Research Clusters


The USTAR Initiative supports economic development in Utah by providing funding to Utah’s research universities to support the creation of fundamental technologies with the potential to encourage the growth of major industries in Utah. The USTAR funds support start-up packages for world-class faculty with proven track records of research and commercialization. The University of Utah anticipates hiring 32 faculty in the next 3-4 years to expand our existing competencies in twelve key areas:

Clouds on skyFossil Energy: Carbon Engineering Research focus on CO2 sequestration and enhanced oil recovery.
nanotechNanotechnology Biosensors  Development of nanbiosensors for early disease detection, chromatography, and immunoassay applications.
DiagnosticImagingDiagnostic Neuroimaging Research focus on how drug addiction and mood disorders alter brain chemistry. Development of new treatments for drug dependence, better disease classification, and psychiatric disorders in adolescents.
meddeviceBiomedical Device Innovation Research focus on medical device innovations that improve clinical performance of implants and/or promote functional regeneration of tissue. Technology innovation in the area of new polymers for gene therapy, angiogenic inhibitors and oral delivery of chemotherapeutics.
imagingTechImaging Technology Advanced imaging software solutions, early intervention of mental illness and image based methods and technology to simplify diagnosis.
brainCircuits of the Brain Research focused on genetic manipulation of brain circuits, behavior and electrophysiology.
AltEnergyAlternative Energy  Research focused on designing electrode structures for enhanced flux at electrode surfaces for biosensor and biofuel cell applications. The Alternative Energy cluster utilizes a variety of electroanalytical techniques, as well as a variety of biological and spectroscopic techniques to accomplish these goals.
celltherapyCell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine  Development and application of new technologies and clinical approaches to cell therapy and regenerative medicines. Technologies that focus on the biology of stem cells and tissue-specific progenitor cells as well as matrices, biomaterials and co-factors that guide and promote the regeneration and function of specific tissues.
iStock_000003503803XSmallMicro & Nano Systems Integration  Research in the area of system integration, electronic packaging and testing of micro and nano systems. Research focus on micro- and nano- systems for biomedical applications, instrumentation of single cells, integrated circuits, microelectromechanical systems, wireless communication systems and sensor networking.
microtubulesNanoscale & Biomedical Photonic Imaging Research focused on nonlinear imaging techniques and probe design that support spatial scales too fine to be observed under light microscopy.
digitalmediaDigital Media Research focused on the confluence of computer science, fine arts and architecture mediums. Technologies focused on simulations for healthcare, disaster response and other untapped markets.
ustar-u-c-g-d-2x2-v11Center for Genetic Discovery From DNA to diagnosis, the mission of the USTAR Center is to integrate patient genome information into health care. The Center is developing tools for big data management, disease discovery, and genome interpretation, for research and clinical applications.
Chemical Biology & Drug Discovery Chemical Biology is a discovery- and application-driven field focused on small molecules that alter biological processes. In the past two decades, this burgeoning field has given scientists revolutionary methodologies, including chemical genetics, small-interfering RNAs, and biomolecular labeling of cells, and has facilitated multiple drug discoveries. The supports University of Utah faculty in discovering small molecules and developing drugs that alter biological processes and enhance patient lives. The mission of the center is to improve clinical outcomes and fuel Utah’s economy by developing novel pharmacologic therapies for cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders.
Cancer Therapeutics The Cancer Therapeutics cluster will address key gaps in advancing oncotherapeutics for patient and commercial benefit by building proprietary tools for preclinical testing of novel cancer therapies for diverse tumor types. The marriage of University of Utah Health Sciences current expertise in cancer clinical care, cancer genetics and genomics, computationally directed drug development, and early phase clinical trials in oncotherapeutics, to new expertise in medicinal chemistry, drug formulation, and pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics will enable rapid advancement to clinical application.