Jon and Karen Huntsman

Cancer is the greatest challenge of our generation.

No strangers to challenges, Jon and Karen Huntsman and their family have made eradicating cancer their life’s work. It is an audacious goal, on par with the vision of curing polio, walking on the moon, or mapping the human genome. The people who took on those challenges were called unrealistic and perhaps even crazy. But we live in a world where polio is eradicated, Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, and mapping of the human genome has ushered in a new era of precision medicine.

We believe the next, greatest accomplishment of humankind is within reach: to cure cancer. What’s more, we believe Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) will lead the way.

Our mission is to understand cancer from its beginnings—from the first anomaly in a cell all the way to risk assessment and prevention through treatment and survivorship. Years before it was widely understood that cancer is a genetic disease, our predecessors at HCI boldly developed the Utah Population Database, linking genealogies of families to medical records, revealing patterns of cancers across generations. Cancer researchers in Utah were among the first to identify genes that are now known to be implicated in a number of common cancers, including colon, breast, ovarian, and melanoma. Now families ravaged by cancer for generations have tools to detect it at its earliest, most treatable stage, or to prevent the disease outright.

Mary Beckerle

Cancer is a complex collection of more than 200 genetically distinct diseases. Treating these diseases requires teams of experts matched with state-of-the-art technology. This all comes together at HCI, where our world-class facilities link cancer labs with cancer clinics, and cancer prevention strategies with the largest population database for genetic research in the world. Cancer moves fast. We need to move faster—and we are. In 2014, we broke ground on the Primary Children’s and Families’ Cancer Research Center, which will double our cancer research space. The Huntsman family led the way, shepherding an unprecedented partnership of hundreds of thousands of donors, the state of Utah, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Intermountain Healthcare, to redouble our efforts to defeat cancer.

Eradicating cancer requires a fundamental change to the way we approach this disease, a new way of thinking.

At HCI, we are changing the DNA of cancer care.