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Sanford researcher to help lead biospecimen group

ECHO study part of 7-year NIH grant to study children’s health

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – A Sanford Health researcher recently was named the co-chair of a working group for a national children’s health program.

Amy Elliott, Ph.D., will be the co-chair of the Biospecimens Working Group, which is part of the Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes, or ECHO. It’s an initiative of the National Institutes of Health that studies how environmental exposures affect child health and development.

“This is an important group, and I’m excited to take a leadership role within it,” Elliott said. “This group will help set the standards for biospecimen collection within this study.”

Elliott is project’s principal investigator at Sanford Research. She serves as senior director of the Center for Health Outcomes and Population Research at Sanford Research and is also the principal investigator for the Northern Plains Safe Passage Study clinical sites. 

The co-chairs of this working group are appointed by their ECHO colleagues and confirmed by the ECHO steering committee. The co-chairs lead meetings, identify research focus and ensure deadlines are met.

“Research is a huge focus of Sanford Health,” said David Pearce, Ph.D., executive vice president of research. “We’re proud to have one of our own recognized within the research community as a leader and trusted source for setting standards. Beyond that, this is a project that helps improve the lives of children, which we all know is a priority.”

The NIH distributed $157 million in awards for fiscal year 2016 as part of the seven-year ECHO initiative.

About Sanford Research 
Sanford Research is a non-profit research organization and is part of Sanford Health, an integrated health system headquartered in the Dakotas. Sanford Health is one of the largest health systems in the nation with a presence in nine states and four countries. More than $600 million in gifts from Denny Sanford has provided for an expansion of research initiatives in type 1 diabetes, breast cancer and genomics in internal medicine.

With a team of more than 200 researchers, Sanford Research comprises several research centers, including Children’s Health Research, Edith Sanford Breast Center, Cancer Biology, Center for Health Outcomes and Prevention and Sanford Sports Science Institute.


Jacqueline Palfy

Sanford Health Media Relations

605-366-2432 / jacqueline.palfy@sanfordhealth.org