**This project is a part of the Summer Program for Undergraduate Research (SPUR), which provides undergraduate students with an intensive 10-week research experience under the mentorship of a University of Utah faculty member. SPUR 2021 begins on May 26 and ends on August 5. If you are interested in this project, please review all program information on the SPUR site. If you wish to apply to this project, you must apply using the SPUR 2021 application.**
Cancer is the 2nd leading cause of death globally and was responsible for 9.6 million deaths in 2018. From all types of cancer, skin cancer is the most common cancer worldwide with approximately 9,500 people in the U.S. diagnosed every day. Despite the relevance, most dermatologists perform simple visual examination of skin lesions. Literature shows, however, that the accuracy of clinical diagnosis of skin cancer is far from 100%. The consequences of this lack of diagnostic certainty are, on the one hand, life-threatening skin cancer may be missed and, on the other, as a safety precaution, non cancerous lesions are unnecessarily surgically removed. To address this worldwide health challenge, we have created a new objective and quantitative diagnostic tool for non-visual diagnosis of skin cancer with potential to provide immediate impact to patient care, dramatically improve survival and reduce costs to the healthcare system on a global scale. By gathering and analyzing precise and localized electrical measurements in the skin, we can obtain reliable information of the condition of the skin unavailable through any other method. Through this simple and painless procedure, the physician will be able to objectively evaluate suspicious lesions prior to excision.