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Utah Population Database

Ken R. Smith, PhD

The Utah Population Database (UPDB) holds approximately 20 million records in which an extensive set of Utah genealogies is linked to large sets of medical records (including cancer records) and other types of data. It supports more than 100 research projects and is a rich research resource for genetic, epidemiological, demographic, and public health studies. In addition to genealogies and Cancer Registry data from Utah and Idaho, the UPDB is linked to inpatient hospital records and vital records, including Utah death certificates. These data allow the identification of familial clustering of cancer. Studies may have a research design that incorporates kinship/pedigree structure or that uses a case control outcomes approach. Software has been developed that readily provides researchers information about cancer risk, segregation patterns, and pedigree size.

The UPDB Shared Resource has the following goals:

  • Maintain the UPDB research infrastructure by annually updating and linking statewide records, including cancer, vital records, driver license data, and inpatient hospital events
  • Facilitate access to medical information in the enterprise data warehouses of the University of Utah Health Sciences Center and Intermountain Healthcare, as well as the Utah Department of Health
  • Maintain pedigree infrastructure and analysis tools
  • Provide access to UPDB and expertise in its use to support research projects
  • Provide ongoing information such as deaths and cancer recurrence to research projects

These activities require resources beyond the scope of any single research project. The UPDB Shared Resource makes large datasets and multigenerational pedigrees available, while carefully protecting the privacy of individual-level data. All projects require IRB approval. In addition, the Utah Resource for Genetic and Epidemiology Research administers access to UPDB through another review process.

UPDB is a focal point of transdisciplinary and collaborative cancer research, since gene discovery involves both basic and clinical researchers. Investigators from multiple Huntsman Cancer Institute programs and many University of Utah departments use the UPDB. The UPDB is the only such database in the United States and one of few such resources in the world.

For more information, please see the Utah Population Database website.


Utah Population Database Governance

Ken R. Smith, PhD

Associate Director
Geraldine P. Mineau, PhD

HCI Senior Director Oversight
Randall W. Burt, MD

Faculty Advisory Committee Chair
Geraldine Mineau, PhD

Faculty Advisory Committee Members
Jahn Barlow, MPA
Julio Facelli, PhD
Steven Guthery, MD
Sancy Leachman, MD, PhD

If use of this resource results in a publication, please acknowledge the Cancer Center Support Grant by using the following text: "The project described was supported by Award Number P30CA042014 from the National Cancer Institute. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Cancer Institute or the National Institutes of Health."