Elder D. Todd Christofferson meets with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.  (Courtesy Photo, Mormon Newsroom)

Joe Biden praises Utah Medical Centers and LDS Church collaboration

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United States Vice President Joe Biden paid a short visit to Temple Square on Feb. 26, where he was presented with his family history.

Biden met with Elder D. Todd Christofferson and Elder Ronald A. Rasband, members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Also in attendance was former U.S. Sen. Gordon H. Smith of the Seventy, according to Mormon Newsroom.

The brief meeting took place at the Church’s Family History Library in downtown Salt Lake City at Temple Square, according to Mormon Newsroom.

Biden was visiting Utah to meet with cancer researchers at the University of Utah’s Huntsman Cancer Institute and a portion of that visit was to Temple Square, according to an article by The Salt Lake Tribune.

The visit was part of the initiative to promote an increased effort to cure a cancer nicknamed “moonshot,” which makes reference to the U.S. effort and success in the 1960s to put a man on the moon, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

A major portion of the round table discussion after Biden’s tour of the Huntsman Cancer Institute was on solving the collaboration issue amongst medical centers, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

Biden said big data can unlock answers to ways patients can be treated for cancer, but since records are kept on individual databases at different medical centers, prospects are limited, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

“The future is mind-blowing as to what can unlock answers,” Biden said, according to an article by The Washington Post.

Biden said the vast Utah database of genetic and medical information shows how big data is powering these new advances in cancer research, according to The Washington Post.

Part of the foundation of the Utah Population Database comes from the genealogy records kept by the Church, according to The Washington Post.

Biden said the initiative is about putting together the nation’s intellectual, moral, emotional and scientific capital to accomplish in five years what would take 10 or 15 years, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

Copyright 2015 BYU-I Scroll