Major cancer researcher Dr. Michael Karin collaborating, presenting

Dr. Zigang Dong  & Dr. Michael Karin

The Hormel Institute’s Executive Director Dr. Zigang Dong today with our special guest Dr. Michael Karin, an award-winning cancer researcher from the University of California, San Diego.

Dr. Michael Karin, an award-winning cancer researcher and member of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences, is visiting The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota today and Friday to collaborate with its scientists and present his work.
Karin, a Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology at the University of California, San Diego, was elected in 2005 to the National Academy of Sciences in the area of Medical Physiology and Metabolism. The National Academy of Sciences designation is one of the highest achievements in the world for a scientist. Researchers selected are chosen by fellow members in recognition of distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.

Karin has received numerous awards in his career, including the Oppenheimer Award for Excellence in Research from the Endocrine Society; The Herman Beerman Lectureship from the Society of Investigative Dermatology; C.E.R.I.E.S. Research Award for Physiology or Biology of the Skin; The Grossman Lectureship from the American Gastroenterology Association; and an American Cancer Society Research Professorship.
“All of us are honored to have Dr. Karin visit the Institute and share his cutting-edge research with our scientists,” said Dr. Zigang Dong, Executive Director of The Hormel Institute. “Collaboration and sharing of discoveries is what accelerates cancer research progress.”
Born in Tel Aviv, Israel, Karin arrived in the United States in 1975 and received a Ph.D. degree in 1979 in Molecular Biology from the University of California, Los Angeles. In 1986, Karin joined the University of California, San Diego faculty.
Karin’s research has revealed how signal transduction pathways regulate gene expression in response to extracellular stimuli. His scientific achievements include identifying cis elements that mediate gene induction by hormones, cytokines and stress as well as identifying and characterizing transcription factors that recognize these elements and the kinases that regulate their activities.
His laboratory recently has been investigating mechanisms by which extracellular stimuli regulate expression of mammalian genes and modulate proliferation, differentiation and survival of different cell types. Karin’s team focuses on both transcriptional and posttranscriptional control mechanisms and mostly is interested in the role of protein kinases and other signaling molecules in these regulatory processes.
Karin and his team particularly are interested in the signaling mechanisms used by tumor necrosis factor, interleukin 1 and other inflammatory cytokines to promote tumor development and progression. In recent years, they have studied how these pathways link chronic inflammation and obesity to cancer development in organs, such as the liver and pancreas.