Three tours for public to learn about Institute expansion, world-class cancer research

Three, one-hour tours will be offered this Thursday at The Hormel Institute’s annual summer open house for anyone interested in learning more about its world-renowned cancer research, seven-decade history and 2014-16 major expansion underway to double the size of its facilities and employment.

Free tours will begin at 4 p.m., 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., starting in The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota’s main lobby; registration is not required. Attendees can park along 16th Avenue Northeast in front of The Hormel Institute and enter through its main lobby on the west side.

“We deeply appreciate the significant and continuing support shown by our many friends in the community throughout the year, and this open house is just one way all of us at The Hormel Institute can share progress and show our sincere appreciation,” Executive Director Dr. Zigang Dong said. “Our work is for each of you, and community support is vital for ensuring progress continues in the fight against cancer.”

Attendees will hear a presentation about The Hormel Institute’s history and cancer research before going on a walking tour of the Institute’s state-of-the-art facilities that were part of a 2006-2008 major expansion and renovation project of its 1960 building.

They also will learn about the $31.5 million overall 2014-16 expansion project on both sides of The Hormel Institute to add 20 new cancer research laboratories on the east side and a Live Learning Center on the west side. Fundraising is ongoing for completing the Live Learning Center building and adding global communication technologies. The Live Learning Center will feature a 250-seat lecture hall with theater-style seating and a multi-function room, and already is booked to host two international cancer research symposiums in 2016.

Thursday’s tours also will give people the chance to view some of the fruits and vegetables that contain compounds used in The Hormel Institute’s cancer research; put on 3-D glasses to see a 3-D example of the cancer research related to natural compounds; and stand next to its two IBM supercomputers that greatly accelerate discoveries