The mission of the Children's Health Research Center is to develop pediatric translational research. The center is actively using interdisciplinary approaches to understand the underlying basis of a wide array of congenital defects and childhood diseases. Several specific pediatric diseases are currently under investigation. A major initiative within the center is the Sanford Project, which aims to better understand, treat, and cure type I diabetes. Other diseases of interest include neurodegenerative disorders such as Batten disease and neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation, as well as pediatric brain cancers, cystic kidney disease, and primary ciliary dyskinesia. Additional topics of study include 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 the newborn. The center also includes expertise in a wide range of disciplines, including molecular biology, cell biology, developmental biology, biochemistry, and genetics.
The Sanford Children’s Health Research Center is a two-site campus led by David A. Pearce, PhD in Sioux Falls, SD and Fred Levine, MD PhD in La Jolla, CA. The La Jolla site is located within the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute. A unique partnership is in place with the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, as well as other leading research and clinical institutions through Sanford Children’s Hospital. With a rich and dynamic research environment and ongoing collaborations on a national level, the Sanford Children’s Health Research Center is actively advancing toward its goal of understanding and treating pediatric disease.
Children’s Health Research Center Upcoming Events
4th Annual Sanford Rare Disease Symposium
February 27-28, 2014; Sanford Center, Sioux Falls, SD
Children’s Health Research Center Features
The Children’s Health Research Center receives a COBRE grant
The Children’s Health Research Center received a Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences at the NIH. This five-year award funds five projects that focus on unraveling the molecular mechanisms underlying development and developmental disorders. David Pearce is the grant’s principal investigator, and the project leaders include Mary Kinkel, Lance Lee, Kamesh Surendran, Peter Vitiello, and Jill Weimer. The award also funds a yeast two-hybrid core, a molecular genetics core, and a protein biochemistry core that includes the BioID strategy for identifying protein-protein interactions. Click here to see the press release for more information.
Kyle Roux receives an R01 award
Kyle Roux, an Associate Scientist in the Children’s Health Research Center, received an R01 from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences at the NIH. This five-year award funds a project aimed at defining the capabilities and limitations of BioID as a method to screen for relevant protein-protein interactions and the protein constituency of various subcellular domains. Dr. Roux joined the Children’s Health Research Center in 2011 after completing a postdoctoral fellowship and serving as a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Florida College of Medicine. For more information, click here for the press release.
Children’s Health Research Center News
Michael Kruer received a K08 Career Development Award from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for a project aimed at elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration in juvenile parkinson’s disease. For more information, click here for the press release.
Alexei Savinov received a research grant from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation for a project aimed at targeting the release of VTCN1 from pancreatic islets.
Zhiguang Guo received a research grant from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation for a project aimed at promoting beta cell regeneration and survival. For more information, click here for the press release.
Summer students and interns from several Children’s Health Research Center labs presented posters in the 2013 Sanford Summer Research Symposium at the Sanford Center in August, 2013. Presenters included undergraduates from the NSF REU program in the Kruer, Lee, Savinov, Surendran, and Vitiello labs; undergraduates from the SPUR program in the Vitiello and Weimer labs; undergraduates from the SURE program in the Guo, Kinkel, and Zhao labs; undergraduates from the BRIN program in the Pearce lab and adjunct faculty member Seasson Vitiello’s lab; high school students from the PROMISE Scholars program in the Roux, Surendran, Vitiello, Weimer, and Zhao labs; teachers from the SERF program in the Baack, Lee, and Vitiello labs; pediatric residents in the Baack lab; and summer research associates in the Roux and Vitiello labs.
Michael Kruer gave the keynote seminar at the Gunderson Health System’s 3rd Annual Parkinson’s Symposium in La Crosse, WI in August, 2013.
Zhiguang Guo presented research from his lab in an oral presentation and a poster at the 15th International Congress of Immunology in Milan, Italy in August, 2013.
Courtney Rocke, a SURE student in the Zhao lab, presented her summer research project in posters at the Association of American Indian Physicians Annual Meeting in Santa Clara, CA and the Northern Plains Native American Research Center for Health Careers Summit in Rapid City, SD in August, 2013.
Jill Weimer presented research from her lab in an invited seminar at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, IA in September, 2013.
Michael Kruer presented research from his lab in an oral presentation at the 67th annual meeting of the American Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine in Milwaukee, WI in October, 2013.
Several Children’s Health Research Center scientists attended the Midwest Society for Pediatric Research annual meeting in Minneapolis, MN in October, 2013. Oral presentations were given by Ben Forred, a research associate in the Vitiello lab; Lucinda Weaver, a medical student from the Baack lab; and Michelle Schimelpfenig, a Pediatric Resident from the Baack lab. Miranda Floen, an MD/PhD student in the Vitiello lab, presented her project in a poster.
H. Eugene Hoyme organized the 2nd annual Sanford Genomic Medicine Symposium: “Bridging Genomic Medicine into Clinical Practice” at the Sanford Center in October, 2013. Michael Kruer gave an oral presentation, along with several external clinical geneticists.
HONORS & AWARDS
David Pearce received the Champion of Hope Award, which is granted annually by the Global Genes Project, for his commitment to Batten Disease research. For more information, click here for the press release.
David Pearce was interviewed by KELO-AM radio and South Dakota Public Radio about research in his lab in August, 2013.
Alex Rabinovitch was interviewed by KDLT TV in Sioux Falls, SD about the progress of Sanford Project clinical trials for type 1 diabetes in October, 2013.