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Genetic Science Powered by Family

Launched in 2012, the Utah Genome Project is a large-scale, genome sequencing and analysis initiative that is discovering genetic signatures of inherited disease. Current projects are focusing on understanding conditions ranging from cancers to spontaneous preterm birth to suicidality.

The UGP is unique among genome initiatives because instead of studying unrelated individuals, it utilizes the ancestral power represented within the Utah Population Database [UPDB]—the world’s largest repository of family histories and public health records linked to clinical records. Comparing genomic sequences within multigenerational high-risk families works like a magnifying glass for finding the genetic cause of their condition.

Already, UGP investigators have identified more than 50 genes behind common and rare diseases — including breast and ovarian cancers (BRCA1, 2), colon cancer (APC), and heart arrhythmia (HERG) — and research in animal models is elucidating the biology behind these conditions. In collaboration with the Center for Genomic Medicine, these discoveries are advancing a new era of precision medicine and population health.

Read the latest genetic news.

Scientific Advisory Board

Pinar Bayrak-Toydemir, MD, PhD


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Jorge Contreras, JD


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Hilary Coon, PhD


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David Crockett, MD


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Willard H. Dere, MD, FACP


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Stephen L. Guthery, MD, MS


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Heidi A. Hanson, PhD, MS


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Lynn B. Jorde, PhD


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Gabor Marth, DSc


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Lewis Charles Murtaugh, PhD


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Deborah Wood Neklason, PhD


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Randall T. Peterson, PhD


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Aaron Quinlan, PhD


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Sean V. Tavtigian, PhD


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David H. Viskochil, MD, PhD


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Corrine K. Welt, MD


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H. Joseph Yost, PhD


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Research Snapshots

Genomics with Far-reaching Impact

UGP investigators are identifying genetic risk factors for dozens of conditions that impact people worldwide, including cancers, neurological conditions and reproductive disorders.

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Understanding Disease In-Depth

 

The Model Organism Advisory Board (MOAB) supports in-depth investigations to understand physiological processes that go wrong in genetic disease that can lead to new understandings and novel approaches for treatment.

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Causes of Complex Disease

Utah Genome Project investigators are designing novel tools to uncover multiple genetic risk factors that lead to complex diseases such as the heritable cancer, multiple myeloma.

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Genetics of Behavioral Disorders

Unique partnerships are enabling investigators to make headway on a sensitive subject: suicide. The project seeks to unravel the genetics of suicidal behavior while maintaining privacy and data protections.

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Insights into Infertility

Researchers are discovering genetic causes of infertility by leveraging a wealth of medical information connected to a large database of Utah families.

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Resources

CEPH/UGRP Resource

Deidentified data from three generations of 47 Utah CEPH families are available for investigating traits and human genetic variation.

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Participation Information

Have a question? Find answers to common questions in our FAQ. We also encourage you to view previous Utah Genetic Reference Project (UGRP) newsletters, dated August 2019August 2020, and January 2022. Also download the answer key for the crossword listed in the January 2022 newsletter here.

Publications

The Utah Genome Project has nearly 100 publications on inherited disease. See all publications from the Utah Genome Project and Center for Genomic Medicine.