Careers

See Yourself at Sanford Research

Join Sanford Research and be a part of a vibrant and growing research community. You’ll work to advance medical research in a collaborative environment with colleagues who are experts in their fields. Sanford Health researchers have the full support of the organization and are provided with the necessary resources and cutting-edge technologies to advance biomedical research.


Faculty

Sanford Research is the research arm of Sanford Health, one of the largest rural integrated health care systems in the nation. This makes Sanford Research uniquely structured to facilitate basic, translational, clinical, and population health research across the upper midwest and the entire Sanford Health network.

Faculty have access to state-of-the-art facilities and unique resources. New staff will join a team with a well-established infrastructure in basic, translational, and behavioral sciences research and strong faculty mentorship. Sanford Research has a long history of successful extramural funding and receives substantial NIH funding. Currently, we have three NIH-funded Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (CoBRE) with focuses in pediatric, cancer, and population health research.


Laboratory Facilities & Resources

Sanford Research occupies a large, open, and collaborative space at the Sanford Center in Sioux Falls, SD. All faculty members have access to common areas, shared equipment and core services.


Training & Mentoring

Sanford Research offers extensive opportunities for training and mentorship:

  • Weekly research seminars encompassing all eight research groups
  • Partnerships with USD and SDSU offers opportunities for involvement with graduate education both in the classroom setting and for mentoring and training of graduate students
  • Several annual Scientific Symposia 
  • Professional development seminars covering topics such as ethical conduct in research, grant writing, career development, safety, and compliance
  • Individual mentorship from Senior Faculty and Leadership

Postdoctoral Fellowships

Sanford Research provides a robust career and professional development program for postdoctoral fellows and staff scientists to help them prepare for a variety of scientific careers. In addition to our accomplished faculty mentors and state-of-the-art resources, professional training opportunities include the following:

  • Our Career Path Workshop Series allows postdocs and staff scientists to explore a variety of science careers; topics have included biotech industry, pharmaceutical industry, undergraduate teaching, clinical lab directing, science policy, tech transfer and public health
  • Professional development presentations provide tips and instruction in a variety of topics, including grant writing, oral presentations, networking and preparing for faculty interviews
  • Hands-on workshops and programs enable postdocs and staff scientists to develop and hone professional skills like writing and reviewing grants and giving oral presentations, chalk talks and elevator pitches
  • Opportunities are available to give lectures in graduate courses taught on-site at Sanford Research
  • Postdocs and staff scientists engage in K-12 outreach activities through Sanford PROMISE

The collegial and collaborative research environment at Sanford Research is ideal for postdoctoral training. Trainees also enjoy the social community in Sioux Falls, a small city with an abundance of dining, shopping, sporting events and entertainment.

Individuals interested in being considered for postdoctoral or staff scientist positions at Sanford Research are encouraged to apply for open positions.


Open Positions

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Available Positions

Assistant Scientist, Behavioral Sciences

Assistant Scientist, Behavioral Sciences
Sanford Research invites applications for full time faculty at the rank of assistant scientist within Sanford Research in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, with commensurate rank of assistant professor at the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine.

We seek outstanding scientists with research programs that span all areas of behavioral sciences, especially those relevant to population health research. Focus areas may include (but are not limited to): health services research including strategies to impact safety, cost, and clinical outcomes, clinical decision making and evidence-based practice; epidemiology; rural health; health disparities; or prevention science. As one of the largest rural health care providers in the US, Sanford Health is particularly interested in population research as it pertains to rural populations. The successful candidate will be provided the opportunity to become a project leader on the NIH-funded Health Outcomes and Population Research CoBRE.

Qualifications
Applicants should hold a PhD, MD or MD/PhD degree, have a strong research track and complement the existing strengths and the interdisciplinary and collaborative nature of Sanford Research. Physician scientists are encouraged to apply. Candidates will be expected to develop independent research programs and secure extramural funding.

Application
Applicants should submit the following materials in a single pdf to researchrecruitment@sanfordhealth.org.

  • A detailed curriculum vitae
  • Cover letter
  • Description of research experience and future research plans with specific details on the relevance of your research to the specified area 
  • Three references to provide letters of recommendation upon request

Assistant Scientist, Biomedical Research

Assistant Scientist, Biomedical Research
Sanford Research invites applications for full-time faculty at the rank of assistant scientist within Sanford Research in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, with commensurate rank of assistant professor at the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine.

