About Us: Genetic Science, Powered by Family

For more than a half century, the University of Utah has been at the forefront of genetic science and discovery. Utah researchers have identified genes and risk factors for over 30 conditions —breast and ovarian cancers (BRCA1, 2), colon cancer (APC), and heart arrhythmia (HERG) among others—improving care for millions of patients worldwide. Fueling their success is a one-of-a-kind Utah Population Database (UPDB) that matches genealogical, public health, and medical records to over 8 million people, the largest of its kind in the world. The deep family histories represented within UPDB serve as a magnifying glass that uncovers inherited genetic mutations that cause disease.

Today, the Utah Genome Project (UGP) is advancing a new era of precision medicine and population health. UGP is a large-scale genome sequencing and analysis initiative built on Utah’s scientific and medical expertise, genetics resources, and leading-edge computational technologies. The USTAR Center for Genetic Discovery, the computational engine of UGP, comprises a dynamic group of computational geneticists who are developing cutting-edge, innovative solutions for big data management, bulk genomic analysis, genomic data visualization, and variant discovery. These tools are enabling rapid, comprehensive searches for genetic variants underlying many common and rare diseases.


The goals of UGP are to:

  • Educate healthcare consumers about genomic medicine, the importance of family health histories, and the benefits of participating in research studies
  • Create the world standard in a Genomic Electronic Health Record
  • Discover genes that both contribute to and protect against disease
  • Develop tests to end costly and time-consuming diagnostic odysseys
  • Translate genetic discoveries into new drugs and therapies
  • Together with public and private partners, build a Precision Medicine Pipeline to transform health through genetic discovery.

genomic medicine flow chart