Utah welcomed more than 2,000 scientists for the Association for Molecular Pathology’s annual meeting as the state makes strides in molecular medicine for cancer diagnosis and care.

The event at Salt Palace Convention Center, themed ‘Where Molecular Leads Medicine to Best Patient Care’, covered cancer, infectious diseases, informatics, inherited conditions, molecular technologies and laboratory management.

Life sciences is a growing sector in Utah’s economy. The Utah Population Database, coupled with the state’s genealogy records, is the most comprehensive of its type. This has led to the discovery of more human genes than anywhere else in the world, providing a strong knowledge base in the emerging field of molecular diagnostics and personalised medicine, drug discovery, development, and delivery.

University of Utah has a strong Molecular Medicine Program, while its Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) is a leader in the study of cancer genetics. Its researchers have discovered more inherited cancer genes than any other cancer center in the world – genes responsible for breast and ovarian cancer, colon cancer, head and neck cancer, and melanoma. A ‘lab bench to patient bedside’ research model, HCI conducts basic, translational, and clinical research simultaneously, taking what’s learned in the laboratory through drug development and into the clinic.

Local corporate companies also play a major role: Tolero Pharmaceuticals, a clinical-stage company focused on developing treatments for oncological and hematological diseases, this month unveiled its new headquarters in Lehi, Utah.  The new facility includes a research laboratory where the company will continue to advance its pipeline of potential treatments for acute myeloid leukemia, and other cancers.

Chief Executive Officer and Founder David J. Bearss, Ph.D., said:  “On behalf of all our employees, I am pleased to be a corporate citizen of Lehi and proud to call Utah our home. Opening a new headquarters and cutting-edge research facility underscores Tolero’s commitment to science that may make a difference in the lives of cancer patients across the country, in the state of Utah, and here in our own backyard.”

(via Utah Business, Business Utah, AMP)


Featured image: A small, hypolobated megakaryocyte in a bone marrow aspirate, typically of chronic myelogenous leukemia, by Difu Wu (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons