We offer a variety of research opportunities that enhance your learning experience and help you improve your chance at getting a residency match. Contact a mentor on the list below to learn more about any research projects that interest you.

Cancer

Mentor Topic of Research Time Commitment Contact
Muslim Atiq, M.D. Pancreatic cancer, epidemiology of pancreatic cancer, risk reduction through early detection. Evenings on your own and periodic meetings at the Division of Gastroenterology Deborah.Skaff@sanfordhealth.org
Jonathan Bleeker, M.D. Gastrointestinal cancers, clinical trials in esophageal cancer, gastric cancer and colorectal cancer Evenings on your own and periodic meetings in the Division of Oncology Cassie.Mcclure@sanfordhealth.org
Michael McHale, M.D. Hematologic malignancies, clinical trials in leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. Evenings on your own and periodic meetings with the Division of Hematology Toni.LeVasseur@usd.edu
Steven Powell, M.D. Clinical research in head and neck cancer outcomes Six to eight hours per week over three to six months Steven.Powell@sanfordhealth.org
Steven Powell, M.D. Novel cancer therapies including immunotherapy, targeted therapy and novel delivery systems in head and neck cancer; clinical outcomes of select At least two half-days per week over six to 12 months Steven.Powell@sanfordhealth.org
Steven Powell, M.D. Clinical outcomes of select tumor types that have undergone next-generation sequencing and targeted therapies Six to eight hours per week over three to six months Steven.Powell@sanfordhealth.org
Jianning Tao, Ph.D. Investigating efficacy of inhibitors in vitro, which may have clinical relevance for novel therapeutic strategies for the treatment of osteosarcoma 10 weeks Jianning.Tao@sanfordhealth.org

Cancer Biology

Mentor Topic of Research Contact
Kristi Egland Identifying and characterizing novel membrane and secreted proteins for use as immunotherapy targets or diagnostic tests for breast cancer. Kristi.Egland@sanfordhealth.org
Yueshan Hu Yueshan.Hu@sanfordhealth.org
Keith Miskimins Protein inhibitor of cell cycle progression that is commonly down-regulated in cancer cells. Keith.Miskimins@sanfordhealth.org
Khosrow Rezvani Identifying the mechanisms underlying colorectal cancer pathogenesis and what can be done to reverse the progression of colorectal cancer tumors using a new generation of drugs with minimum side effects. Our laboratory uses transgenic mice as a model system that can be engineered to reproduce certain aspects of human colorectal cancer Khosrow.Rezvani@usd.edu
William Spanos Head and neck cancers caused by human papilloma virus William.Spanos@sanfordhealth.org
Jianning Tao Understanding the role of Notch signaling pathway in the maintenance of bone cancer stem cells and metastasis. Jianning.Tao@sanfordhealth.org

Cardiovascular

Mentor Topic of Research Contact
Yi-Fan Li Neurohormonal regulation in cardiovascular diseases, aging and diabetes Yifan.Li@usd.edu
Douglas Martin Physiological mechanisms that underlie the development of hypertension Doug.Martin@usd.edu
Scott Pattison Autophagy, cardiac biology, skeletal muscle plasticity, aging Scott.Pattison@usd.edu
Xuejun Wang Cardiovascular (patho)physiology, protein degradation pathways and molecular mechanisms of heart failure Xuejun.Wang@usd.edu

Human Genetics

Mentor Topic of Research Contact
Krista Bohlen, Pharm.D.   Marsha.Rist@usd.edu
Gareth Davies, Ph.D. Marsha.Rist@usd.edu
Julie Kittelsrud, Ph.D. Marsha.Rist@usd.edu
Tim Soundy, M.D.   Megan.Johnson@usd.edu

Medical History

Mentor Topic of Research Time Commitment Contact
Henry Travers, M.D., F.A.C.P. Infectious disease history in Sioux Falls Flexible Henry.Travers@usd.edu
Henry Travers, M.D., F.A.C.P. General medical history Flexible Henry.Travers@usd.edu

Microbiology

Mentor Topic of Research Contact
Daniel Bird Daniel.Bird@usd.edu
Michael Chaussee Michael.Chaussee@usd.edu
Victor Huber Vaccines, influenza virus, Fc receptors, antibodies, cytokines, Streptococcus pyogenes Victor.Huber@usd.edu
Keith Weaver Keith.Weaver@usd.edu

