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.