Children's Health

The mission of the Children's Health Research Center is to conduct basic, translational, and clinical pediatric research.  Interdisciplinary approaches are used to understand the underlying basis of a wide array of congenital defects and childhood diseases.  Areas of interest include rare diseases, pediatric cancers, neurological disorders, developmental disorders, and genetic and environmental effects on childhood health and disease.  In addition, a major initiative within the center is the Sanford Project, which aims to better understand, treat, and cure type I diabetes.  Researchers within the center have expertise in a wide range of disciplines, including molecular biology, cell biology, developmental biology, biochemistry, neuroscience, immunology, and genetics. 

The Children’s Health Research Center is led by David Pearce, PhD.  Research activities are heavily supported by the NIH-funded Center for Pediatric Research, which enables ongoing growth of basic and translational research within the center.  The center has also formed collaborative relationships with other leading research and clinical institutions around the globe, including the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute in La Jolla, CA.  With a rich and dynamic research environment, the Children’s Health Research Center is actively advancing toward its goal of understanding and treating pediatric disease.

Children’s Health Research Center Upcoming Events

Symposium:

5th Annual Sanford Rare Disease Symposium
February 26-27, 2015; Sanford Center, Dakota Room  
 
6th Annual Sanford Health - USD Biomedical Research Symposium
May 11, 2015; Sanford Center, Dakota Room
 

Children’s Health Research Center Features

Jill Weimer receives an R01 award
Sanford Research - Jill WeimerJill Weimer, an Associate Scientist in the Children’s Health Research Center, received an R01 from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke at the NIH.  This award funds a project aimed at understanding the role of intracellular trafficking in neurological disorders such as the neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCLs).  Dr. Weimer joined the Children’s Health Research Center in 2009 after completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  For more information, please see the press release



Children’s Health Research Center News

GRANTS
 
Michelle Baack received a Sanford Health – South Dakota State University Collaborative Research Seed Grant for a project aimed at understanding the epigenetic consequences of a prenatal high fat diet in offspring cardiac development and disease.

Michael Kruer received a grant from Retrophin for a project aimed at understanding the genetic basis of cerebral palsy.

Alexei Savinov was awarded funding as a Project Leader on a five-year UC4 Cooperative Agreement grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) of the NIH for a collaborative project focusing on the regulation of pancreatic beta cell destruction.

Michelle Baack received a five-year K08 award from the NIH for a project aimed at preventing cardiovascular disease in offspring of diabetic mothers.

Michael Kruer received a Clinical Scientist Development Award from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation for a project aimed at identifying the molecular mechanisms underlying pediatric movement disorders.

 
PRESENTATIONS
 
Jill Weimer presented research from her lab in a poster at the Gordon Research Conference on Neural Development in Newport, RI in August, 2014.

Daein Kim, a postdoctoral fellow in the Roux lab, presented research from the Roux lab in a poster at the Cold Spring Harbor Meeting on Nuclear Organization and Function in Cold Spring Harbor, NY in August, 2014.

Several Children’s Health Research Center scientists attended the USD Center for Brain and Behavioral Research Symposium in Vermillion, SD in August, 2014. Michael Kruer gave an oral presentation, and postdoctoral fellows Rozzy Finn (Lee Lab) and Seung Yon Koh (Weimer Lab) presented posters.

David Pearce presented research from his lab in an oral presentation at the 2014 Livestock Biotech Summit in Sioux Falls, SD in September, 2014.

Kamesh Surendran presented research from his lab in invited seminars at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN in September, 2014 and Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN in October, 2014, as well as an oral presentation at the American Society of Nephrology annual meeting in Philadelphia, PA in November, 2014.

Zhiguang Guo presented research from his lab in a poster at the 9th International Conference on Genomics in Shenzhen, China in September, 2104.

Regan Roat, an MD/PhD student the Guo Lab, presented her project in a poster at the 2014 EASD Islet Study Meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland in September, 2014.

