Prostate Cancer Research - The Hormel Institute

Local funds launch Innovative Prostate Cancer Research

New prostate cancer research is underway at The Hormel Institute, thanks to grants funded by “Bowling for the Battle,” organized by the Tom Gillard family and Farmers Insurance. The two grants were established by the Institute and awarded internally to scientists with innovative ideas for advancing answers to prostate cancer. Each grant provides $25,000 a year (for up to two years) to fund initial research.  The initial research done with these seed grants will then be used to apply for larger, national grants.

“Our family has a passion to find a cure for prostate cancer,” said Laura Maschka, Tom Gillard’s daughter and a chief organizer of the annual March fundraiser.

“It is exciting to see the funds we have raised making a difference for the many affected by this much too common cancer.  We are honored to be a part of prostate cancer research at The Hormel Institute.”

The grants awarded are:

  • Yibin Deng: “Development of a Novel Therapeutic Strategy for Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer”
  • Rendong Yang: “Identifying and Overcoming AR Inhibitor Resistance in Patients with Metastatic Prostate Cancer”

These grants are only possible because of the funds raised through Bowling for the Battle, an annual prostate cancer fundraiser run by Tom Gillard and family. Bowling for the Battle raised over $56,000 in 2018, and nearly $167,000 since 2015.

Prostate cancer is the most prevalent cancer affecting men, besides skin cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates 164,690 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in 2018, and American men have an approximate 1 in 9 chance of developing prostate cancer during their lifetime.

“We are very grateful to Bowling for the Battle and every group and person who supports it,” said Dr. Zigang Dong, executive director of The Hormel Institute.

“These donations are extremely important as otherwise this new research would not take place. Every person who is part of Bowling for the Battle can be thankful they are part of accelerating answers to prostate cancer.  Our scientists are excited to begin their projects and we all look forward to the discoveries these donations and grants make possible.”

To make a donation or learn more about Bowling for the Battle, please contact Laura Maschka at   All Prostate Cancer Research Fund donations will be counted towards Bowling for the Battle so please feel free to donate at