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Sanford’s Children’s Health Research Center Receives $11.6 Million Grant

Five-year award will support continued research advancements in childhood disease

David Pearce 142 X 217(Sioux Falls, SD) –A five-year grant of more than $11.6 million from the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) will support the Children’s Health Research Center at Sanford Research.

 The center is led by David Pearce, PhD, vice president and chief operating officer for Sanford Research.

The Children’s Health Research Center focuses on pediatric translational research and is the home to several research initiatives designed to understand the underlying basis of several congenital defects and childhood diseases. Among those diseases are neurodegenerative disorders, pediatric brain cancers, cystic kidney disease, primary ciliary dyskinesia, developmental defects of the nervous system and pancreas, oxidative injury in the perinatal lung, disorders relating to defects in the cell nucleus and fatty acid deficiencies in newborns.

The center’s team is comprised of expertise in a wide range of disciplines, including genetics, molecular biology, cell biology, developmental biology and biochemistry. The Coordination of Rare Diseases at Sanford (CoRDS), an international and central registry of individuals who have been diagnosed with a rare disease, is a cornerstone program within the Children’s Health Research Center.

“This grant demonstrates NIH’s commitment to the capable team of researchers in Sanford Children’s Health Research Center as well as the overall organizational vision of Sanford to improve the health of children across the globe,” said Pearce.

The Children’s Health Research Center also includes collaboration with the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institue in La Jolla, CA.

Pearce is one of the world’s top researchers of Batten disease, a neurodegenerative disorder, and leads the Pearce Lab for Genetically Inherited Diseases of Children at Sanford Research.

The NIH, a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Policy, is the nation’s medical research agency.

About Sanford Research/USD
Sanford Research/USD is a non-profit research organization formed between Sanford Health and the University of South Dakota. Sanford Health is an integrated health system headquartered in Fargo, ND and Sioux Falls, SD and represents the largest, rural, not-for-profit healthcare system in the nation with a presence in 111 communities, nine states and two countries. In 2007, a transformational gift of $400 million by Denny Sanford provided for an expansion of children’s and research initiatives, one of which was to find a cure for type 1 diabetes, and has given Sanford Research significant momentum in its goal of becoming one of the premiere research institutions in the United States and the world. Most recently, a subsequent gift of $100 million by Mr. Sanford has paved the way to establish Edith Sanford Breast Cancer Research.

With a team of more than 200 researchers, Sanford Research comprises several research centers, including Children’s Health Research, Edith Sanford Breast Cancer, Cancer Biology, Center for Health Outcomes and Prevention, Sanford Applied Biosciences, and the National Institute for Athletic Health and Performance (NIAHP).

Tim Gerszewski
Sanford Media Strategist – Sioux Falls Region
(605) 366-2432 /
Follow me on Twitter @SanfordTimG