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Message from Neli Ulrich

Neli Ulrich in blue blouse
Neli Ulrich, PhD, Executive Director, Comprehensive Cancer Center, Huntsman Cancer Institute

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Every day at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI), members of our more than 200 cancer research teams enter the doors with a strong sense of responsibility to make a difference in the cancer challenges we face. They bring expertise from all over the world and are recognized for their exceptional collaboration.

Our researchers are motivated to learn about the intricacies of cancer’s origins, find new ways to help care for patients, and use the vast potential of cancer prevention and treatments in innovative ways. In particular, we care deeply about the challenges and needs of families who live in rural and frontier areas. Huntsman at Home™ is showing we can deliver exceptional cancer care at home and support caregivers. We are using electronic medical records in new ways as a tool for cancer prevention. Our radiation oncology teams study how to reduce treatment frequency without compromising quality, to help patients who travel long distances.

Many advances begin in our labs where the earliest work to confront the cancer challenge starts with unraveling its genetic and molecular mechanisms. In 2019, we successfully brought new treatments from our labs into clinical trials, including successfully targeting a particularly deadly disease, pancreatic cancer.

We couldn’t do this work without the steadfast commitment of our community. Utah and the Mountain West is filled with a spirit of collaboration and giving, including among patients confronting a life-changing cancer diagnosis, where nearly all consent to provide samples of their tumors or blood to our labs. It is extended through high participation rates in our clinical trials, through population-wide engagement in major initiatives like reducing cancers caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) through vaccinations, and through raising awareness of factors that contribute to lung cancers, such as radon.

This work takes incredible partners. As just one example, here in Utah our legislature has taken major steps to address cancer prevention through tobacco policies, sun protection, and more. We strive to make a difference. Whether working in a lab, the community, or the clinic, the human impact of cancer drives what we do.

We work to ensure that our efforts save lives and relieve suffering for people with cancer in Utah, the Mountain West, and worldwide.

Neli Ulrich, PhD
Executive Director
Comprehensive Cancer Center
Huntsman Cancer Institute

By the Numbers

research infographic by the numbers

Cancer touches all of us.