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Champions of Innovation: Two More Researchers Join Esteemed Ranks as Translational Scholars

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Umang Swami, MD, MS | Matthew Covington, MD
Umang Swami, MD, MS | Matthew Covington, MD

Huntsman Cancer Institute and the University of Utah (the U) have awarded Umang Swami, MD, MS, and Matthew Covington, MD, prestigious positions as members of The Society of Huntsman Translational Scholars. This institutional initiative recognizes excellence in translational science and allows researchers to apply fundamental scientific findings to address clinical challenges in patient care.

Unlocking the doors to groundbreaking cancer research, this prestigious honor not only provides valuable financial support but also continues the advancement of novel cancer treatments through the collective. Within this exclusive cohort of scholars, collaboration is key—mentoring one another and guiding fellow scientists fascinated by translational cancer research. As proteges embark on this transformative journey, they evolve into mentors, ensuring a perpetual cycle of progress within an ever-growing community.

“The Society of Huntsman Translational Scholars was curated to cultivate and further enable an extraordinary community of cancer researchers who skillfully navigate research findings across the bench, bedside, and population,” says Neli Ulrich, PhD, executive director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center at Huntsman Cancer Institute at the U. “Beyond exemplifying our core values and standing as pillars of the community, translational scholars display exceptional commitment to propelling the overarching mission of Huntsman Cancer Institute at large.”

Umang Swami, MD, MS

Swami is a medical oncologist at Huntsman Cancer Institute and assistant professor of oncology in the Department of Internal Medicine at the U. With a focus in genitourinary cancers, he is currently leading and collaborating on four investigator-initiated clinical trials evaluating novel treatments in patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. He earned his medical degree from Sawai Man Singh Medical College in India before moving to the U.S. where he earned his master’s in clinical investigations followed by a hematology-oncology fellowship at the University of Iowa. During this time, he also participated in the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program.

“This honor holds great significance for me, as it symbolizes the encouragement and support, I've received from Huntsman Cancer Institute as a young clinical investigator,” says Swami. “It will undoubtedly bolster my translational efforts and contribute to the advancement of my clinical trials.”

Matthew Covington, MD

Covington is a radiology physician-scientist in the Center for Quantitative Cancer Imaging at Huntsman Cancer Institute, and an assistant professor of radiology at the U. In addition to a clinical expertise in cancer imaging, he is a dual subspecialist in nuclear radiology and breast imaging. His research is focused on the use of innovative agents in PET/CT scans for more accurate detection of invasive lobular carcinoma and other cancer subtypes. He first became interested in radiology while obtaining a medical degree from the U and later completed a women’s imaging fellowship at the Mayo Clinic.

“I am deeply honored to have been acknowledged as a Huntsman Translational Scholar,” Covington remarks. “The remarkable standards set by previous Translational Scholars in clinical care and translational research inspire me to strive for comparable accomplishments. A standout aspect of my experience at Huntsman Cancer Institute is the institution's unwavering support in transitioning scientific endeavors from experimental to clinical realms. This recognition serves as a catalyst, propelling my research endeavors closer to the realm of patient care.”

Media Contact

Heather Simonsen
Public Affairs Senior Manager
Huntsman Cancer Institute
801 581-3194

About Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah

Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah is the National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center for Utah, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, and Wyoming. With a legacy of innovative cancer research, groundbreaking discoveries, and world-class patient care, we are transforming the way cancer is understood, prevented, diagnosed, treated, and survived. Huntsman Cancer Institute focuses on delivering the highest standard of care and the most advanced treatments, ensuring world-class cancer care is available to all communities in the area we serve. We have more than 300 open clinical trials and 250 research teams studying cancer at any given time. More genes for inherited cancers have been discovered at Huntsman Cancer Institute than at any other cancer center. Our scientists are world-renowned for understanding how cancer begins and using that knowledge to develop innovative approaches to treat each patient’s unique disease. Huntsman Cancer Institute was founded by Jon M. and Karen Huntsman.

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