Zigang Dong - Executive Director The Hormel Institute

Zigang Dong – Executive Director

Cancer affects all of humankind: women and men, poor and rich, old and young, and all races.  Cancer is the leading cause of death worldwide. Most human cancers are preventable or treatable. History has proven that only research will led to new methods for prevention and therapy of human cancer. The Hormel Institute is a leading medical research institute making major contributions to the identification and characterization of novel molecular and cellular targets and agents for cancer prevention and therapy. During 2013-14, The Hormel Institute experienced continued success obtaining research funding and producing major research breakthroughs even in a national environment of overall decreased funding for research.

With the support of Senator Dan Sparks and Representative Jeanne Poppe as well as State Senator David Senjem, the State of Minnesota bonding bill, signed by Governor Mark Dayton, included $13.5 million in funding to the City of Austin Port Authority to lead the construction project for The Hormel Institute’s next expansion. The Hormel Foundation, led by Chairman Gary Ray, announced $23 million in funding to support the project. The construction is currently in the design process and groundbreaking was held on May 28, 2014. The new building will be home to the International Center for Research Technology (ICRT) and The Hormel Institute.

The ICRT is a collaborative project with manufacturers of technology, such as IBM Rochester, to develop new technology to accelerate discoveries and facilitate comprehensive study of human diseases by combining analysis of protein structure/function with advanced methods of data management and drug screening. U.S. Congressman Tim Walz and U.S. Senators Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar have shown strong support to The Hormel Institute by acquiring funding for the purchase of high-end equipment to establish the ICRT.

We are thankful for the generous support of The Hormel Foundation, Hormel Foods Corporation, University of Minnesota, and Mayo Clinic. In particular, I would like to thank Mr. Gary Ray, Mr. Jeff Ettinger, Mr. Richard Knowlton, Mr. Joel Johnson, Ms. Bonnie Rietz, Mr. Jerry Anfinson, and Mr. Steve Rizzi. We thank Drs. Eric Kaler and Brian Herman (University of Minnesota) and Drs. John Noseworthy, Glenn Forbes, Robert Diaiso, and Greg Gores (Mayo Clinic) for their leadership and support. We thank our elected leaders, U.S. Representative Tim Walz, U.S. Senators Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, Minnesota State Senator Dan Sparks, Minnesota State Representative Jeanne Poppe and State Senator David Senjem for their continued support. We remain deeply grateful to our community, our partners and our collaborators for giving us the gift of allowing us to work here. Their support and gifts allow today’s research to flourish and pave the way for tomorrow’s progress to continue.