Meet Our Faculty Researchers
Sanford Research relies on a team of more than 200 researchers. Every day, we’re in the lab, the clinic, the classroom and the community.
We’re studying ways to prevent cancer, cure diabetes, use genetics in primary health care, make sports safer, and close health care gaps for minorities – just to name a few.
Learn more about our adjunct faculty researchers and their work below.
Benjamin Balas, PhD
Dr. Balas is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at North Dakota State University. His research interests include how experience shapes perceptual abilities. He uses psychophysics, EEG, and computational techniques to study how children and adults recognize things they do and do not have experience with.
Marc Basson, MD, PhD, MBA
Dr. Marc Basson is the Senior Associate Dean for Medicine and Research and a Professor in the Departments of Surgery, Biomedical Sciences and Pathology at the University of North Dakota. He also serves as the PI on the Dakota Cancer Collaborative of Translational Activity, or DaCCoTA Consortium.
Lee A. Baugh, PhD
Dr. Baugh is the Donald S. Mackay Distinguished Professor of Research and an Associate Professor at Sanford School of Medicine, University of South Dakota. His research interests include examining the cognitive and neuropsychological foundations of skilled movement, and deficits in such movement that can arise from both health aging and neurological damage.
Jonathan Bleeker, M.D.
Dr. Jonathan Bleeker is a practicing medical oncologist with Sanford Health and board certified in medical oncology and hematology. He is primarily interested in clinical research on gastrointestinal oncology and hematology, including retrospective research, cancer clinical trials and helping to coordinate the clinical aspects of translational cancer research projects.
Dr. Bleeker is currently working on multiple open clinical trials for gastrointestinal malignancies. He is also validating a 3D cell culture model across multiple solid tumor types.
Dr. Bleeker is the primary investigator for both the Sanford NCORP grant and the MNCCTN collaboration.
He received his B.A. in biology from Dordt College in 2001. In 2005 he received his M.D. from the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine.
Praveen Cherukuri, Ph.D.
Dr. Praveen Cherukuri’s research focuses on designing, implementing, evaluating and validating genotyping accuracy of different sequencing and genotyping platforms by using and developing appropriate bioinformatics and statistical tools.
Dr. Cherukuri is currently working on the analytical validation of global screening array for clinical utility using whole genome sequence and publicly available genotyping data.
Dr. Cherukuri holds a Ph.D. from Boston University.
- Assistant Professor, University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine
- Fellows Award for Research Excellence, National Institutes of Health (2005)
- Fellows Award for Research Excellence (2006)
Arielle Deutsch, PhD
Robert Dvorak, PhD
Dr. Dvorak is an Associate Professor in the Clinical Psychology program at the University of Central Florida. His research interests include:
- Examining the role of cognitive, affective, and behavioral self-regulation in health-compromising behaviors
- Assessing factors associated with health-compromising behaviors in real-time through experience sampling methodology
- Developing mobile and web-based interventions to reduce involvement in health compromising behaviors
Lindsay Erickson, Ph.D.
Dr. Lindsay Erickson focuses her research on combinatorial games played on graphs, with a goal to completely characterize winning strategies given various initializations on a broad category of graphs. Dr. Erickson’s major research projects include:
- The game of Nim on the K3,3
- Nim on the Petersen graph
- Machine learning as applied to combinatorial games
As a tenured associate professor of mathematics at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Dr. Erickson believes that her research informs her teaching and makes her better able to convey complex ideas to a wide audience.
Naturally curious about the workings of the world around her, Dr. Erickson continuously seeks to understand the nature and beauty of mathematics.
After earning her bachelor’s degree from North Dakota State University in Fargo, North Dakota in 2006, she studied combinatorics at the Alfred Renyi Institute in Budapest, Hungary in 2010, before returning to NDSU to complete her Ph.D. studies in 2011.
