Sanford Health Appoints Director of Sanford Childrens Health Research Center in Sioux Falls

Sanford Health announced today the selection of David A. Pearce, PhD as Director of the Sanford Children’s Health Research Center (SCHRC) in Sioux Falls.

David A. Pearce, PhD
David A. Pearce, PhD

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(Sioux Falls, SD) – Sanford Health announced today the selection of David A. Pearce, PhD as Director of the Sanford Children's Health Research Center (SCHRC) in Sioux Falls. The SCHRC's mission is to combine world-class scientific talent with state-of-the-art technology to conquer childhood diseases. A $20 million gift from South Dakota Philanthropist Denny Sanford in 2007 created the SCHRC which includes a location at the Burnham Institute for Medical Research located in La Jolla, CA and a site in Sioux Falls, SD. The collaboration between the two locations will establish the basis of an integrated, world-class, academic pediatric research network. Dr. Pearce will lead the SCHRC in Sioux Falls starting this summer.

"We are excited to bring Dr. Pearce to lead the Sanford Children's Health Research Center," said Dave Link, Executive Vice President of Sanford Health. "His passion and commitment to finding treatments for childhood illnesses has made him one of the leading genetic researchers in the world."

Dr. Pearce's research focuses on juvenile Batten Disease, an incurable genetic disorder that causes a fatal protein malfunction in children. He has published more than 60 research articles on this disease alone, and his efforts have helped establish a basis to begin clinical trials for treatment. He has also served on numerous review panels for the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

"It is a great honor to be appointed to lead this effort to improve the lives of children," Dr. Pearce said. "Our team is made up of the best-trained researchers in their field, and we will work to find new treatments that will allow us to do exactly that."

Joining Dr. Pearce at Sanford Children's Health Research Center will be other researchers and staff. His team will eventually be located in the Sanford Research Park, which will open its first building in 2011.

About Dr. David A. Pearce
Dr. Pearce has worked as an Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics, and Neurology in the Center for Neural Development and Disease at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY. He completed his undergraduate Bachelors of Science Degree with Honors in Biological Sciences at Wolverhampton Polytechnic in 1986. He gained his PhD in 1990 at the University of Bath, UK, and did postdoctoral training at the University of Rochester, and Oxford University, UK.