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Sandhurst Discusses DRACO, Biotechnology on Credit Hour

Eric Sandhurst Eric Sandhurst, USD alumnus and DRACO president and founding partner, discussed entrepreneurship and the future of biotechnology in South Dakota on Credit Hour.

VERMILLION, S.D. – Eric Sandhurst '08 B.S., '16 M.S., '20 Ph.D., president and founding partner of the Dakota Research and Consulting Organization (DRACO), discussed entrepreneurship and the future of biotechnology in South Dakota on Credit Hour.

“One of the reasons I got into biomedical engineering is that it was a cutting-edge field,” said Sandhurst. “It paired really well with entrepreneurship. If you’re developing new research that’s going to change the field, why not go into that research with the mindset that this can be a product or service that can be commercialized?”

Sandhurst obtained his bachelor's degree, master's degree and Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from the University of South Dakota. His research is focused on tissue engineering, biomaterials development, stem cell biology and creating organoids for high-throughput drug screening. He has filed for a patent related to Multifunctional Microspheres – biodegradable, porous polymer microspheres that act as a local drug delivery platform and a three-dimensional cell culture system.

“Looking out five years or 10, I think South Dakota is a great place to start a company,” said Sandhurst. “We have a really attractive business environment and tax structure – especially to scale up. I think that’s valuable to investors to know that manufacturing space and capabilities are here.”

Credit Hour is the University of South Dakota’s podcast highlighting the achievement, research and scholarship of its staff, students, alumni and faculty. Follow Credit Hour on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and


USD's College of Arts & Sciences offers students a top-notch undergraduate liberal arts education in the humanities, social sciences and sciences as well as graduate programs that have earned USD distinction as a research university by the Carnegie Foundation. The college's more than 22,000 alumni include famous journalists, Hollywood screenwriters, novelists, a Nobel Prize winner, South Dakota governors, attorneys, physicians, justices of the state Supreme Court, distinguished university faculty and international humanitarians.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News