Dr. Pearce is President of Research for Sanford Health. He is also the Director of Sanford Children’s Health Research Center and Professor in the Department of Pediatrics of Sanford School of Medicine of the University of South Dakota. He also oversees a national registry for rare diseases known as the Coordination of Rare Diseases at Sanford (CoRDS). He completed his undergraduate and received his Bachelors of Science Degree with Honors in Biological Sciences at Wolverhampton Polytechnic in 1986. He gained his PhD in 1990 at the University of Bath, UK, and completed his postdoctoral training at the University of Rochester, USA and Oxford University, UK.

Dr. Pearce heads the leading lab in juvenile Batten disease research. He has been researching Juvenile Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis (Batten Disease) since 1997. He has published over 90 research papers on Batten disease. His research has lead to the first clinical trial for juvenile Batten Disease. He has served on numerous NIH review committees, has organized rare disease workshops for the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) arm of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and is currently a member of the executive committee for the International Rare Diseases Research Consortium (IRDiRC).