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"Pioneering the Future" and Digital Collection Celebrates U of U Health Discovery and Innovation

Since its humble beginnings in 1905 as a two-year medical school, University of Utah Health has always been a trailblazing organization. The institution has gone from securing the first-ever National Institutes of Health (NIH) research grant to leading more than 400 such grants annually. Physician-scientists implanted the first artificial heart, and today they are pioneering personalized cardiac treatments. Basic science researchers have gone from creating genetic knockout technologies to innovating precision genome engineering tools.

Pioneering the Future: Stories of Discovery and Innovation is a campaign celebrating today’s scientists at U of U Health who are carrying on a tradition of excellence. Each month, the campaign will feature short stories of high-impact research that is changing our understanding of fundamental biology, health, and disease, from heart disease to cancer. The campaign kicks off with Rethinking Diabetes, which tells the tales of four paradigm-shifting accomplishments that are unraveling the complexities of the disease, revealing previously unrecognized opportunities for intervention.

These discoveries and many others—52 in total from the past five years—are archived on the Discovery and Innovation at University of Utah Health Digital Collection, created by Eccles Health Sciences Library and published at The collection features a timeline, and users can search entries by keyword and author.

The digital collection is intended to raise awareness of the world-class research that is currently being done in the basic sciences at U of U Health. The first 52 entries within the collection were chosen by U of U Health basic science department chairs based on specified criteria. The collection is currently being expanded to include seminal research from the clinical and translational sciences and will be updated on an annual basis.

“The past five years have been an exciting time for the basic sciences and the U of U community, and this document is a ‘living archive’ of the major discoveries, innovations, advances, and contributions made each year,” says Wes Sundquist, PhD, chair of the Department of Biochemistry and one of the organizers of the project. His own research team’s pioneering work understanding the mechanisms of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is leading to new approaches to combatting AIDS and is featured in the digital collection and upcoming campaign.

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