We seek outstanding scientists with research programs that span areas of biomedical research including but not limited to: genetics and genomics, pediatrics and rare diseases, stem cell biology, diabetes, or environmental influences of diseases. The successful candidate will have an opportunity to become a project leader on the NIH-funded Center for Pediatric Research CoBRE, which focuses on key regulators of cellular pliancy that contribute to the developmental origins of pediatric disorders. Significant institutional support, including modern laboratory space and state-of-the-art facilities will be provided. A comprehensive benefits package will be tailored to the candidate’s qualifications.

Qualifications
Applicants should hold a PhD, MD or MD/PhD degree and complement the existing strengths and interdisciplinary and collaborative nature of Sanford Research. Physician scientists are encouraged to apply. Candidates will be expected to develop independent research programs and secure extramural funding.

Application
Applicants should submit the following materials in a single pdf to researchrecruitment@sanfordhealth.org.

  • A detailed curriculum vitae
  • Cover letter
  • Description of research experience and future research plans with specific details on the relevance of your research to the specified area 
  • Three references to provide letters of recommendation upon request

Assistant Scientist, Orthopedic Research

Assistant Scientist, Orthopedic Research
Sanford Research invites applications for full-time faculty at the rank of assistant scientist in our Cell Therapies and Stem Cell Biology group with commensurate rank of assistant professor at the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine.

We seek outstanding scientists with research interests in cartilage regeneration. Specifically, research into the understanding of chondrocyte biology as it pertains to a regenerative application in orthopedics. Significant institutional support, including modern laboratory space and state-of-the-art facilities will be provided. A comprehensive benefits package will be tailored to the candidate’s qualifications.

Qualifications
Applicants should hold a PhD, MD or MD/PhD degree and complement the existing strengths and interdisciplinary and collaborative nature of Sanford Research. Physician scientists are encouraged to apply. Candidates will be expected to develop independent research programs and secure extramural funding.

Application
Applicants should submit the following materials in a single pdf to researchrecruitment@sanfordhealth.org.

  • A detailed curriculum vitae
  • Cover letter
  • Description of research experience and future research plans with specific details on the relevance of your research to the specified area 
  • Three references to provide letters of recommendation upon request

Assistant Scientist, Rare Disease Research

Assistant Scientist, Rare Disease Research
Sanford Research invites applications for full-time faculty at the rank of assistant scientist within Sanford Research in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, with commensurate rank of assistant professor at the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine.

We seek outstanding scientists with research programs that span areas of biomedical research impacting rare diseases. This could include, but is not limited to, understanding the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms of rare diseases, using animal models to understand disease progression and design therapeutic interventions, and developing new therapeutic approaches to treat rare diseases. Significant institutional support, including modern laboratory space and state-of-the-art facilities will be provided. A comprehensive benefits package will be tailored to the candidate’s qualifications. Successful candidates will join a collaborative team with a well-established infrastructure in rare disease research and faculty mentorship. In addition, successful candidates will have to opportunity to partner with the Coordination of Rare Diseases at Sanford (CoRDS) international rare disease patient registry whose mission is to facilitate the advancement of rare disease research.

Qualifications
Applicants should hold a PhD, MD or MD/PhD degree and complement the existing strengths and interdisciplinary and collaborative nature of Sanford Research. Physician scientists are encouraged to apply. Candidates will be expected to develop independent research programs and secure extramural funding.

Application
Applicants should submit the following materials in a single pdf to researchrecruitment@sanfordhealth.org.

  • A detailed curriculum vitae
  • Cover letter
  • Description of research experience and future research plans with specific details on the relevance of your research to the specified area 
  • Three references to provide letters of recommendation upon request

Postdoctoral Fellow – Neuropediatric/Batten Disease Research

Postdoctoral Fellow – Neuropediatric/Batten Disease Research
The Weimer and Pilaz Labs at Sanford Research are looking for two talented postdoctoral fellows to join our teams. Research in the Weimer and Pilaz Lab focuses on understanding the processes that drive development of the cerebral cortex and how disruption in these processes contribute to a number of neuropediatric diseases. Within the Weimer team, this candidate would work with our Batten disease research team conducting preclinical studies screening for effective treatments for this rare pediatric disorder. Responsibilities may include work on identifying candidate therapeutics, implementing assays for rapid drug screening, developing and validating models of disease (including patient derived cell lines, rodent models, and large animal models) and in vivo screening of lead drug candidates.

Within the Pilaz Lab, this candidate would use the mouse model to investigate how the regulation of transcription, RNA transport and local protein synthesis control key aspects of neuron and neural stem cell behaviors. Responsibilities may include omics analyses, in utero electroporation, histology, and time-lapse imaging of RNA metabolism in live tissue.

