of Medicine Council, he has proposed Precision Medicine as the topic of the next annual meeting. He has promoted the idea to multiple federal funding and regulatory agencies (NIH, NSF, DOE, DOD, NIST) as well as the White House OSTP, and many members of Congress on Capitol Hill, serving variously in his capacities as Chair of the Coalition of Life Sciences, a National Research Council representative, and Federal Government Affairs coordinator for UCSF. As Executive Vice Dean and Vice Chancellor for Research at UCSF, he heads a massive campus wide Precision Medicine effort that involves efforts in basic and clinical research, patient care, professional and graduate education, and corporate and community outreach. In 2012, he helped UCSF to conceive and organize an international conference on Precision Medicine that brought together key leaders from all sectors.

Keith Yamamoto’s primary current policy activities:

UCSF Vice Chancellor for Research (chair or member of many UCOP and UCSF committees)

UCSF School of Medicine Executive Vice Dean (chair or member of many UCSF and SOM committees)

National Academy of Sciences Division of Earth and Life Studies Advisory Committee

Institute of Medicine Council; Finance Committee, Governance Committee

NIH Center for Scientific Review Advisory Council

American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Advancing Research in Science and Engineering (Study Chair)

Research!America Board of Directors; Executive Committee, Membership Committee

Coalition for the Life Sciences (Chair)

Congressional Task Force for Biomedical Research and Innovation Advisory Council

Lawrence Berkeley National Lab Advisory Board

Northern California Institute for Research and Education Board of Directors

Cold Spring Harbor Watson School of Biological Sciences External Advisory Committee (Chair)

Science Translational Medicine, Board of Reviewing Editors