History: Building on Utah's Genetic Legacy

For more than half a century, since Watson and Crick first described the double helix structure of DNA, geneticists from around the world have come to the University of Utah to advance genetic science. Starting in the 1950’s, University of Utah researchers harnessed the power of Utah’s well-kept family genealogies to discover groundbreaking methods of investigating human inheritance. Twenty years later, investigators began collecting birth, death and marriage records dating back to the 1700’s, an effort that seeded the Utah Population Database.

Building on the momentum of genetic science, University of Utah scientists have since led the collaborative discovery of more than 30 disease-causing genes, were the first to sequence an entire human family as part of the Human Genome Project, developed Nobel-prize winning knockout mice technology, are building leading-edge bioinformatics and genomic analysis systems, and much more. Scientists here are continuing to make advances leading to diagnostics, preventions, and treatments that are changing the future of precision medicine.

history of university of utah genetics timeline