Intermountain launches massive DNA mapping project

Jun 12, 2019, 1:57 PM | Updated: Sep 15, 2020, 10:17 am
Genealogy cancer...
File: Genome sequence map infographic from Getty Images

SALT LAKE CITY — Intermountain Healthcare in Utah is launching a massive genomics project to collect 500,000 DNA samples over the next five years. The goal: mapping DNA in hopes of stopping disease.

A personal reason for DNA mapping

Floyd Hatch lost two of his siblings to heart disease at a young age. He’s hoping what the mapping project learns from his family and its genetic cardiovascular disorder will lead to innovations and treatment.

“I will always wonder, and I think we will be able to look at this and understand better what took my brother and my sister. Is there a relationship between that and three generations that are still living?” Hatch said.

Intermountain is partnering with deCODE Genetics in Iceland to map the genome. By doing so, researchers hope it leads to breakthroughs in the treatment of diabetes, breast cancer, colon cancer and many other diseases.

How it works

Dr. Lincoln Nadauld, the executive director of Intermountain Precision Genomics, said the HerediGene: Population Study project is truly groundbreaking.

“This project will allow us to begin predicting disease and preventing disease,” Nadauld said. “No longer do we have to wait for these young members of our community showing up with advanced disease before we take action.”

Hatch was one of the first to volunteer.

“I think that can happen to anyone. I think that’s something we need to know and understand,” Hatch said. “And this research will just be so great.”

Who is eligible?

Anyone in Utah can enroll, starting today, by walking into a hospital or clinic and volunteering. They may also be asked if they’d like to volunteer when giving blood for another reason. The DNA will be kept anonymous, but volunteers can opt to be notified if they have a marker for disease in their blood and then meet with genetic counselors if they choose.

Intermountain officials say the project is the largest and most comprehensive DNA mapping effort ever done in the United States from a single population, which is primarily Intermountain’s patients throughout Utah and Idaho.


We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories


The Utah House has advanced the bill that bans transgender-related surgeries on minors and pauses t...
Aimee Cobabe

Equality Utah supports bill clarifying rules for therapists when it comes to conversion therapy for minors

Equality Utah is supporting a bill adjusting rules for therapists when it comes to conversion therapy for minors.
2 days ago
When inversions bring pollution to the ground, we breathe it in. That makes it easier to get sick a...
Dale Spaulding

Is illness or poor air quality causing that cough?

Inversion can impact a person's health. Is that why people are coughing, or is it just the regular cold and flu season?
2 days ago
A woman wearing white sitting in front of a light box...
Michelle Lee

Winter blues: light therapy and lifestyle changes can help

SALT LAKE CITY – With the chilly weather and the shorter days, many people are prone to experience the winter blues. In the latest Let’s Get Moving with Maria podcast episode, host Maria Shilaos spoke with Dr. Jason Hunziker from the Huntsman Mental Health Institute about ways people can overcome the winter blues. Seasonal depression […]
3 days ago
A new study finds that reports of bad weather and air actually decrease ridership on the UTA....
Devin Oldroyd

Relief from inversion and poor air quality may be in Utah’s near future

The Beehive State is in the middle of some thick inversion and poor air quality, but relief may be on the way according to the National Weather Service.
5 days ago
A study by Intermountain Health that spanned 40 years and sought answers about the health of people...
Simone Seikaly

Intermountain’s 40-year study provides insight into weight-loss surgery

In some cases the results from the weight-loss surgery study were expected. But at least one result could be a cause for alarm and caution.
5 days ago
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service has issued a recall for mil...
Simone Seikaly

Check your pantry, a Conagra canned meat recall may affect you

Millions of pounds of canned meat and poultry products (mainly Vienna sausages) are involved in the Conagra recall.
5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Skier being towed by a rider on a horse. Skijoring....
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking for a New Winter Activity? Try Skijoring in Bear Lake

This article about skijoring is sponsored by the Bear Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau. Participate in Skijoring the Bear on February 20th, 2023.  What is skijoring? Skijoring is when someone on skis is pulled by a horse, dog, animal, or motor vehicle. The driver leads the skiers through an obstacle course over jumps, hoops, and […]
Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Intermountain launches massive DNA mapping project