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NDSU, Sanford Health Research Partnership Focuses on Human Health, Nutrition

North Dakota State University and Sanford Health will conduct collaborative research on human nutrition, weight management and other dietary-related areas as part of a seed-grant initiative developed between the two organizations which was announced December 22, 2014. The research will address key objectives of the Profile by Sanford® program.

Profile is a weight-management program that uses customized meal plans, health coaches and real-time technology. It was developed by Sanford physicians and researchers.

NDSU researchers will have opportunities to collaborate with investigators from Sanford Research on topics like metabolism, food choices and consumption, prenatal nutrition, genetics, development of sensors that monitor wellness factors and food manufacturing and nutritional interactions with the human microbiome. Research findings relevant to Profile will be considered as the program evolves and expands.

Sanford will provide $250,000 annually for five years for the seed-grant program.

“This collaboration with Sanford represents additional opportunities for faculty to conduct research with potential wide-ranging implications for positive impact on human health,” said NDSU President Dean L. Bresciani.

“Sanford Health was named as the first Campus Community Partner in 2012, to recognize private sector collaborations with the university that benefit the community,” said President Bresciani. “Adding this research collaboration to our already strong partnership to train nurses in the region, further illustrates our commitment to the communities we serve.”

The Profile system utilizes meal-replacement products, nutritionally complete foods, qualified health coaches and client tracking of body weight, blood pressure and physical activity through smart wireless technology. Jawbone UP24 activity trackers are integrated with the Profile app to allow members to track their movement and sleep patterns. A new fitness tracker will provide additional measurable data helpful to members to monitor progress.

“This collaboration offers an additional opportunity to further serve the citizens of the region, while potentially making strides that contribute to important research on health and well-being,” said Kelly A. Rusch, NDSU vice president for research and creative activity.

“Sanford Research is dedicated to finding ways to conduct meaningful and quality research that is also translational,” said David Pearce, Ph.D., president of Sanford Research. “By teaming with NDSU, two like-minded organizations are coming together to better serve the health needs of this region.”

Profile launched in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, opening its first store front in November 2012. Today, it has 18 locations in six states, including two in Fargo-Moorhead, with more planned openings by the end of 2014.

“Profile by Sanford continues to evolve and improve due to evidence-based research,” said Rich Adcock, executive vice president for Sanford. “This partnership is important to our health system because Sanford Health values research that can contribute to its overall mission of health and healing.”

Seed-grant proposals are due March 16, 2015, and recipients will be announced in June 2015. More information is available on the NDSU Research and Creative Activity web site.

About NDSU

NDSU, Fargo, North Dakota, USA, is an economic engine of the state, a top ranked and growing national research power. NDSU is notably listed among the top 108 U.S. public and private universities in the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education’s category of “Research Universities/Very High Research Activity.” As a student-focused, land grant, research institution, NDSU is listed in the Top 100 research universities in the U.S. for R&D in agricultural sciences, chemistry, physical sciences, psychology, and social sciences, based on research expenditures reported to the National Science Foundation.

About Sanford Health

Sanford Health is an integrated health system headquartered in the Dakotas and is now the largest, rural, not-for-profit health care system in the nation with locations in 126 communities in nine states. In addition, Sanford Health is in the process of developing international clinics in Ghana, Mexico and China.

Sanford Health includes 43 hospitals, 140 clinic locations and 1,360 physicians in 81 specialty areas of medicine. With more than 26,000 employees, Sanford Health is the largest employer in North Dakota and South Dakota. The system is experiencing dynamic growth and development in conjunction with nearly $1 billion in gifts from philanthropist Denny Sanford. These gifts are making possible the implementation of several initiatives, including global children's clinics, multiple research centers and finding cures for type 1 diabetes and breast cancer. For more information, visit

Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

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