- Associate Professor of Mathematics, Augustana University
Grants and Awards
- Augustana Faculty/Student Research Award (2017)
- Augustana Research and Artist Fund Summer Research Grant (2014, 2016-18)
- Augustana Granskou Award (2015)
- South Dakota Space Grant Consortium Project Innovation Grant (2014)
- National Science Foundation, Institute of International Education and Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst graduate research fellow (2010)
- National Science Foundation Graduate STEM Fellows in K-12 Education grant (2008)
Anu Gaba, M.D.
Dr. Anu Gaba is a practicing physician in Fargo, North Dakota, for Sanford Health and is board certified in oncology and hematology. Her research focus is in conducting oncology clinical trials, and serving as a primary investigator on several investigator-initiated trials in breast cancer.
Stephen Herrmann, Ph.D.
Dr. Stephen Herrmann’s current research and collaboration focuses on behavioral factors to improve weight management outcomes, gut health and the microbiome.
Dr. Herrmann’s work at Profile aims to provide a scientifically sound program to guide individuals through all phases of weight management, oftentimes beginning with healthy weight loss and continuing to long-term, sustainable, weight loss maintenance.
Dr. Herrmann’s interests include understanding individual variability in response to exercise and diet interventions and the relationship between behavioral factors and weight management.
Dr. Herrmann is currently collaborating with a group of researchers to investigate the microbiome and gut health in relation to weight management under a $3.8 million grant.
Dr. Herrmann holds a Ph.D. in physical activity, nutrition and wellness from Arizona State University and completed his postdoctoral fellowship in weight management at the University of Kansas Medical Center.
- National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity
- American College of Sports Medicine
Nicola Herting, PhD, LP
Dr. Nicola Herting is the mental health director at Red River Children's Advocacy Center in Fargo, ND.
Benson Hsu, M.D., M.B.A., F.A.A.P.
Dr. Benson Hsu is working to characterize the inconsistencies between payment and delivery within the current health care system and identify a path for value-based care transition in an application-based approach.
Dr. Hsu serves on the Data and Methods Council for AcademyHealth. He is also on the American Academy of Pediatrics executive committee section on critical care.
Health services research at Sanford allows for immediate impact on our delivery and payer systems. By immediately translating this research, we can rapidly move towards true value-based care.
Academic Affiliations and Training
- AB Economics, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, (1994-1998)
- Certificate in Premedical Sciences, Columbia University, New York, NY (1999-2001)
- MD, University of Missouri School of Medicine, Columbia, MO, (2001-2005)
- Residency in Pediatrics, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI (2005-2008)
- ellowship in Pediatric Critical Care, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI, (2008-2011)
- MBA, Duke University Fuqua School of Business, Durham, NC, (2011-2012)
- Certificate in Public Policy, Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, Boston, MA (2018)
- Certificate in Healthcare Innovation, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA (2018)
- Chester McVay Award for Excellence in Teaching and Research, Sanford School of Medicine, USD (2018)
- Outstanding Young Physician, MU Medical Alumni Organization (2018)
- Bush Leadership Fellow (2018)
- Top Articles of 2017, Pediatric Section Society of Hospital Medicine (2018)
- Top Research Abstract Award, University of Wisconsin Pediatric Critical Care Regional Mtg. (2018)
- Excellence in Analytics (ANNY) Honorable Mention, International Institute for Analytics (2017)
- Sanford AirMed Flight Team of the Year, Sanford Health (2015), Physician of the Month, Sanford Health (2012)
- Vice President of Population Health, Sanford Health (2018-present)
- Vice President of Data Analytics & Chief Medical Analytics Officer, Sanford Health (2015-2018)
- Medical Director of Pediatric Flight Program, Sanford Children’s Hospital (2012-2018)
- Medical Director of Pediatric Sedation Program, Sanford Children’s Hospital (2012-2013)
Leah Irish, Ph.D.
Dr. Irish is an assistant professor in the department of psychology at North Dakota State University. Dr. Irish's program of research examines the complex interplay between sleep and waking health behaviors and the promotion of sleep health in vulnerable populations.
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