BYU v. Utah in academics and research

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SALT LAKE CITY -- What distinguishes the Utes and the Cougars when they're off the football field?

The two campuses, 46 miles apart, are both ranked nationally and worldwide for research and academics.

University of Utah

At the U, Nobel Prize winner Mario Capecchi discovered a genetic mechanism in mice. It allows researchers worldwide to study mutations that cause numerous diseases.

The U also has a medical center, the Huntsman Cancer Institute and a school of medicine ranked among the top in the country. Add to that:

  • 3-D modeling of the human hair to solve criminal cold cases
  • A machine that analyzes the DNA of more than 20 different pathogens
  • New pharmaceuticals
  • Hundreds of examples of spinoff companies that are now making products based on university research

A new Utah Museum of Natural History, which has not opened yet, is listed as one of the top five national destination sites for visitors. The list goes on and on.

Brigham Young University

In Utah Valley, BYU has Dr. Arden Pope, one of the world's top-ranked experts on pollution. His research, in collaboration with other major universities, has uncovered subtle but critical changes in the body triggered by even low levels of pollution.

BYU too is an entrepreneur factory and pulls top rankings in startup companies based on per million of research dollars.

The Marriott School of Business is one of the top business schools in the country. Its accounting program is rated number three.


  • Researchers are working on Alzheimer's and AIDS and developing better drugs to fight influenza.
  • Animators and movie makers have earned 15 Emmy awards for the past eight years.
  • The Capstone project in engineering is addressing global issues like water quality, housing and energy.

This list, too, goes on and on.

Some say the nobility of academics and research at the two great schools is far above the petty rivalry on the football field.


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Ed Yeates


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