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Sanford Research’s Pearce Receives National Recognition

Nov 19, 2013 12:44PM ● By Med Editor

Dr David Pearce (l) receives the RARE Champion of Hope Award in California.He is pictured with Dr. John C. Carey, Professor and Vice Chair, University of Utah Health Sciences Center and School of Medicine.

Sanford Research’s David Pearce, PhD, was recently honored as a 2013 RARE Champion of Hope by Global Genes and the R.A.R.E. Project.

The RARE Champion of Hope Award recognizes an individual who is moving the bar in rare disease research and science at the national level. Whether from academia, industry, the clinic or an advocacy group, this person works to advance research for a specific rare disease or is a key agent in the provision of tools and approaches to developing and/or delivering more effective treatments for the rare community.

Dr. Pearce serves as vice president and chief operating officer of Sanford Research and director of Sanford Children’s Health Research Center.  He is one of the world’s leading researchers of Batten disease and also established the Coordination of Rare Diseases at Sanford (CoRDS) program.

CoRDS is a global rare disease registry designed to accelerate research and encourage research collaboration into these unexplained conditions.  The Sanford program collects and stores basic contact and clinical information on individuals of all ages who have been diagnosed with a rare disease (undiagnosed individuals are also eligible for enrollment).

Pearce accepted the award last month at the RARE Tribute to Champions of Hope ceremony in Newport Beach, CA. Pearce’s acceptance speech can be viewed here.

“Dr. Pearce’s dedication to the exploration of rare diseases is well-known and respected by those in our national scientific community,” said Sanford Research President Gene Hoyme, MD. “His commitment to provide families with answers through research and advocacy inspires and motivates all of us.”

Global Genes and the R.A.R.E. Project, which coordinates the Champion of Hope Awards, represent the roughly 30 million Americans and approximately 350 million people worldwide who are affected by rare genetic diseases and disorders. In the United States, a disease is considered rare if it affects fewer than 200,000 people in the United States.  According to the National Institutes of Health, there are nearly 7,000 such rare diseases, and an estimated 95 percent do not have a single approved drug treatment.  R.A.R.E. is an acronym for Rare Diseases Awareness Research Education.