Research

Research is an integral part of the Division of Hematology at the University of Utah with the robust research programs of past division chiefs, including Maxwell Wintrobe, George Cartwright, Jack Athens, and James Kushner laying this foundation of excellence. Physicians and basic scientists participate in a broad range of multidisciplinary research into malignant and non-malignant hematological disorders with the goals of understanding the basic biology of these disorders and developing therapeutics for improved clinical care of patients. Thus, basic and translational research programs exist within the division.

Basic Research

Basic research is focused on:

  • Mechanisms of drug resistant BCR-ABL tyrosine kinases
  • Dysregulated iron metabolism (systemic disease, porphyrias and hemochromatosis)
  • Inflammation and immunologic cross-talk in hematopoiesis and carcinogenesis
  • Genomic variants regulating platelet function
  • Transcriptomic regulation of megakaryocytopoiesis
  • Molecular basis of polycythemias, defective erythropoiesis and other MPNs
  • Strategies to overcome resistance to CLL and lymphoma therapy
  • Immune mechanisms of graft versus host disease
  • Hematopoietic stem cell differentiation

Clinical & Translational Research Programs

Clinical and Translational research programs include:

  • Therapeutics for porphyrias
  • Novel therapeutics of hematologic malignancies including chronic myeloid leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia, myeloproliferative neoplasms and lymphoid malignancies
  • Understanding the biology of disease persistence in drug-resistant chronic myeloid and lymphoid leukemias
  • Understanding the mechanism of Factor VIII inhibitors in hemophilia
  • Lowering treatment costs in hemophilia
  • Development of novel CAR-T therapies for myeloma
  • Genetic epidemiology of CLL and myeloma
  • Outcomes research using national VA database, exploring novel methodologies

Important program: NIH-funded Center for Iron and Heme Disorders (U54, PI: John Phillips, PhD); this U54 supports several institutional-wide Core facilities

Faculty from our division were awarded $2,869,951 in extramural grant income in FY19; this is one indicator of the successful research programs within the division.

Good success with getting NIH K grants and other training awards for junior faculty

Via our Center of Excellence for Hematologic Malignancies and Hematology, we have established an annual Deer Valley Research Symposium, with 5-6 Keynote speakers with international reputations from other institutions, together with U of U senior and junior investigators doing Hematology research.