Intermountain Healthcare’s Precision Genomics program is the winner of the 32nd annual Governor’s Science Medal for Industry.

The award, which is the highest honor bestowed by the state of Utah to residents and companies who have made significant contributions in scientific and technological fields, was announced Wednesday by Gov. Gary Herbert, leaders of the Utah Science Technology and Research (USTAR) initiative and the Governor’s Office for Economic Development (GOED).

Precision Genomics at Intermountain Healthcare is an innovative program that analyzes individual differences in genetics, environments, and lifestyles and gives medical professionals the resources to specifically identify treatments and target the illnesses of each patient.

The Intermountain Precision Genomics program conducts DNA testing that typically matches late-stage cancer patients with medications that can lengthen their lives improve their quality of life, and reduce side-effects in their treatment, all at about the same cost of traditional cancer therapies.

“Precision medicine has opened doors that have allowed us to make a real impact on numerous people in the communities we serve,” said Lincoln Nadauld, MD, chief of precision health for Intermountain Healthcare. “The best part is that we’re just scratching the surface. There’s much more to come that will help patients, our friends, our neighbors, and our families to live the healthiest lives possible.”

Intermountain Precision Genomics initially focused on providing targeted therapy options for late-stage cancers. The possibility for research and treatment in other fields of medicine are just beginning, including opioid dependence, cardiovascular health, and medication metabolism.

Intermountain’s Precision Genomics expertise is enhanced by the fact that Intermountain Healthcare has the nation’s largest biorepository, started in 1975, which stores more than three million tissue samples used to advance cancer treatment and other research.

Since 1987, the Governor’s Science Medal for Industry has been awarded to individuals and organizations who’ve made significant contributions that have enhanced scientific and technological knowledge, education, and industry. An advisory panel reviews all nominations and selects the winners.

“It’s an unexpected honor and a thrill to receive this lofty recognition,” said Dr. Nadauld. “We’ve long admired previous recipients of this award and we’re humbled to receive it.”

Precision Genomics will officially receive the award on April 1 during Governor Herbert’s Utah Technology and Innovation Summit.

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