The Hormel Institute has remained true to its mission for over 75 years: To further scientific knowledge and share that knowledge with the world. We have had the opportunity to advance science through research focused initially on food safety and preservation in 1942, later moving to world recognized lipid research, and today we are known for our innovative contributions to cancer research.

The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota is a leading cancer research department of UMN and part of the Masonic Cancer Center, an NCI Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. Our scientists are focused on accelerating answers to cancer by determining the basic molecular mechanisms of cancer development and finding better ways to prevent, detect and treat cancer. In 2017 The Hormel Institute launched Nature Partner Journal (npj) Precision Oncology, an online-only, open access journal dedicated to publishing high-quality research describing the significant and cutting-edge research covering all aspects of precision oncology.

Hormel Institute Building


The transformative building expansions of 2008 and 2016 provided tremendous new opportunities to advance research and develop worldwide collaborations – and progress truly continues daily. We are deeply thankful these research opportunities are in a field where the work accomplished by our scientists are for the improvement of human health – where advancements and discoveries can be celebrated by one and all, around the world.

Who We Are

Currently the faculty and staff are comprised of 130 leading cancer research scientists and 16 cancer research sections.  Over the next few years, we will add another 130 new faculty and staff jobs as part of our expansion as we continue to perform world-class research in the quest to prevent and control cancer.

Our Partners

The Hormel Institute is collaborative research partners with Mayo Clinic, MD Anderson, Columbia University, University of Arizona and more renowned centers worldwide.

Cancer Research - The Hormel Institute

Our Mission

The mission of The Hormel Institute is to conduct research and provide education in the biological sciences with applications in medicine and agriculture. In pursuit of this mission, and as intended by its founders, The Hormel Institute generates fundamental knowledge and disseminates it to the scientific community worldwide. It also serves as a center of technical and educational expertise for the benefit of the Austin community, the surrounding region and the State of Minnesota.

The Hormel Institute Advisory Board

The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota
Dr. Robert Clarke, Ph.D., D.Sc.
Executive Director

University of Minnesota
Christopher J. Cramer, Ph.D.
Vice President for Research

Brian Buhr, Ph.D.
Dean College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

Mayo Clinic
Dr. Rafael Fonseca
Interim Director, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center

Dr. Gregory J. Gores
Executive Dean for Research

The Hormel Foundation
Jeffrey M. Ettinger
Chair, The Hormel Foundation

In the Community

Tours of The Hormel Institute are available if pre-arranged.
Contact the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau at or call 507.437.4563