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 five disease-focused translational centers to conduct their research.

NCI Designated Cancer Center hero imageThe 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.
Neuroscience and Aging Research Center hero imageDiseases associated with aging and development are already a leading cause of death and disability, and their prevalence is rising fast—to give one example, by 2050, the number of Alzheimer’s patients age 65 and older may nearly triple from 5 million to 13.8 million.
Center for Metabolic Origins of Disease hero imageThe Center for Metabolic Origins of Disease studies common diseases that have reached pandemic scale including obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular complications. We have established an exciting environment that promotes multi-disciplinary discovery research toward breakthrough preventive and therapeutic strategies.
Sanford Children's Health Research Center hero imageGenetic diseases in children are rare, and often incurable. Research insights into the genes and environmental factors that play a role in the development of childhood diseases are leading to better ways to more accurately diagnose, treat and cure children with disease.
Infectious and Inflammatory Diseases Center hero imageThe human immune system is made up of a network of cells, tissues and organs that fight off disease. It can also turn against the body causing autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Crohn’s disease and psoriasis. Increasingly, scientists are learning how to help the body’s immune system to combat cancer.



Within these translational centers, research groups focus on specific programs including:

protein interaction network
Bioinformatics and Structural Biology Program
Quantitative understanding of biological systems on the molecular level in normal and disease states to modify and control critical events to promote human health.
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intestinal epithelia
Cancer Metabolism and Signaling Networks Program
Cancer overruns cell programs, allowing tumors to take root.
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Cardiovascular Metabolism
Cardiovascular Metabolism Program
Investigating the body’s metabolism system is leading to novel targets and therapeutics aimed at cardiovascular disease.
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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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illustration of interior of cell nucleus
Genomic Control of Metabolism Program
Genetic blueprints teach us how genetic, genomic and epigenetic mechanisms control physiology and metabolism in health and disease.
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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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Integrative Metabolism Program
Integrative Metabolism Program
Fundamental and translational research in metabolism can help solve obesity-related diabetes and its complications.
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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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