Day-long activity Tuesday in its second year at middle school, part of Institute’s education initiative

AUSTIN, Minn. — Thursday, Dec. 2 — Scientists from The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota-Mayo Clinic worked on Tuesday, Nov. 30, with students at Austin’s Ellis Middle School in their new science laboratories.

    For the second-straight year, The Hormel Institute’s scientists spent the school day working with students in 7th and 8th grades as part of the Institute’s education initiative.  At the start of this school year, Ellis opened four, new science labs that were part of a multi-million-dollar expansion and renovation project at the school.  
    Section leaders Dr. Edward “Ted” Hinchcliffe and Dr. Mohammad Saleem (Bhat) as well as senior lab technician Todd Schuster presented to and worked with Ellis students.
    Dr. Hinchcliffe heads the Cellular Dynamics section that started at the Institute in December 2008.
    Dr. Saleem leads the Molecular Chemoprevention and Therapeutics section that started in February at the Institute.
    As a senior lab technician, Schuster operates, maintains and instructs scientists about The Hormel Institute’s shared instruments used for research, including confocal and fluorescent microscopes and a cell sorter.
    “Our goal with this outreach is to help students consider the importance of science education and learn about the field of research,” said Dr. Zigang Dong, Executive Director of The Hormel Institute.
     “It has been a positive experience to share information about our cancer research with all of the students,” Dr. Dong said, “and we hope our interaction ignites interest in some students to pursue the field of scientific research/medical research as a future education and career choice.”
    The visiting scientists at Ellis is one of the various ways The Hormel Institute, which specializes in research leading to cancer prevention and control, promotes science education throughout the year. The Hormel Institute also supports science fairs, works with high school biology students, offers a college internship program, serves as a leader of the University of Minnesota-Rochester’s Biomedical Informatics and Computational Biology (BICB) program, and provides both doctoral and post-doctoral research training programs
    On Nov.4, The Hormel Institute hosted all Austin 6th-grade students for the 2nd annual Ellis Day in which they met scientists, saw scientific demonstrations, and learned about the Institute’s world-renowned cancer research.