Creating the next generation of patient care.
The Center has assembled an unparalleled multi-disciplinary clinical team and research program to evaluate patients with difficult to diagnose and treat infections and inflammatory disorders. The Center’s initial focus has been on patients with encephalitis and/or meningitis.
We believe that a data-driven hypothesis-free approach will free patients from lengthy diagnostic odysseys, ultimately improving health outcomes while simultaneously lowering cost.
The advent of genomic technologies has ushered in a new era in medicine. Our Center leverages the best of clinical and academic science to propel recent advances in genomics and bioinformatics beyond the bench and into the clinic.
The Center for Next-Gen Precision Diagnostics was born out of a unique confluence of UCSF’s innovative laboratory research environment and its state-of-the-art clinical enterprise. This confluence is exemplified by the contributions of the Center founders, Drs. Joseph DeRisi, Charles Chiu, Michael Wilson, Steve Miller, and Sam Pleasure.
DeRisi, a biochemist and genomics expert, came to UCSF from Stanford having developed a revolutionary genomic tool that could rapidly screen for thousands of viruses at once.
DeRisi used this technology, called the ViroChip, to help identify a novel coronavirus during the worldwide SARS outbreak. Since then, DeRisi and his colleagues have continued to adopt the latest genomic technologies for the purposes of identifying unusual and novel infectious diseases in humans and animals.
Chiu established the UCSF-Abbott Viral Diagnostics and Discovery Center with the goal of translating the latest, cutting-edge genomic technologies in order to apply them in the context of clinical care.
Miller and Chiu initiated validation of a lab developed test (LDT) at UCSF to detect all potential pathogens in one assay, establishing the UCSF Clinical Microbiology Laboratory as a leader in the field of metagenomic clinical sequencing for infectious disease.
Research sequencing successfully identified leptospirosis in a hospitalized patient resulting in lifesaving targeted drug therapy. See New York Times article.
Chiu spearheaded the infectious disease program for the California Initiative to Advance Precision Medicine at UCSF, launching a multisite trial making clinical mNGS for pathogen detection available to patients for the first time.
CLIA validation was finalized on CSF for mNGS for pathogen detection, the first 106 patients received clinical mNGS between June & December, with results reported into their medical records.
Wilson, a neurologist who trained in the DeRisi lab, launched his own lab having established an international research-patient network, advancing the development of novel technologies to elucidate the most challenging and often devastating neuroinflammatory diseases.
UCSF is the first in the world to release mNGS for pathogen detection as a clinical diagnostic test, serving as a reference laboratory for patients suffering from unknown causes of encephalitis and/or meningitis.