Neurology

Mentor Topic of Research Time Commitment  Contact
Lora Black Various research in ethics   Lora.Black@sanfordhealth.org
Jae Kim, M.D. Neuroprotection in ischemic stroke using remote ischemic pre-conditioning Flexible Jae.Kim@sanfordhealth.org
Jae Kim, M.D.  Stem cell therapy in ischemic stroke Flexible Jae.Kim@sanfordhealth.org

Neuroscience

Mentor Topic of Research Contact
Lee Baugh, Ph.D. Cognitive and neuropsychological foundations of skilled movement Lee.Baugh@usd.edu
Brian Burrell, Ph.D. Studies on the mechanisms by which pain signaling is modulated by endocannabinoids, including behavioral studies on its effects, bioinformatic and molecular biology studies to identify potential critical molecular targets and neurophysiological experiments to examine effects on synaptic transmission Brian.Burrell@usd.edu
Xuesheng Feng, Ph.D. Sleep disorder and headache management in traumatic brain injury patients; multiple sclerosis and movement disorder Xuesheng.Feng@usd.edu
Kevin Francis, Ph.D. Human stem cell models of pediatric and neurodevelopmental disorders. Kevin.Francis@sanfordhealth.org
Emily Griese, Ph.D. Risk and resilience trajectories; population health Emily.Griese@usd.edu
Joyce Keifer, Ph.D. Joyce.Keifer@usd.edu
Lisa McFadden Lisa.McFadden@usd.edu
Robert Morecraft, Ph.D. Robert.Morecraft@usd.edu
Patrick Ronan, Ph.D. Understanding mechanisms of stress-induced psychiatric disorders such as PTSD and addiction Patrick.Ronan@usd.edu
Samuel Sathyanesan, Ph.D. Neuropsychiatric diseases, neurovascular biology, drug development and trophic factor signaling Samuel.Sathyanesan@usd.edu
Steve Waller, Ph.D. Steve.Waller@usd.edu
Hongmin Wang, Ph.D. Neurodegeneration and neuroprotection Hongmin.Wang@usd.edu
Michael Watt, Ph.D. Using a systems approach to understand the neural mechanisms by which social stress in adolescence detrimentally affects cognition and reward-seeking in later life Mick.Watt@usd.edu
Jill Weimer, Ph.D. Understanding the processes that control development of the cerebral cortex and how disruption in these processes leads to various neuropediatric diseases Jill.Weimer@sanfordhealth.org

Obstetrics and Gynecology

Mentor Topic of Research Contact
Matthew Barker, M.D. Urogynecology, retrospective surgical studies and clinical research from cross-sectional questionnaires to randomized controlled clinical trials Brenda.Erikson@avera.org
Maria Bell, M.D. Gynecology/oncology Kim.Roby@sanfordhealth.org
John Brannian, M.D. Infertility, ovarian physiology, gamete biology, medical biochemistry John.Brannian@sanfordhealth.org
Kristi Egland, M.D. Obstetrics/gynecology Kristi.Egland@sanfordhealth.org
Keith Hansen, M.D. Reproductive endocrinology Staci.Wolff@sanfordhealth.org
Jessica D. Hanson, Ph.D. Women's health and wellness, prevention of substance-exposed pregnancies and fetal alcohol syndrome, reduction in health disparities of rural and tribal communities Jessica.D.Hanson@sanfordhealth.org
Keith Miskimins, M.D. Obstetrics/gynecology - Cancer Keith.Miskimins@sanfordhealth.org

Pathology

Mentor Topic of Research Contact
Michael Koch, M.D. Pathology Michael.Koch@sanfordhealth.org
Brian J. Tjarks, M.D. Pathology Joel.Tjarks@usd.edu
Henry Travers, M.D. Historical research of general pathology questions Henry.Travers@usd.edu

