Sanford-Burnham News Archive

Sanford Children’s Health Research Center to be Dedicated in La Jolla

, April 25, 2008

Dr. Fred Levine

The Sanford Children’s Health Research Center will be dedicated on the campus of Burnham Institute for Medical Research (Burnham) on Friday, April 25. The outdoor ceremony will take place at 3:30 p.m. at 10901 North Torrey Pines Road in La Jolla, where Burnham is headquartered.

Burnham’s board of directors and the board of trustees of Sanford Health, headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, as well as South Dakota philanthropist Denny Sanford, will attend the event. The Sanford Children’s Health Research Center serves as the foundation for collaboration between Sanford Health of Sioux Falls, South Dakota and Burnham.

“This is an important day in Sanford’s history,” said Dave Link, Executive Vice President for Sanford Health. “For more than 100 years, the employees and staff at Sanford Health have been dedicated to providing world-class care to our patients. Our collaboration with Burnham brings our ten year old research platform to a whole new level. Our future together is extremely bright.”

Since the November announcement of the $20 million gift from Mr. Sanford to establish the center, a director has been named and the first investigators have been chosen. Fred Levine, M.D., Ph.D. is the center director. Dr. Levine’s research focuses on ways to replace insulin-producing beta cells for treatment of Type I diabetes. The three Burnham researchers named as investigators are Hudson Freeze, Ph.D., Jose Luis Millan, Ph.D. and Yu Yamaguchi, M.D., Ph.D. All four conduct research directly related to childhood diseases.

In response to the high quality of the applications, and to include as many Burnham faculty as possible, an associate member category was also created. Mark Mercola, Ph.D., Lorenzo Puri, M.D., Ph.D., and Evan Snyder, M.D., Ph.D. have been asked to join the center in that capacity.

“Organizing our pediatric research into the Sanford Children’s Health Research Center gives our researchers the ability to collaborate more effectively with each other and adds collaborative opportunities with our new clinical and research partners at Sanford Health. This funding facilitates the basic research that will translate into the therapies of tomorrow,” said Dr. John Reed, President & CEO of Burnham.

In addition to the La Jolla center, Sanford Health is developing a Sanford Children’s Health Research Center facility in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  Sanford Health is currently recruiting talented research scientists to work at the center in Sioux Falls.

When fully staffed, the La Jolla location will have nine senior faculty scientists and approximately 40 scientists and related staff in 25,000 square feet of research and support space. The Sioux Falls location will have at least three senior scientists and up to 20 additional scientists and staff. 
The collaboration between the two locations will establish the basis of an integrated, world class, academic pediatric research network.

Mr. Sanford is chairman of United National Corporation, First PREMIER Bank and Premier BANKCARD, Inc. headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He has a longtime, special interest in supporting organizations and groups that focus on the health care needs of children.

About Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute

Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute is dedicated to discovering the fundamental molecular causes of disease and devising the innovative therapies of tomorrow. Sanford-Burnham takes a collaborative approach to medical research with major programs in cancer, neurodegeneration and stem cells, diabetes, and infectious, inflammatory, and childhood diseases. The Institute is recognized for its National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center and expertise in drug discovery technologies. Sanford-Burnham is a nonprofit, independent institute that employs more than 1,000 scientists and staff in San Diego (La Jolla), Calif., and Orlando (Lake Nona), Fla. For more information, visit us at

Sanford-Burnham can also be found on Facebook at and on Twitter @sanfordburnham.

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