Utah Tech University opens Center for Precision Medicine & Functional Genomics

As a key step toward improving human health, Utah Tech University showcased its new Center for Precision & Functional Genomics and the Variant Science Training Program with an open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony held on campus on Friday. The event included a tour of the space, located in Utah Tech’s Science, Engineering & Technology Building, as well as hands-on experience in the lab and opportunities to talk to the students about the new program. “This new center aligns with Utah Tech’s polytechnic mission including a state-of-the-art lab and opportunities for our students to participate in cutting-edge programs,” Utah Tech President Richard B. Williams said. “These real-world, hands-on training experiences will prepare our students to be successful researchers, doctors, entrepreneurs and scientists.” Prior to the ribbon-cutting, President Williams and Culmination Bio CEO Lincoln Nadauld expressed their excitement for the program and the impact it will have on Utah Tech student learning as well as on human health. Additionally, Howard Mcleod, internationally recognized expert in precision medicine, was introduced as center director. Recognizing the value and importance of this work, Congressman Stewart secured $790,000 in funding for the Variant Science Training Program through Federal Community Project funding. Other key partners contributing to the center include Laura Atwood, Intermountain Foundation, Culmination Bio and Adelmarie Murphy, who provided the first fellowship for student research at the center. Functional genomics is an area of research focused on newly-discovered mutations and the role they play on human health. Zebrafish are utilized in the lab because they share 70 percent of their genes with humans, making them useful model organisms in functional genomics discoveries. “We look forward to providing impactful opportunities to our students during their college journey,” Aaron Davis, associate dean for the College of Science, Engineering & Technology, said. “We’re confident this is just the beginning.” Students participating in this program can obtain a Functional Genomics Certificate as well as certificates in Bioinformatics, Protein Characterizations, Genetic Sequencing and Variant Science. For more information about degrees for the College of Science, Engineering & Technology, please visit colleges.utahtech.edu/science.