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
Pedro Gonzalez-Alegre, MD PhD, University of Iowa
“Therapeutic Gene Silencing for Neurological Disease: the Example of DYT1 Dystonia”
February 26, 12:00 PM, Dakota Room, Sanford Center
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. For more information, see the press release here.
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, see the press release here.
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, see the press release here.
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, see the press release here.
Lance Lee presented research from his lab in an invited seminar at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, IA in November, 2013.
Mary Kinkel presented research from her lab in an invited seminar at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD in November, 2013.
Kyle Roux presented research from his lab in an invited seminar at South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD in November, 2013.
David Pearce presented research from his lab in invited oral presentations at PTC Therapeutics in Plainfield, NJ in November, 2013 and the German National NCL Meeting: Molecular Mechanisms of Axonal Neuronal Degeneration in Hamburg, Germany in December, 2013.
Kamesh Surendran presented research from his lab in a poster at the American Society of Nephrology annual meeting in Atlanta, GA in November, 2013.
Several Children’s Health Research Center scientists attended the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego, CA in November, 2013. Posters were presented by undergraduate SPUR student Rachel Laufmann (Weimer Lab) and undergraduate REU student Brianna Titus (Kruer Lab).
Li Li, postdoctoral fellow in the Zhao Lab, presented his research project in a poster at the Pediatric Cancer at the Crossroads: Translating Discovery Into Improved Outcomes meeting in San Diego, CA in November, 2013.
Katie Picotte, senior research associate in the Zhao lab, presented her research in a poster at the 4th Quadrennial Meeting of the World Federation of Neuro-Oncology in San Francisco, CA in November, 2013.
Zhiguang Guo presented research from his lab in a keynote seminar at the 5th China-France International Symposium of Stem Cells in Kunming, China in December, 2013 and in a poster at the 13th International Congress of the Immunology of Diabetes Society in Lorne, Australia in December 2013.
Jill Weimer presented research from her lab in an invited seminar at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in Chicago, IL in January, 2014.
David Pearce and Michael Kruer presented research from their labs in seminars at Zhongshan University in Guangzhou, China in January, 2014.
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, see the press release here.
Alex Rabinovitch was interviewed by KDLT TV and the Argus Leader in Sioux Falls, SD about the progress of Sanford Project clinical trials for type 1 diabetes in November, 2013.
Several Children’s Health Research Center scientists participated in the Sanford PROMISE Science Discovery Day at the Sanford Center in November, 2013. High school students from around the region attended a variety of workshops to learn about careers in science. Jill Weimer, research associate Ryan O’Toole (Weimer Lab), graduate student Ryan Geraets (Pearce Lab), and secondary faculty member Patricia Crotwell gave scientific presentations. Volunteers assisting with tours and event coordination included center coordinators Camille Parker (Savinov Lab) and Sarah Radel (Pearce Lab), postdoctoral fellow Seung Yon Koh (Weimer Lab), graduate student Christina Amatya (Savinov Lab), and research associates Lauren Fields (Kruer Lab), Ben Forred (Vitiello Lab), Alyce Haugan (Roux Lab), Samuel Jensen (Protein Biochemistry Core), Casey McKenzie (Lee Lab), and Anna Yarrow (Kruer Lab).