Academics & Research



From genetics to geriatrics, pharmacy to pediatrics: University of Utah Health is making world-class discoveries that are pushing the frontiers of science and medicine. Check the Driving Discovery blog and News Room for research highlights.

Oxygen Therapy No Benefit to Patients with Moderate COPD

Supplemental oxygen had no effect on delaying the time of death or first hospitalizations among COPD patients with moderate oxygen desaturation.

Richard E. Kanner, M.D.Professor of Internal Medicine, Division of Pulmonology

Gene's Battle with Microbes Promotes Evolutionary Innovation in Humans

The lactoferrin gene arose in early mammals approximately 160 million years ago, and can still be found in the genomes of humans and other primates. New research shows that lactoferrin, whose original function was to transport nutrient metals such as iron, has undergone “rapid” evolution to develop another role – immune defense against microbes that cause potentially deadly diseases of meningitis, pneumonia and sepsis.

Tendon Issues and Rotator Cuff Tears Linked by Genetic and Environmental Factors

People with rotator cuff tears often experience other tendon or nerve problems as well, but it has been unclear whether those associated ailments are influenced by genetics or environment. New research shows strong evidence that those “global” tendinopathies in the shoulders, knees, hips and other areas appear to cluster among blood relatives and spouses of people with torn rotator cuffs, suggesting that both genetic and environmental factors are involved.

Zebrafish Findings Offer Explanation for Variability in Signs of Sepsis

In patients with sepsis, the infecting microbes are usually viewed as generic triggers of inflammation while the patients themselves are considered the primary variables that affect disease progression and severity. This viewpoint is challenged by new work published in the April issue of the journal mSphere by researchers in the Department of Pathology at the University of Utah School of Medicine. The study shows that variations in just a single bacterial protein known as flagellin can significantly alter levels of inflammation and the progression of sepsis.

Older People with Low Levels of Bicarbonate at Higher Risk for Dying Prematurely

Findings from a study led by nephrologist Kalani Raphael suggest that physicians might want to take a closer look at the bicarbonate levels in older patients to identify those at risk for dying prematurely.

Prevention Program Eliminates Bloodstream Infections in Burn Trauma Unit Patients

By implementing a program to prevent bloodstream infections associated with central-line catheters, the University of Utah Health Care Burn Trauma Intensive Care Unit eliminated those hazards entirely, a multidisciplinary committee of the health care system’s nurses and physicians reported in JAMA Surgery.