Pictured left to right:
John Garry, President of Development Corporation of Austin, Elizabeth Fedie, HI Chief of Staff, Dr. Robert Clarke, HI Executive Director, Gail Dennison, HI Director of Development & External Relations, Dr. Susan Hafenstein, HI Cryo-EM Director, Mayor Steve King, City of Austin, (former) State Senator and Olmsted County Commissioner Dave Senjem, State Senator Gene Dornink, State Representative Patricia Mueller, Jason Baskin, Chair of Austin Port Authority and State Senator Carla Nelson.

On Tuesday, legislators from Austin and Rochester, MN met to discuss the 2024 Minnesota bonding bill and their support for the Minnesota Bioimaging Center (MBiC) at The Hormel Institute (HI).

Last Fall, both the Senate Capital Investment Committee and House Capital Investment Committee toured HI to learn how this project will leverage previous state investments that doubled the size of The Hormel Institute and The Hormel Foundation’s investment which brought in the seventh cryo-EM Titan Krios instrument in the United States.

Thanks to recent congressional funding and support from MN Senators Klobuchar and Smith, HI will soon install a major advance to these existing technologies.

The Arctis Cryo Focused Ion Beam (CryoFIB), which will be one of the first available anywhere in the world and the first to be installed in North America, will allow researchers access to the latest state-of-the-art technology in cryo electron tomography, a method not previously available within Minnesota.

The 2024 $20m bonding bill request will expand the capabilities, broaden access, and provide services related to this Nobel-prize-winning technology to scientists throughout the State of Minnesota, with partners at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities Campus, Mayo Clinic, and beyond.

The outcomes of discoveries will lead to major advances in a range of diseases including Alzheimer’s Disease, Cancer, and Chronic Wasting Disease. MBiC will also include unique K-12 and higher education STEM facilities and offer training opportunities for professionals to develop a cryo-EM biomedical workforce that is in high demand nationally.

State Representative Patricia Mueller and Senators Gene Dornink and Carla Nelson will introduce a new bill as the MBiC project now includes a “one of a kind” specialized education and training hub, serving students, trainees, and professionals, developing both unparalleled opportunities for students and a much-needed resource to train the biomedical workforce on state-of-the-art bioimaging technologies.