Iron is essential for almost all organisms. Research focused on defining biochemical pathways that utilize or move iron as well as other metals is a major focus of the University of Utah Center for Iron and Heme Disorders (UCIHD). One place for iron utilization is in heme synthesis and the erythroid cell or red blood cell is a major site of heme synthesis for the generation of the oxygen carrying molecule hemoglobin. Many other cells also produce heme as a cofactor for several proteins. The Utah CIHD seeks to enhance our understanding of iron utilization and heme synthesis with a specific emphasis on erythroid and myeloid cell development from hematopoietic stem cells.

The goals of the UCIHD are to support research on hematopoiesis and iron metabolism through Unique Core Facilities, Pilot Grant Funding and Enrichment/Enhance Education on molecular/cellular biological pathways involved in normal hematopoietic stem cell biology and erythroid differentiation and disease states. UCIHD core facilities provide access to a variety of advanced technologies and capabilities to researchers at and affiliated with the UCIHD.

The core facilities supported by UCIHD include the Metabolomics Core offering LC-MS, GC-MS and lipidomics services, the Protein Metabolite Discovery Core (MIDAS) that provides unique protein-metabolite interactome services and the Iron and Heme Core providing analyses of metals, porphyrins and heme.