The Path to Discovery

We apply our fundamental understanding of the biology and chemistry of disease to the development of revolutionary medical therapies.

Medical Discovery

Our path to discovery starts with our highly qualified and experienced scientists who work collaboratively to answer fundamental biological questions and better understand human health.

Translational Centers

Scientists work across four disease-focused translational centers to conduct their research.

NCI-Designated Cancer Center

The Institute’s Cancer Center is one of only seven NCI-designated basic cancer research centers in the nation. We couple fundamental biological research with early translational studies to find new, innovative therapies that restore hope to cancer patients and their families.

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Neuroscience and Aging Research Center

Diseases associated with aging and development are already a leading cause of death and disability, and their prevalence is rising fast. By 2050, the number of Alzheimer’s patients age 65 and older may nearly triple from 5 million to 13.8 million.

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Infectious and Inflammatory Diseases Center

Infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis continue to rank high among global mortality factors, especially in developing countries, and systemic inflammation has been identified as a root case of many chronic disorders in the developed world.
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Sanford Children's Health Research Center

Diseases that predominantly affect children are too often unaddressed by the biopharmaceutical industry and government funding agencies. Rare childhood diseases – those affecting fewer than 200,000 in the U.S – are especially overlooked.
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Within these translational centers, research groups focus on specific programs including:

intestinal epithelia
Cancer Metabolism and Signaling Networks Program
Cancer overruns cell programs, allowing tumors to take root.
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Differentiation of Neural Stem Cells
Degenerative Diseases Program
Understanding age-associated complex diseases will lead to progress in treatments for dementia, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease.
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developing human islets
Development, Aging and Regeneration Program
Our scientists are discovering how organs form and deteriorate with a goal to find ways to reverse or ameliorate aging and muscle wasting diseases.
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Human Genetics Program
Human Genetics Program
Technological breakthroughs are helping diagnose and explain known genetic diseases.
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lymph node with abscess; image from NIH Image Gallery
Immunity and Pathogenesis Program
Understanding the nature of inflammation and immunity helps scientists formulate new approaches to treat diseases like AIDS, influenza, autoimmunity, and cancer.
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Neuroscience Initiative
An institute-wide effort to bring together SBP researchers to apply multidisciplinary approaches to problems in fundamental and translational research in Neuroscience.
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fluorescently stained skin cancer sample
Tumor Initiation and Maintenance Program
Something goes wrong in a cell, sending it spinning out of control.
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fluorescently stained tumor sample
Tumor Microenvironment and Cancer Immunology Program
Tumors create a niche environment to spread. The immune system can be guided to fight cancer.
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