Qualifications
Candidates for both positions should have excellent communication skills (both oral and written), be highly organized, and work well in a team. Candidates must be able to perform independent scientific research including the design and development of research objectives for experimentation; analyze and evaluate findings; assist in the completion of grant applications and regulatory documents; write technical summaries and co-author articles for publication; prepare and make formal presentations of research results; and be able to work under broad direction of principal investigator. It is preferred that the candidate have technical experience in molecular biology, cell culture, protein biochemistry, neuroscience, and/or histopathology.

Key Candidate Attributes:

  • Possess ability to run complex pieces of equipment requiring advanced specialized training.
  • Must possess knowledge of modern research methods, data collection, and analysis. Must have significant experience in analyzing and evaluating data.
  • General level of knowledge of project management, decision-making, and analytical skills. Strong verbal, written, and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with a research group or team.
  • Candidate should have extensive research experience including preparation of research manuscripts.

Applications
To apply, please send a CV with three references to researchrecruitment@sanfordhealth.org with the subject line “Weimer and Pilaz lab.”

Staff Scientist/Post-Doctoral Fellow – Baack Lab

Staff Scientist/Post-Doctoral Fellow – Baack Lab
The Baack Lab is seeking experienced and motivated applicants to help lead funded research studying the molecular mechanisms of developmentally programmed heart disease in offspring born diabetic and/or dyslipidemic mothers. Our goal is to use basic science experiments to develop translatable, precision-based predictors and interventions that will improve both short and long-term outcomes of high-risk mothers and babies. Our lab uses rat models, primary isolated cardiomyocytes, human-umbilical cord derived mesenchymal stem cells (hu-MSC) and derived 3D cardiogenic models to study the consequences of hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia on cardiac development and disease. We have a very strong lipid, mitochondria, and metabolic focus. Priority will be given to applicants with experience or strong working knowledge of animal physiology (echocardiography), cellular bioenergetics (XF analyses in intact and permeabilized cells), and/or a wide array of mitochondrial assays (respiration, confocal imaging, dynamism, mitochondrial reticulum, mitochondrial transplants and cross-talk between nuclear and mitochondrial genes). Publications that describe this work include: PMID: 26801311, 26872351, 29166372, and 31242551 or online.

Responsibilities include managing a small, but growing basic and translational research program alongside a physician scientist. Direct studies to understand the role of mitochondria and metabolism in developmentally programmed disease. Develop feasible prevention and therapeutics that will improve short and long-term cardiometabolic health of offspring exposed to diabetic pregnancy. Managerial duties include oversight of lab staff, experimental design, data analyses and interpretation, mentorship of trainees, manuscript writing, assisting with grant development. Candidates should have excellent communication skills (both oral and written), be highly organized, and work well in a team. Candidates must be able to perform independent scientific research including the design and development of research objectives for experimentation; analyze and evaluate findings; assist in the completion of grant applications and regulatory documents; write technical summaries and co-author articles for publication; prepare and make formal presentations of research results; and be able to work under broad direction of principal investigator.

Qualifications
Ph.D. with at least 2-3 years of experience leading research in cardiac development or disease, mitochondrial biology and/or cellular energetics.

Application
For more information or to apply, please send a CV with three references to michelle.baack@sanfordhealth.org.

Staff Scientist/Post-Doctoral Fellow – Regenerative Medicine

Staff Scientist/Post-Doctoral Fellow – Regenerative Medicine
Sanford Research invites applications for a postdoctoral fellowship in our Cellular Therapies and Stem Cell Biology Group. Sanford Research is the non-profit research branch under Sanford Health.

We seek outstanding scientists with research interests in cartilage regeneration. Specifically, research into the understanding of chondrocyte biology as it pertains to a regenerative application in orthopedics. Significant institutional support, including modern laboratory space and state-of-the-art facilities will be provided. A comprehensive benefits package will be tailored to the candidate’s qualifications.

Qualifications
Applicants should hold a PhD, MD or MD/PhD degree and complement the existing strengths and interdisciplinary and collaborative nature of Sanford Research.

Application
Sanford Health is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. Applicants should submit a single PDF that includes: 1) detailed curriculum vitae and 2) three letters of recommendation. Submit materials via email to researchrecruiment@sanfordhealth.org.

Staff Scientist/Postdoctoral Fellow – Vermeer Lab

Staff Scientist/Postdoctoral Fellow – Vermeer Lab
The Vermeer Lab at Sanford Research is seeking experienced and motivated applicants to help lead funded research studying tumor innervation. Our goal is to use basic science experiments together with in vivo studies and analysis of human subjects specimens to increase our understanding of the process of tumor innervation. We also aim to identify targets for intervention which may be neurological in nature. Our lab uses mouse models, human tumor samples, as well as mouse/human tumor cell lines to study the contribution of tumor-infiltrating nerves to disease onset, progression, treatment response and survival. Priority will be given to applicants with experience or strong working knowledge of cancer biology, neuroscience, as well as immunofluorescence, microelectrode array, molecular biology, tissue culture, experience with animal studies, protein biochemistry and confocal microscopy. Publications that describe this work include: PMID: 31088834, 31003747, 30327461, 30513596, 30297705.