Several postdoctoral fellows in the Children’s Health Research Center gave oral presentations on their projects at the Sanford Research Postdoctoral Symposium in September, 2014. Presentations were given by Michelle Booze (Vitiello Lab), Jacob Cain (Weimer Lab), Rozzy Finn (Lee Lab), Daein Kim (Roux Lab), Seung Yon Koh (Weimer Lab), Li Li (Zhao Lab), Marianna Madeo (Kruer Lab), and Malini Mukherjee (Surendran Lab). Michelle Booze received the award for best presentation.

Michelle Baack presented research from her lab in an invited seminar at South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD in October, 2014.

Lance Lee presented research from his lab in an oral presentation at the 28th International Mammalian Genome Conference in Bar Harbor, ME in October, 2014.

Kyle Roux presented research from his lab in an oral presentation at the EMBO Workshop on Cell Plasticity and Nuclear Dynamics in Singapore and in an invited seminar at Northern State University in Aberdeen, SD in October, 2014.

Michael Kruer presented research from his lab in a poster at the 140th Annual Meeting of the American Neurological Association in Baltimore, MD in October, 2014 and in an oral presentation at the 7th Annual Denny Sanford Pediatric Symposium in Sioux Falls, SD in November, 2014.

Marianna Madeo, postdoctoral fellow in the Kruer Lab, presented her project in a poster at the 64th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics in San Diego, CA in October, 2014.

Several Children’s Health Research Center scientists attended the 14th International Congress on Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses in Cordoba, Argentina in October, 2014. David Pearce, Jill Weimer, and graduate student Helen Magee (Weimer Lab) gave oral presentations, and posters were presented by Assistant Scientist Attila Kovacs (Pearce Lab), graduate student Ryan Geraets (Pearce Lab), and research associate Derek Timm (Weimer Lab).

Haotian Zhao presented research from his lab in two oral presentations at the 19th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Society for Neuro-Oncology in Miami, FL in November, 2014.

Center for Pediatric Research undergraduate scholar Spencer Duncan and NSF REU undergraduate student Rachel Laufmann, both in Jill Weimer’s lab, presented their projects in posters at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting in Washington DC in November, 2014.

Several Children’s Health Research Center scientists attended the 2nd Annual Sanford Health – SDSU Biomedical Research Symposium in Brookings, SD in November 2014. David Pearce and graduate student Christina Amatya (Savinov Lab) gave oral presentations. Posters were presented by staff scientist Ilian Radichev (Savinov Lab); postdoctoral fellows Jacob Cain (Weimer Lab), Daein Kim (Roux Lab), Li Li (Zhao Lab), Marianna Madeo (Kruer Lab), Kennedy Mdaki (Baack Lab), and Seung Yon Koh (Weimer Lab); graduate students Christina Amatya (Savinov Lab), Ryan Geraets (Pearce Lab), Regan Roat (Guo Lab), and Maryam Salehi (Savinov Lab); and research associates Benjamin Forred (Vitiello Lab), Casey McKenzie (Lee Lab), Derek Timm (Weimer Lab), and Emily Weber (Zhao Lab).
 

AWARDS
 
Haotian Zhao received the Pediatric Basic Research Award and the Young Investigator Basic/Translational Research Award from the Society of Neuro-Oncology in November, 2014.
 
 
OUTREACH

Kurt Griffin gave presentations about the Sanford Project and current progress in type 1 diabetes research at the Cosmopolitan International Annual Convention in Rapid City, SD in July, 2014 and the JDRF Walk in Fargo, ND in September, 2014.
 
Michelle Baack gave an oral presentation about her research to the local community in the Sanford PROMISE Community Lecture Series in October, 2014.
 
 
2014 Sanford Children's Health Research Center faculty retreat

2014 Sanford Children’s Health Research Center faculty retreat at the Sanford Pentagon