“Coming Together for the Cure” at The Hormel Institute

More than 300 state and local leaders and supporters gathered May 28 at The Hormel Institute to celebrate the start of an exciting, new chapter in the Institute’s world-class cancer research. Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton; U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar; U.S. Sen. Al Franken; and Dr. Brian Herman, Vice President of Research at the University of Minnesota, joined Gary Ray and The Hormel Foundation leaders as well as numerous other dignitaries and dedicated community members at the groundbreaking ceremony for The Hormel Institute’s 2014-15 expansion. The expansion will double the size of The Hormel Institute and provide space for another 120 faculty and staff jobs, with actual construction starting in August. The Hormel Institute thanks YOU for supporting the continued growth and expansion of the cancer research of The Hormel Institute. As faculty and staff, we are profoundly excited for what the future holds with this new expansion, as our cancer research holds tremendous potential to improve how people can prevent and treat cancer. We are highly grateful to each of you, our supporters, and to The Hormel Foundation and State of Minnesota for “coming together for the cure” by jointly funding this new, 20-lab addition.

In friendship,

Zigang Dong, M.D., Dr. P.H. Executive Director


Institute paper published in new, major journal Dr. Joshua Liao, leader of the “Translational Cancer Research” section at The Hormel Institute recently had his work published in the new, major scientific journal, Oncoscience, advocating for chemotherapy to focus more on a lesser-used mode of cell death when treating cancer. Liao led a team of scientists that produced a paper aiming to clear misconceptions in the science and medical communities regarding the cell-death mode preferred for chemotherapy. Cell death is key to cancer formation and progression and, thus, overarches cancer research, especially in therapy studies. For more information, read “Institute scientist’s work published in Oncoscience.”

Dr. Cleary’s research featured in ‘Austin Living’ magazine

Maintaining a healthy weight or losing pounds if overweight; eating fresh fruits and vegetables; and being active are three things Dr. Margot Cleary of The Hormel Institute recommends for lowering your risk of developing cancer. Her research and tips are featured in the current issue of “Austin Living” magazine. In the article, Dr. Cleary, leader of the “Nutrition & Metabolism” research section, says people should focus more on the importance of maintaining a healthy body weight to help prevent cancer and other diseases. For more information, read “Keep Fit, Keep Cancer Away.”


One of cancer research’s pioneers visits Institute Dr. Peter Vogt, an award-winning scientist known for his groundbreaking research on the genetic causes of cancer, visited Dr. Zigang Dong and The Hormel Institute in June. Vogt, Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif., performed breakthrough research on cancer-causing viruses that helped establish the field of cancer genetics. He gave a presentation titled, “The PI3K Pathway as a Cancer Target” to Institute scientists as part of his special visit. For more information, read “Award-winning scientist visits The Hormel Institute.

Institute’s cutting-edge imagery to be part of ArtWorks Festival

Colorful, microscopic imagery related to The Hormel Institute’s cutting-edge cancer research will be on display for the first time at the 3rd annual Austin ArtWorks Festival on Aug. 23-24 at the Historic Downtown Power Plant. Many of the images will be provided by Dr. Edward Hinchcliffe, leader of the “Cellular Dynamics” research section. Dr. Hinchcliffe specializes in illuminating the inner workings of cells and has had his images featured on numerous scientific journal covers. He is scheduled to talk about the artistic side of his research at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 24 at the festival. For more information, visit the Austin ArtWorks Festival website.


2nd annual Austin Color Dash 5K fun run/walk set for Aug. 16

The Hormel Institute is teaming up once again with the Austin ArtWorks Festival to offer a color-filled Color Dash 5K fun run/walk the morning of Saturday, Aug. 16. The 2nd annual Austin Color Dash 5K will start again at the Downtown Power Plant along Fourth Avenue Northeast in Austin. Proceeds from the event will support the Institute’s cancer research and the annual Austin ArtWorks Festival. For more information, visit the Color Dash registration site.

Tolly Tourney, other fundraisers support Institute’s research

The 4th annual Dave “Tolly” Tollefson Memorial Golf Tournament raised over $15,000 this summer for The Hormel Institute’s cancer research, bringing its overall fundraising total to more than $60,000. Austin High School’s Youth Leadership Club also hosted its 4th annual “Strides for a Cure” 5K run/walk to support the Institute’s breast cancer research, and the 2nd annual Ryan Gordon Memorial Golf Tournament also raised support for the Institute’s work. For more information on starting an Institute fundraiser or making your own gift to support cancer research, read “Make a Gift.”


Interns gaining science experiences through SURE program

The Hormel Institute has about 10 internships every summer for college undergraduates majoring in a science or medical-related fields. The Institute’s S.U.R.E. program (Summer Undergraduate Research Experience) offers a 10-week, paid internship to accepted applicants. This year’s interns will wrap up their time at the Institute on Aug. 15th. Applications for the program typically are due by March 1. For more information, read “S.U.R.E. Intern Program.”


Cancer-risk factors About 40-50 percent of cancer deaths are related to preventable causes. Here are the causes that make up those deaths:

  • Obesity, lack of physical activity and other causes – 39 percent
  • Diet or Nutrition – 30 percent • Tobacco use – 16 percent
  • Infections – 8 percent
  • Occupational exposures – 5 percent
  • Environmental pollution – 2 percent


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