ROCHESTER, Minn. — Mayo Clinic has announced a five-year, $5 million donation to The Hormel Foundation for The Hormel Institute Medical Research Center. The funds will help equip laboratories in the institute’s new research facility and provide program support to researchers from The Hormel Institute, Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota.

Established in 1942, The Hormel Institute is a research unit of the University of Minnesota. The institute conducts biomedical research in partnership with researchers located around the world. Much of this research focuses on finding natural, nontoxic alternatives to chemotherapy. Since 2002, The Hormel Institute’s funding from the National Institutes of Health has tripled and its staff has nearly doubled under the leadership of executive director Zigang Dong, M.D. A $23.4 million expansion project is underway that will triple the facility’s size.

Glenn Forbes, M.D., chief executive officer (CEO) of Mayo Clinic Rochester says, “Nothing is more important than providing the best care to our patients. Collaborations, like this between The Hormel Institute, Mayo Clinic and University of Minnesota, will enable us to make discoveries much more quickly. Mayo’s commitment to research extends beyond our campuses, and we’re especially interested in the cancer research conducted by Dr. Dong and his team. We hope this gift will help provide the resources necessary so that The Hormel Institute will continue to thrive.”

Richard Knowlton, chair of The Hormel Foundation and former president, CEO and chair of the board of Hormel Foods Corporation says, “The vision of Mayo Clinic to accelerate medical research through their financial and collaborative support is the same vision that has made Mayo a world leader in medicine and health care. This gift supports the world-class medical research of The Hormel Institute well into the future. We are thankful for the growing research partnership with Mayo Clinic and the vision we share to improve the health of our country and the world.”

“The progress of medical research that is occurring and will occur because of the strengthening collaboration between The Hormel Institute and Mayo Clinic is significant,” says Dr. Dong. “We are deeply thankful to Mayo Clinic for this historic gift to The Hormel Foundation on our behalf, a gift that is a first in Mayo Clinic’s history. This financial support shows their dedication to our research partnership.”