The successful candidate will direct studies to understand the mechanistic contribution of nerves in cancer biology. Write manuscripts and grant applications. Develop new techniques to test hypothesis driven questions. Read the relevant literature. The successful candidate will be responsible for experimental design, data analyses and interpretation, mentorship of trainees, manuscript writing, and assisting with grant development/writing. Candidates should have excellent English communication skills (both oral and written), be highly organized, and work well in a team. Candidates must be able to perform independent scientific research including the design and development of research objectives for experimentation; analyze and evaluate findings; assist in the completion of grant applications; write technical summaries and co-author articles for publication; prepare and make formal presentations of research results; and be able to work under broad direction of principal investigator.

Candidates will also be considered for lab Program Manager. Managerial duties include oversight of lab staff, ordering supplies as well as animals, maintaining impeccable records of samples including, but not limited to, cell lines in liquid nitrogen tanks, reagents (e.g. restriction enzymes, antibodies), and human samples (e.g. FFPE blocks and blood). The successful candidate will also be in charge of shipping requested cell lines and/or reagents to collaborators and requesting scientists, generating and tracking MTAs, as well as coordinating the acquisition of human samples with clinical research coordinators and pathology. The successful candidate will also be in charge of generation and maintenance of regulatory documents (e.g. IACUC, IRB) and their annual reviews.

Qualifications
Ph.D. in cancer and/or neuroscience.

Application
For more information or to apply, please send a CV with three references to paola.vermeer@sanfordhealth.org.

Postdoctoral Fellow – Tao Lab

Postdoctoral Fellow – Tao Lab
A Postdoctoral Research Fellow position is available in the Tao laboratory in the group of Cancer Biology and Immunotherapies at Sanford Research. The Tao lab (https://research.sanfordhealth.org/researchers-and-labs/tao-lab) uses mouse models and human cells to discover genetic determinants of cell plasticity, self-renewal, and differentiation in bone progenitor cells as well as those factors in the cancer stem cell niche that promotes osteosarcoma. This position will have a dual focus on the skeletal biology and bone cancer. This position will require contributions both as an individual and as part of a team, as well as mentorship to junior lab members. The Tao lab has broad expertise in developmental biology, protein biochemistry, model organism genetics and genomics, signal transduction, and molecular biology, and provides a vibrant research environment for career advancement toward academic or industry positions.

Qualifications
We are looking for a highly motivated individual with a PhD in a biomedical sciences related field, with at least one first author publication. A successful candidate must be committed to a career in research in bone biology, mouse models, and/or cancer genetics, epigenetics, and therapeutics. The candidate should be able to drive an individual project but also be highly collaborative. A solid skillset and experience in molecular and cell biology is essential. The candidate should be independent, enthusiastic, and have good communication skills with fluency in English.

Application
To apply, please send an email to jianning.tao@sanfordhealth.org with your curriculum vitae, a cover letter clearly stating your motivation and future research interests/plans and the names/contact information of at least three referees. Please indicate “Postdoc application” in the subject line.

Life in Sioux Falls

The city of Sioux Falls is one of the fastest growing areas in the Midwest, with a population of more than 180,000 in the greater Sioux Falls area. The largest city in South Dakota, Sioux Falls balances an excellent quality of life and a strong economy with a safe, clean living environment. The cost of living is competitive with other leading cities in the region, and South Dakota has no state income tax. Powered by innovation and entrepreneurship, the low unemployment rate in Sioux Falls fuels its booming economy. Sioux Falls offers all the amenities of a community twice its size such as fine dining, shopping, arts, sports and nightlife.

South Dakota is known for its world-class hunting and fishing, along with national parks and a wide variety of landscapes to enjoy through its four seasons.

The city’s many features include:

  • Diverse art and entertainment events
  • Expansive restaurant, brewery and winery selections
  • Outdoor parks, golf courses, a new aquatic center, winter ski hill and hiking
  • Vibrant downtown community, conveniently located near Falls Park
  • 26-mile bike loop/trail
  • Denny Sanford PREMIER Center that hosts sports, concerts, professional bull riding, etc.
  • Exemplary academia within the public and private schools and local universities
  • Sanford Sports Complex