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:

2nd Annual SDSU – Sanford Health Biomedical Research Symposium
November 13, 2014; South Dakota State University; Brookings, SD  
 

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.
 
David Pearce received an R13 award from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) of the NIH to organize the 14th International Conference on Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses in Cordoba, Argentina.
 
Zhiguang Guo received a three-year research grant from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation for a project aimed at identifying beta cell-specific biomarkers for type 1 diabetes to improve early disease detection and treatment.
 
PRESENTATIONS
 
Michael Kruer presented research from his lab in oral presentations at the 18th International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders in Stockholm, Sweden in June, 2014 and the 3rd Annual Symposium on Ubiquitin, Protein Quality Control, and Molecular Pathogenesis in Deadwood, SD in June, 2014.
 
David Pearce presented research from his lab in oral presentations at the Swine in Biomedical Research Conference in Raleigh, NC in July, 2014 and the 2014 Livestock Biotech Summit in Sioux Falls, SD in September, 2014.
 
Kamesh Surendran presented research from his lab in a poster at the Gordon Research Conference on Notch Signaling in Development, Regeneration & Disease in Lewiston, ME in July, 2014 and in an invited seminar at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN in September, 2014.
 
Michelle Baack presented research from her lab in an oral presentation at the Global Nutrition Summit in Sioux Falls, SD in July, 2014.
 
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.
 
Summer students and interns from many Children’s Health Research Center labs presented their projects at the 2014 Summer Research Symposium at the Sanford Center in August, 2014.  Posters were presented by undergraduate NSF REU students in the Kinkel, Kruer, Lee, Pearce, Savinov, Surendran, Vitiello, and Weimer labs; undergraduate SPUR students in the Baack, Lee, Surendran, Vitiello, and Weimer labs; SERF teachers in the Roux and Vitiello labs; high school PROMISE Scholars in the Guo, Kinkel, and Weimer labs; and summer research assistants in the Pearce and Weimer labs.
 
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.
 
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.
 
 
2014 Sanford Children's Health Research Center faculty retreat

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