Pediatrics

Mentor Topic of Research Contact
Alaa Al Nofal, M.D. Mental health screenings in endocrinology Alaa.Alnofal@sanfordhealth.org
Alaa Al Nofal, M.D. Thyroid cancer detection in children Alaa.Alnofal@sanfordhealth.org
Alaa Al Nofal, M.D. Knowledge synthesis and systematic reviews Alaa.Alnofal@sanfordhealth.org
Fernando Bula Rudas, M.D. Antimicrobial stewardship in children Fernando.Bularudas@sanfordhealth.org
Randolph S. Faustino, Ph.D. Studying epigenomic mechanisms used by nucleoporins to control stem cell pluripotency and cardiogenesis Randolph.Faustino@sanfordhealth.org
Carl Galloway, M.D. Rounding checklist Carl.Galloway@sanfordhealth.org
Vishnu Kanala, M.D. Society of Hospital Medicine I-PASS Vishnu.Kanala@sanfordhealth.org
Julie Mayo, M.D. MSK, CAP Julie.Mayo@sanfordhealth.org
Mathia Rall, M.D. Mental health screenings in endocrinology Mathia.Rall@sanfordhealth.org
Jennifer Reed, M.D. MSK, CAP Jennifer.Reed@sanfordhealth.org
Joseph Segeleon Rounding checklist, ONE pediatric intensive care unit Joseph.Segeleon@sanfordhealth.org
DenYelle Kenyon, Ph.D. Analyze quantitative and qualitative data from My Journey and Draw the Line/Respect the Line, STI/teen pregnancy prevention programs for Native youth. Conduct literature search and write paper on status on regional social determinants of health in American Indian health. DenYelle.Kenyon@sanfordhealth.org

Psychiatry

Mentor Topic of Research Contact
Vinod Bhatara, M.D. Psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry Megan.Johnson@usd.edu
Ann Bowden, M.D. Child and adolescent psychiatry Megan.Johnson@usd.edu
Kristin Butz, M.D. Psychiatry Megan.Johnson@usd.edu
Nicole Christenson, M.D. Child and adolescent psychiatry Megan.Johnson@usd.edu
Matt Eggers, M.D. Psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry Megan.Johnson@usd.edu
David Ermer, M.D. Child and adolescent psychiatry Megan.Johnson@usd.edu
Sarah Flynn, M.D. Forensic psychiatry Megan.Johnson@usd.edu
Gina Forster, Ph.D. Identifying biomarkers for the development of PTSD, with a focus on early life trauma, traumatic brain injury, substance use, inflammatory markers, microbiome, genetics and brain imaging. gforster@usd.edu
William Fuller, M.D. Homeless, mentally ill, Alzheimer's disease, history of psychiatry in South Dakota Marsha.Rist@usd.edu
William Bryce Gammeter, M.D. Child and adolescent psychiatry Megan.Johnson@usd.edu
Xiaofan "Amy" Li Addictions, psychiatry Megan.Johnson@usd.edu
Sandra Peynado, M.D. Psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry Megan.Johnson@usd.edu
Tim Soundy, M.D. Psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry Megan.Johnson@usd.edu
Shawn Van Gerpen Child and adolescent psychiatry Shawn.Vangerpen@avera.org

Surgery

Mentor Topic of Research Contact
Keith Baumgarten, M.D. Orthopedics kbaumgarten@ortho-i.com
Zhiguang Guo, M.D. Pediatrics/diabetes Zhiguang.Guo@usd.edu
Robert Van Demark, M.D. Orthopedics Linda.Ellingson@sanfordhealth.org
Vance Thompson, M.D. Ophthalmology Alix.Locke@vancethompsonvision.com
John Berdahl, M.D. Ophthalmology Alix.Locke@vancethompsonvision.com
William Spanos, M.D. Ear, nose and throat Tamara.Ledeboer@sanfordhealth.org
Paola Vermeer, Ph.D. Defining molecular mechanisms critical for the process of metastasis. Projects in the lab focus on the role of innervation, immune response and metabolism in the metastatic process. Paola.Vermeer@sanfordhealth.org

