USTAR: A Vision for the Future

The bold initiative, created by Governor Huntsman and the Utah legislature, invests in world-class innovation teams and facilities at the University of Utah and Utah State University, then work swith the Universities to commerccial the technologies through new business ventures accross the state.

Dr. Julie Korenberg, M.D., Ph.D., was recruited from the University of California, Los Angeles. At Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, she was Vice Chair of Research in the Department of Pediatrics and held the Geri and Richard Brawerman Endowed Chair in Molecular Genetics. Dr. Korenberg has received more than $20 million in research grant funding over her career, from a variety of public and private sources.

As a part of The Brain Institute at the University of Utah, Dr. Korenberg is trying to find the link between genetics and brain circuitry. Genetic disorders such as Down Syndrome and Williams Syndrome result in abnormal and impaired brain function. Individuals with these syndromes have altered brain circuits — groups of neurons that integrate and relay information in the brain. But researchers are just beginning to disocver precisely which genes cause specific brain circuitry changes.

USTAR Professor Julie R. Korenberg is at the forefront of researching the genetic causes of circuitry problems in individuals with Down and Williams syndromes. As this link is better understood, Dr. Korenberg and her colleagues at the University of Utah’s Brain Institute hope to find new ways to treat these disorders, as well as more common disorders related to mental retardation and anxiety.

To learn more about the USTAR program, go to

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