The scientific focus of our division is the study of blood and bone marrow in health and disease. Our physicians treat patients with blood cancer, such as leukemias and lymphomas, clotting disorders, such as hemophilia, and diseases of iron metabolism, such as hemochromatosis. Starting with Maxwell Wintrobe, one of the founding fathers of hematology and the University of Utah Medical School, our division can look back at a long-standing tradition of excellence in research, clinical care, and teaching. Last year researchers from our division garnered more than $14,290,605 in grant income, presented their data at major conferences and published their results in top tier journals. This would not be possible without the University of Utah’s outstanding collaborative environment and its strong scientific foundation.
Our goal is to translate our scientific discoveries into improved care for patients. We believe that every patient is unique and requires an individualized approach to achieve the best possible outcome. We believe that the key to this is to better understand diseases at the molecular level. As we strive to accomplish this goal, we are expanding our clinical services to make the latest scientific discoveries available to the patients of Utah and the Mountain West.
Advances in Patient Care
What advances in patient care, historic or current, come from the Division of Hematology & Hematologic Malignancies that directly impacts patient care today?
Dr. Maxwell Wintrobe and Dr. George Cartwright pioneered the field and developed its academic underpinnings through their study of the basic pathophysiology and genetics of blood disease. Their unique training program attracted trainees from all over the world who propagated scholarship and emphasized the importance of basic research as the way to understand disease mechanisms that eventually lead to therapeutic breakthroughs. The development of hematology as a research based specialty is the true legacy of the program that continues to guide the direction of the field today.
Specific practice changing contributions are the development of metrics to quantitate red cell parameters, understanding the pathogenesis of neutrophilia, discovering the inheritance of hemochromatosis, understanding adaptation to high altitude and the development of advanced inhibitors of the BCR-ABL1 tyrosine kinase to treat chronic myeloid leukemia.
Hematology's Cell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine Program (CellReGen) and the Transplant and Cellular Therapy Program have developed an expedited, in-house process to create novel chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) immunotherapy treatments for a variety of diseases.