Sanford Health has New Leader of Imagenetics Research Program

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Dr. Cornelius Boerkoel to oversee genomic medicine discovery

Sanford’s vision for genomic medicine is thoughtful, logical and attentive to the interaction between genetic and ecological factors.

Cornelius Boerkoel, M.D., Ph.D., is joining Sanford Health as the executive director of the Sanford Imagenetics Research Center on Genomic and Molecular Medicine.

Boerkoel will use his more than 30 years of research and clinical expertise to investigate new ways of expanding Sanford Imagenetics through development of genetic and genomic medicine tools for primary care medical practice at Sanford Health. Sanford Imagenetics is the unique Sanford initiative that brings personalized medicine and pharmacogenetic testing into primary care for adult patients.

“The addition of Dr. Boerkoel to our Imagenetics program is a big step forward for discovery at Imagenetics,” said Gene Hoyme, M.D., chief of genetics and genomic medicine at Sanford Health. “Boerkoel’s experience as a physician scientist makes him a perfect fit for this role and a natural addition to Sanford Imagenetics. We’re confident his knowledge will be instrumental in bringing genomic medicine to our patients, creating better patient outcomes and developing cutting-edge clinical innovation. ”

Boerkoel most recently served as a staff clinician and directed the translational laboratory at the National Institutes of Health Undiagnosed Diseases Program. He is also a co-founder of the Rare Disease Foundation.

“Sanford’s vision for genomic medicine is thoughtful, logical and attentive to the interaction between genetic and ecological factors,” said Boerkoel. “I am enthusiastic about my new role in bringing genetic and genomic medicine to the patients of Sanford. We have a great opportunity to revolutionize the integration of genetics within internal medicine.”

Boerkoel received his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio, and completed his residency at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington. He also completed a fellowship in clinical genetics at The Hospital for Sick Children of Toronto, Ontario.

Boerkoel joins Sanford Health in February.

About Sanford Health
Sanford Health is an integrated health system headquartered in the Dakotas. It is one of the largest health systems in the nation with 43 hospitals and nearly 250 clinics in nine states and three countries. Sanford Health’s 27,000 employees, including 1,400 physicians, make it the largest employer in the Dakotas. Nearly $1 billion in gifts from philanthropist Denny Sanford have allowed for several initiatives, including global children's clinics, genomic medicine and specialized centers researching cures for type 1 diabetes, breast cancer and other diseases. For more information, visit

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Shawn Neisteadt
Sanford Health
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