Team

Willard H. Dere, MD, FACP

Title:  Executive Director

Dr. Dere serves as the Executive Director of the Program in Personalized Health and Co-Director of the Utah Center for Clinical and Translational Science.  Dr. Dere has extensive experience in clinical research during his 25 year stint in the biopharmaceutical industry. The experience was complemented by substantive regulatory and drug safety experience during that time. 

Email:  willard.dere@hsc.utah.edu

Joshua D. Schiffman, MD

Title:  Education Director

Dr. Schiffman serves as the Education Director of the Program in Personalized Health.  He oversees the teaching of personalized medicine to physicians and their patients.  He is currently a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Utah, an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Oncological Sciences, and is in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at Primary Children´s Medical Center. He serves as the Medical Director of the High Risk Pediatric Cancer Clinic at Huntsman Cancer Institute where he cares for children and families with inherited risk for cancer. His specific clinical interests are cancer susceptibility in families, with a focus on the genomic changes necessary for cancer development.

Email:  Joshua.Schiffman@hci.utah.edu

Phone:  801-585-0100

Stephen L. Guthery, MD, MS

Title:  Strategic Initiatives

Dr. Guthery oversees the Strategic Initiatives of the Program in Personalized Health. Dr. Guthery is the Chief of the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, Nutrition. His interests include the care of infants, children and adolescents with Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis and liver disease. His research involves understanding the genetic basis of and improving treatments for these conditions.

Email:  Stephen.Guthery@hsc.utah.edu

Phone:  801-213-3599

Mark Yandell, PhD

Title:  Associate Director and Chief Data Strategist

Dr. Yandell serves as the Associate Director and Chief Data Strategist of the Program in Personalized Health. He is a Professor for the Department of Human Genetics and an Adjunct Associate Professor for the Department of Biomedical Informatics. His research interests include: Comparative Genomics, Computational Biology, Human Population Genetics and Image Processing Computer-Assisted bioinformatics. 

Email:  myandell@genetics.utah.edu

Phone:  801-581-4422

Michael W. Varner, MD

Title:  Associate Director for Women's Health

Dr. Varner serves as the Associate Director for Women's Health for the Program in Personalized Health. Dr. Varner also serves as the HA and Edna Benning Endowed Presidential Professor and Vice-Chair for Research. His major interests lie in clinical trials and research administration. He developed and directs the Obstetrics and Gynecology Research Network, a consortium of over 50 research personnel who conduct and administer the many clinical trial networks - both obstetric and gynecologic - in which the Department participates. This Network currently conducts NIH-funded clinical trials in hospitals and offices of women's health providers along the northern Utah urban corridor.

Email:  michael.varner@hsc.utah.edu

Phone:  801-585-5156

Diana I. Brixner, PhD, RPh

Title:  Director of Outcomes

Dr. Brixner serves as the Director of Outcomes for the Program in Personalized Health. She is also a Professor and Chair of the Department of the Pharmacotherapy and as Executive Director of the Pharmacotherapy Outcomes Research Center (PORC) in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Utah.

Email:  diana.brixner@pharm.utah.edu

Phone:  801-581-3182

Wendy K. Kohlmann, MS

Title:  Director of Genetic Counseling Shared Resource

Wendy serves as the Director of Genetic Counseling Shared Resource for the Program in Personalized Health. She is a board certified genetic counselor and an Adjunct Assistant Professor for Population Health Sciences.

Email:  wendy.kohlmann@hci.utah.edu

Phone:  801-587-5556

Louisa A. Stark, PhD

Title:  Director of Stakeholder Engagement & Collaboration

Dr. Stark serves as the Director of Stakeholder Engagement & Collaboration for the Program in Personalized Health. She is the Director of the Genetic Science Learning Center, Research Professor for the Department of Human Genetics, Clinical Professor for the Urban Institute for Teacher Education and a member of the collaboration and engagement team for the Utah Center for Clinical and Translational Science.

Email:  louisa.stark@utah.edu

Phone:  801-585-0019

Emily Coonrod, PhD

Emily Coonrod, PhD

Title:  Associate Director, Personalized Health

Emily manages the daily operations of the Program in Personalized Health, which leads research, clinical, and educational initiatives that support personalized medical treatments based on the individual characteristics and preferences of each patient. Emily also works closely with the leadership of the Utah Genome Project on program development, and supports other genomics projects across the University of Utah Health Sciences Campus.

Email:  emily.coonrod@hsc.utah.edu

Phone:  801-585-2268

Samantha Weeks, BS

Samantha Weeks, BS

Title:  Academic Program Manager

The PPH academic mission is to educate clinicians, researchers, and students in personalized health. The Academic Program Manager works with the Executive and Associate Directors to manage, develop, and implement all academic programs offered by the Program in Personalized Health. These offerings currently include Foundations in Personalized Health (MDCRC 6150); Genomic Medicine Research: Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues (MDCRC 6370); and the graduate level Certificate in Personalized Health.

Email:  samantha.weeks@hsc.utah.edu

Phone:  801-587-3309

Lance Tyler Pflieger

Lance Tyler Pflieger

Title:  Graduate Teaching Assistant (E), Biomedical Informatics Research

Lance is a graduate teaching assistant for Biomedical Informatics Research. He serves as the TA for the Program in Personalized Health Foundations in Personalized Health Care course (MDCRC 6150).

Email:  l.pflieger@utah.edu

Phone:  801-585-4097

Contact Us

Emily Coonrod, PhD
Associate Director, Program in Personalized Health
Senior Vice President of Health Sciences Research Unit​
Emily.Coonrod@hsc.utah.edu