Newswise — BROOKINGS, S.D./SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - South Dakota State University and Sanford Health have partnered to conduct collaborative research on human nutrition, weight management and other dietary-related areas. This research will address key objectives of the Profile by Sanford ® program.

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

Through the partnership, SDSU researchers will have opportunities to collaborate with investigators from Sanford Research on topics like metabolism, food choices and consumption, prenatal nutrition, genetics, food manufacturing and nutritional interactions with the human microbiome. Research findings relevant to Profile will be considered as the program evolves and expands.

Sanford Health will provide $250,000 annually for five years for the seed-grant program. Also, SDSU is requesting an additional $200,000 through the South Dakota Board of Regents Research and Development Innovation program to bring the total collaboration with Sanford to $450,000 for the 2015 fiscal year.

“This partnership really is about people and communities,” said Kevin Kephart, the university’s vice president for research. “By combining our efforts and resources, SDSU and Sanford are building on a solid foundation of ongoing research and a strong, existing relationship. The resulting synergy will help improve quality of life and better serve the public good throughout South Dakota and the region.”

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. A clinical and scientific advisory board comprised of 10 Sanford physicians and researchers oversaw the development of Profile.

“Profile by Sanford is based on the latest clinical and scientific evidence,” said Rich Adcock, president of Sanford Frontiers, which developed Profile. “The goal of this program is to significantly expand our research and developing efforts with a world class university; the collaboration between Sanford and SDSU is a natural fit because of the university’s mission as a leading land-grant research institution.”

Seed-grant proposals are due July 29, and recipients will be announced in September.

About South Dakota State UniversityFounded in 1881, South Dakota State University is the state’s Morrill Act land-grant institution as well as its largest, most comprehensive school of higher education. SDSU confers degrees from six different colleges representing more than 175 majors, minors and specializations. The institution also offers 29 master’s degree programs, 13 Ph.D. and two professional programs.

The work of the university is carried out on a residential campus in Brookings, at sites in Sioux Falls, Pierre and Rapid City, and through SDSU Extension offices and Agricultural Experiment Station research sites across the state.

About Sanford HealthSanford 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, Israel, Mexico and China.

Sanford Health includes 39 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