Other Opportunities

Mentor Project Area Project Description Time Commitment  Contact
Adam Stys, M.D. Cardiology New techniques in PCI impact of technique on outcome and reduction in coronary artery stent complications Evenings on your own and periodic meetings in the Division of Cardiology Darla.Fjerstad@sanfordhealth.org
Adam Stys, M.D. Cardiology Contrast reduction techniques in coronary procedures Evenings on your own and periodic meetings in the Division of Cardiology Darla.Fjerstad@sanfordhealth.org
Adam Stys, M.D. Cardiology Coronary calcium as prognosticator Evenings on your own and periodic meetings in the Division of Cardiology Darla.Fjerstad@sanfordhealth.org
Adam Stys, M.D. Cardiology Guide catheter extra support techniques in percutaneous coronary intervention Evenings on your own and periodic meetings in the Division of Cardiology Darla.Fjerstad@sanfordhealth.org
Adam Stys, M.D. Cardiology Research on our database of coronary calcium screening (100,000 patients) and cath lab database (10,000 patients) Evenings on your own and periodic meetings in the Division of Cardiology Darla.Fjerstad@sanfordhealth.org
Dan Rath, M.D. Chart review Percent of osteomyelitis patients who have had a bone biopsy for culture Eight hours over four to six weeks Dan.Rath@usd.edu
Barbara Goodman, Ph.D. Education How various pedagogies impact student learning in a variety of courses and with different levels of students Flexible time for implementing change, collecting and evaluating data Barb.Goodman@usd.edu
Pasquale Manzerra, Ph.D. Education Pat.Manzerra@usd.edu
Benjamin Aaker, M.D. Emergency medicine Studies on opioid use in the emergency department.We will work together to find a suitable research project to submit to the Scholarship Pathways Program See the Scholarship Pathways Program website to find details on the time commitment required Benjamin.Aaker@avera.org
Marco Griebeler, M.D. Endocrinology Calcium homeostasis and bone health, endocrine complications of cancer immunotherapy Evenings on your own and periodic meetings at the Division of Endocrinology Amanda.Saeger@sanfordhealth.org
Michelle Baack, M.D. Fetal and neonatal nutrition in health and disease Examining the role of lipids in the underlying mechanisms of developmentally programmed disease with a goal of prevention or intervention even before symptoms begin Depends on the project Michelle.Baack@sanfordhealth.org
Michelle Baack, M.D. Fetal and neonatal nutrition in health and disease Working to understand how adverse pregnancy conditions influence metabolic plasticity and the balance of cardiomyocyte proliferation and differentiation as it relates to early aging and developmentally programmed adult heart disease Depends on the project Michelle.Baack@sanfordhealth.org
Michelle Baack, M.D. Fetal and neonatal nutrition in health and disease Determining the effects of various maternal conditions and maternal-placental-fetal lipid processing in perinatal morbidity and pregnancy loss Depends on the project Michelle.Baack@sanfordhealth.org
Michelle Baack, M.D. Fetal and neonatal nutrition in health and disease Improving the short and long-term health of premature infants through optimal provision of omega-3 essential fatty acids that are key to normal health, brain and retinal development Depends on the project Michelle.Baack@sanfordhealth.org
Hesham Elgouhari, M.D. Hepatology Quantifying the impact of acute hepatic injury on the relationship between chronic hepatic disease and hepatocellular cancer Evenings on your own and periodic meetings at the Avera Liver Transplant Center Toni.Levasseur@usd.edu
Victor Huber, Ph.D. Immunology Using DNA shuffling to generate influenza vaccines that protect against both swine and human-origin influenza A viruses Varies based on student availability and project Victor.Huber@usd.edu
Victor Huber, Ph.D. Immunology Defining the contributions of vaccine-induced immunity toward limiting secondary bacterial infections Varies based on student availability and project Victor.Huber@usd.edu
Jennifer Hsu, M.D. Infectious disease Antibiotic stewardship, balancing efficacy and resistance, adverse effects of overprescribing antibiotics Evenings on your own and periodic meetings in the Division of Infectious Diseases. Toni.Levasseur@usd.edu
Kamesh Surendran, Ph.D. Kidney development Characterizing the expression pattern in normal human and mouse kidneys, following physiologic stress in mouse kidneys and in polycystic kidney disease Four hours per week minimum, flexible hours Kameshwaran.Surendran@sanfordhealth.org
Larry Burris, M.D. Kidney transplants Outcomes in patients with kidney transplantation, response to immune-suppression, balancing efficacy and toxicity Evenings on your own and periodic meetings in the Division of Nephrology Stacy.Weller@sanfordhealth.org
Peter Vitiello, Ph.D. Redox Biology Investigate how antioxidant enzymes influence lung development and oxidative injury. Varies based on student availability and project Peter.Vitiello@sanfordhealth.org
Lance Lee, Ph.D. Motile cilia disorders Investigating how ciliary defects affect ciliary protein trafficking and dynamics, identifying novel ciliary protein networks and investigating the cellular feedback mechanisms resulting from ciliary dysfunction Varies depending on project and availability Lance.Lee@sanfordhealth.org
Michelle Biehl, M.D. Pulmonology Impact of ventilation parameters on clinical outcome for patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome Evenings on your own and periodic meetings with critical care team in Sanford intensive care unit Debbie.Qua@sanfordhealth.org
Michael Kareta, Ph.D. Translational Investigating the role of the Sox2 transcription factor in development and tumor formation Evenings and weekends Michael.Kareta@sanfordhealth.org