Huntsman Mental Health Institute Breaks Ground on Translational Research Building

October 2, 2023

Media Contact:
Patricia Brandt
Manager, Public Relations and Communications, Huntsman Mental Health Institute
University of Utah Health

The Huntsman Mental Health Institute at the University of Utah (HMHI), and Huntsman Mental Health Foundation broke ground today on the new Utah Mental Health Translational Research Building, east of HMHI in Research Park. 

The Utah Mental Health Translational Research Building will be dedicated to innovating mental health research and clinical care. It will create a working lab for researchers and educators to collaborate with experts in science, translational science, artificial intelligence, public policy, business, and law in holistic ways to address mental health challenges, including suicide, child and young adult mental health, and mental health for rural and underserved populations.  

“Mental health touches everyone’s family, regardless of faith, status, neighborhood or history,” said Christena Huntsman Durham, Executive Vice President of the Huntsman Foundation. “Our family stands with families who, like ours, have been impacted by mental health disorders. Together, we are committed to ensuring that the Translational Research Building becomes the vibrant hub of innovation and progress in mental health research that our community urgently needs.” 

The 185,000 square foot, multi-floor building will house the world’s only 7 Tesla MRI dedicated to brain research. Designed with distinctive research neighborhoods, a versatile structure, and state-of-the-art technology, the facility will house a world-class team of researchers, scientists, doctors, and educators who are focused on exponentially improving our knowledge of the brain.  

The Utah Translational Research Building is scheduled to open in 2026 and has received the generous support of the Utah State Legislature and philanthropic donors.  

A rendering of the Utah Translational Research Building, which will be located behind the current Huntsman Mental Health Institute hospital.

“The Utah Translational Research Building will enable Huntsman Mental Health Institute to deliver the research, care, and treatment options to combat one of our nation’s most critical health crises,” said Mark Rapaport, MD, CEO of HMHI. “We want to create a place that will help us bring in a new era of knowledge, hope, and healing for everyone.” 

According to the World Health Organization, mental health issues increased 13% during the last decade. Approximately 970 million people—including 14% of the world’s adolescents —suffer from a mental health issue or drug abuse. To rapidly address the growing mental health crisis, treatment and research are becoming increasingly interdisciplinary. 

About Huntsman Mental Health Institute  

 Huntsman Mental Health Institute at the University of Utah (HMHI) was established in 2021 following the Huntsman Foundation’s historic gift of $150 million to the University of Utah. HMHI is a university-wide institute with a reputation throughout the Mountain West as a leader in advanced psychiatric treatment and care, serving a diverse population from young children to geriatric patients. Researchers at HMHI develop and apply the most advanced methods in genetics, imaging, epidemiology, and big data analysis. HMHI is also the regional training center for psychiatry and other mental health disciplines. HMHI’s main 170-bed full-service hospital is adjacent to the University of Utah campus, and HMHI’s 1,644 faculty, staff, and students provide clinical, research, and training programs in more than 20 locations across Utah and Idaho.