American Cancer Society Funds Innovative Research at The Hormel Institute

Dr. Luke Hoeppner awarded prestigious American Cancer Society grant to fund study of deadly type of lung cancer

Austin, Minn. – The American Cancer Society is proud to announce one of its most prestigious research awards is awarded to Luke Hoeppner, PhD, at The Hormel Institute. Dr. Hoeppner, Assistant Professor and leader of the Cancer Biology lab, was named as the recipient of an American Cancer Society Research Scholar Grant awardee and will be receiving $789,000 dollars in the four-year grant focusing on a deadly form of lung cancer.

“I am driven to research small cell lung cancer because it is a particularly aggressive disease and difficult to treat,” said Dr. Hoeppner. “My uncle was diagnosed with advanced stage small cell lung cancer and very little could be done for him through existing therapies before he unfortunately passed away. I am extremely thankful for this American Cancer Society funding because it allows me to pursue a new lung cancer research direction that otherwise would not be possible.”

Dr. Hoeppner’s research grant will investigate dopamine signaling to inhibit small cell lung cancer progression and drug resistance which may translate to new approach to treatment and more effective treatment options. Small cell lung is the most aggressive subtype of lung cancer, with only 7% of patients surviving over five years. Dr. Hoeppner’s team previously showed that several genes in the dopamine pathway promote drug resistance in lung cancer.

“We are excited to see the progress Dr. Hoeppner and his team will make through this research, as together we partner to save more lives from lung cancer. We are grateful for our collaboration with The Hormel Institute, The Hormel Foundation and Hormel Corporation to help make this work possible,” says Keely Couillard, Director, Corporate Relations at the American Cancer Society.

The American Cancer Society is the largest non-government, not-for-profit funder of cancer research in the United States. Since 1946, the American Cancer Society has been a part of every major cancer research breakthrough. The American Cancer Society also believes in funding young cancer researchers early in their careers to help foster the next generation of research. Forty-nine American Cancer Society funded researchers have gone on to be Nobel Laureates.

Lung cancer (both small cell and non-small cell) is the second most common cancer in both men and women (not counting skin cancer). The American Cancer Society estimates 235,760 new cases of lung cancer and 131,880 people will die from lung cancer this year. For more information about lung cancer, visit