By Jonathan Martinez, Huntsman Cancer Institute communications intern

On the eastern edge of the University of Utah campus, major headway is being made as the new addition to Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) takes shape.

On April 16, 2016, two sky bridges connecting the new Primary Children’s and Families’ Cancer Research Center to its sister facilities, were installed in a taxing nine-hour process. With these bridges in place, the building reaches the halfway mark to its expected completion date of April 2017.

Watch a time-lapse video of the sky bridge installation:

At 225,000 square feet, the expansion will double HCI’s research space. In fact, when combined with existing facilities, HCI will house almost one linear mile of research bench space. HCI’s spacious open laboratories encourage collaboration among researchers and the open design will carry over into the new research center.

HCI is continually paving the way for cancer research on a national and global scale. The new research center will focus on genetic and population studies with the intention of addressing families and younger patients with cancer. This attention on genetic studies is fitting: Researchers at HCI have discovered more mutations for inherited forms of cancer — including breast, ovarian, colon, skin and head and neck cancers — than at any other center in the world.

The research center materializes more and more every day. Natalie Angle, associate director of Research Operations at HCI, works in close proximity to the construction site and has witnessed first-hand the exciting atmosphere surrounding the project. “I’m looking forward to seeing the results of our efforts over the past few years come to fruition,” says Angle. “It’s been fun to watch the drawings from architectural plans come to life each day, ‘brick-by-brick,’ from my office window.”

It’s clear why HCI is often referred to as the “crown jewel” of the University of Utah Health Sciences campus.


Principal funders of this project are Huntsman Cancer Foundation, the Jon M. Huntsman family, Intermountain Healthcare, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the state of Utah.