ARUP Laboratories

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ARUP Laboratories
Medical school, hospitals, medical clinic, laboratories
IndustryPatient education, medical research, laboratories
GenreCorporate histories
FoundedSalt Lake City, UT, U.S. (1984)
FounderUniversity of Utah Department of Pathology members
Key people
Sherrie L. Perkins, MD, PhD (CEO); Andrew Theurer, CPA (President)
ServicesNational reference and hospital laboratory
Number of employees
almost 4,000

Associated Regional and University Pathologists, Inc. — ARUP Laboratories is an American national reference laboratory and a nonprofit enterprise of the University of Utah, and its Department of Pathology. ARUP offers more than 3,000 tests and test combinations, ranging from routine screening tests to molecular and genetic assays.

Located in the University of Utah Research Park in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States, ARUP provides medical laboratory testing services for clients and their patients throughout the United States. ARUP's diagnostic-testing and disease-management menu encompasses all areas of clinical medicine, including allergy and immunology, clinical chemistry, cytogenetics and molecular genetics, endocrinology, obstetrics, neonatology and pediatrics, hematology, infectious diseases, neurology, oncology, preventive medicine, and anatomic pathology.

Faculty from the University of Utah's School of Medicine, including the Department of Pathology, serve as medical directors for each ARUP laboratory department, as consultants on diagnosis and patient-management questions, as researchers into new diagnostic laboratory technology and disease mechanisms, and as educators.

ARUP's clients include university teaching hospitals and children's hospitals, regional hospital networks, major commercial laboratories and clinics, group-purchasing organizations, and military and government facilities. ARUP does not compete for physician-office business but supports its clients’ existing test menus by providing referral tests and consultative support.

ARUP Laboratories has nearly 4,000 employees and a total of 65 laboratories, occupying facilities in Salt Lake City. The laboratories are housed in a single 300,000-square-foot (28,000 m2) facility, where more than 55,000 specimens of blood, fluid, and tissue samples are processed each day. Staff include more than 100 pathology experts, many of them University of Utah faculty. ARUP educational offerings include senior-year training and internships for undergraduate medical technologists, genetic-counselor training, and residency and fellowship programs in pathology and related disciplines. ARUP provides phlebotomy services for the University of Utah Health Care system.


On June 15, 1984, with Dr. John Matsen, the then chairman of the University of Utah's Department of Pathology, serving as its first president, ARUP Laboratories opened for business. Its goal was to provide financial support to further the mission of the University of Utah Department of Pathology and funding and logistical support to the University of Utah Hospital and School of Medicine. Immediately upon moving into its home in the University of Utah's Research Park area, ARUP began expanding both its personnel and its business and now houses one of the world's largest laboratory transport and sorting systems, as well as a two-story clinical lab specimen freezer—the largest in the world.

In the mid-1990s, to fulfill clients’ needs, ARUP adopted a 24/7 schedule, staffing the laboratories on nights, weekends, and holidays. By this time, nearly two-thirds of the nation's leading academic health centers, including Stanford and Harvard, were sending samples to ARUP. As the company grew and perfected its transportation system, it eventually became one of Delta Air Lines’ biggest shippers of airfreight into Salt Lake City, developing a shipping container that is nearly impossible to damage under normal circumstances.

In the beginning, the majority of ARUP’s revenue source was derived from the University of Utah Hospital, but as a result of the breadth and quality of its testing capabilities, ARUP greatly increased its client base and progressed from being a modest community laboratory to a nationally recognized reference laboratory, with over 3,000 clients located in all 50 states.

On July 1, 2009, Dr. Edward Ashwood assumed the position of ARUP Laboratories’ president and chief executive officer; ARUP founder Dr. Carl Kjeldsberg retired as CEO on June 30, 2009. Dr. Julio C. Delgado serves as chief medical officer and director of laboratories.

On August 11, 2017, Dr. Sherrie Perkins assumed the position of ARUP Laboratories' chief executive officer, and Andrew Theurer assumed the role of president.

Research and development[edit]

The ARUP Institute for Clinical and Experimental Pathology was created in 1996 as part of ARUP's mission to improve the health-care profession and advance the science of laboratory medicine through the development of new laboratory-medicine testing and technology, as well as through contributions to peer-reviewed medical literature.

In 2003, ARUP partnered with the Utah Department of Health to create a pilot program for expanding newborn screening in Utah to include an additional 30 metabolic markers. A year later, this program became the standard for the mandatory screening of all newborns in the state of Utah. [1]

Children's Health Improvement through Laboratory Diagnostics (CHILDx), an ARUP initiative, has partnered with pediatric centers throughout the United States to establish the pediatric reference range interval project, a research project that strives to improve pediatric-patient care.[2]

Dr. Carl Wittwer, one of ARUP's medical directors, invented the LightCycler and real-time PCR techniques, used in clinical diagnostics worldwide.[3] He is also the scientific co-founder of Idaho Technology, Inc. (now known as Biofire Diagnostics) a Salt Lake City-based small biotech company also operating in Research Park that specializes in real-time PCR instrumentation, advanced hi-res melting instruments for mutation detection, and other related technologies.

Laboratory informatics and utilization management[edit]

ARUP's suite of Utilization Management Services unites the development of outreach and connectivity with the ordering and use of laboratory tests.

Suite of Integrated Services[edit]

ARUP's Suite of Integrated Services assist clients with solutions for outreach, connectivity, lab-test ordering, and management; the suite includes ARUP ATOP, ARUP Consult, ARUP Insource Advantage, ARUP Direct, ARUP Connect, and ARUP Gateway.

Automation initiative[edit]

ARUP automation includes:

  • A 1,100-foot (340 m) transport and sorting system with a capacity of 5,000 specimens per hour.
  • An automated storage sorter that can sort 4000 finished specimens per hour into storage trays. The machine supplements two 1,000-per-hour storage sorters that were at full capacity.
  • The trays of finished specimens are loaded into a two-story automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS) housed in the world's largest clinical laboratory freezer. The fully automated system has a capacity greater than 2.3 million specimens and individual specimens can be retrieved in 2.5 minutes.
  • The world's first automated thawing and mixing work-cells that thaw and then mix frozen specimens at a rate of more than 1,000 per hour each, reducing pre-analytical preparation and turnaround time while improving testing quality.
  • A Sort-To-Light (STL) system for automated tracking of manual specimens not placed on the automated transport and sorting system. The bar codes of all so-called manual specimens (whether frozen, refrigerated, or room temperature) are scanned, which causes a plastic square to light up indicating the correct temporary holding bin for each specimen. The system also tracks when specimens are removed from the bins for transfer to laboratory sections for testing.

The impact of the automated systems has improved ARUP's lost specimen rate to Six Sigma levels, believed to be the best among US reference laboratories.

Blood services[edit]

ARUP Blood Services provide blood products to patients at the University of Utah Hospital, Huntsman Cancer Hospital, Shriners Hospital for Children, and Primary Children's Medical Center in Salt Lake City. In 2010, nearly 7,000 patients at these institutions were transfused with blood products collected by ARUP Blood Services. ARUP Blood Services has 63 employees and collects 1,900 whole blood units and 725 platelet units per month to meet the needs of patients.


  1. ^ Utah Department of Health Preparing to Expand Newborn Tests Archived July 20, 2011, at the Wayback Machine Utah Department of Health, accessed June 3, 2011.
  2. ^ Pediatric Reference Interval Project CHILDx, accessed June 3, 2011.
  3. ^ Spotlight: Carl Wittwer and the LightCycler Idaho Technology, accessed June 3, 2011.

External links[edit]