E-Progress Report of The Hormel Institute


Construction to start this month on Institute’s new ‘Live Learning Center’

The progress continues on the 2014-16 expansion project, thanks to the generous support of The Hormel Foundation, chaired by Mr. Gary Ray, and the State of Minnesota (Austin Port Authority).  We are so very thankful for the generous support that paves the way for The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota to grow and research discoveries that accelerate the fight to prevent and control cancer. The expansion project’s construction is on schedule, and later this month we will break ground on a $4.5 million Live Learning Center on the Institute’s west side. Overall, the two additions will nearly double our facility’s size. This new Live Learning Center will feature a 250-seat auditorium with theater-style seating and cutting-edge technology to better facilitate research presentations and connect Institute researchers with other scientists around the world for collaborating against cancer. This project along with the $27 million major expansion started last summer to add another 20 labs both should be done by late this year, with a grand opening planned for spring 2016. Thank you for your important and encouraging support, and please know we look forward to sharing our newly expanded facility with you next year. Our research is dedicated to finding ways to extend and improve human life through cancer research discoveries.  We truly all are “Coming Together for the Cure.”

In friendship,

Zigang Dong, M.D., Dr. P.H.
Executive Director


Institute’s work featured on cover of leading cancer research journal

A microscopic image related to breast cancer by researchers at The Hormel Institute has been featured on the March 2015 cover of Cancer Prevention Research, a journal published by the American Association for Cancer Research. The image came from the Cancer Biomarkers and Drug Resistance research section led by Dr. Ann M. Bode, Associate Director of The Hormel Institute. Staining for the image was performed by senior laboratory technician Alyssa Langfald.  Dr. Bode collaborated on a project studying the cancer-preventive qualities of a diabetes drug called metformin with researchers from several other institutions.  For more information,  read Institute’s work featured on leading journal cover.

Pathway discovered for possible prevention, treatment of colon cancer

Dr. Zigang Dong, Executive Director and leader of the Cellular and Molecular Biology section at The Hormel Institute, recently had work published in the open-access journal EBioMedicine, related to a potential strategy for lowering the number of deaths from colorectal cancer – one of the most common, deadly cancers. A lack of reliable biomarkers remains a serious issue for detecting the disease early. For more information, read Institute identifies key discovery in colon cancer.

Promising cancer prevention project includes Institute

A new study published in Cancer Prevention Research journal suggests there might be ways to reduce the dangerous side effects of the anti-inflammatory class of drugs (NSAIDs) that have shown great promise in preventing cancers, including colon, esophagus and skin. Researchers from University of Michigan, the National Cancer Institute, University of Alabama and The Hormel Institute focused on naproxen, which is known to have a lower cardiovascular risk than other NSAIDs. For more information, read, Institute part of promising cancer-prevention project.

Dr. Morris receives grant for research involving bone marrow-derived cells

Dr. Rebecca Morris, leader of the Stem Cells and Cancer research section, recently received a $100,000 Pilot Award grant from the Minnesota Chemoprevention Consortium for investigating the role of bone marrow-derived cells as potential new targets for preventing skin cancer. The project relates to other work being done by Morris and her team to determine whether bone marrow-derived cells play a role in breast cancer. Morris also recently  participated in an online webchat  about the fight against cancer organized by Twin Cities Public Television. For more information on her research, read Institute research focusing on bone marrow-derived cells.


Eagles Cancer Telethon tops $2 million in overall support to Institute

The 5th District Eagles Cancer Telethon marked a milestone recently when it donated $255,000 to support cancer research at The Hormel Institute. With that gift – the Institute’s biggest donation from the annual Telethon – the Eagles Cancer Telethon topped $2 million in overall support for The Hormel Institute. Along with Mayo Clinic Cancer Center and the University of Minnesota’s Masonic Cancer Center, The Hormel Institute receives support yearly from the Eagles Cancer Telethon, which raises money through numerous events, including the upcoming, highly popular Fools Five Race on April 12 in Lewiston, MN. For more information, read, Eagles Cancer Telethon gives milestone gift to The Hormel Institute.

New fundraiser bowls many strikes against prostate cancer

In March, a $26,500 gift was given to The Hormel Institute from the first Bowling for the Battle fundraiser in Austin led by Tom Gillard and his family and friends. Farmers Insurance and Reichel Foods provided major support for the event, which raised awareness and support for The Hormel Institute’s prostate cancer research. The event’s major success led Executive Director Dr. Zigang Dong to create a new fund specifically for donations to support prostate cancer research at the Institute, similar to its breast cancer research fund. For more information, read, Event raises $26,500 for Institute’s prostate cancer research.

Austin Bruins top $150,000 over 5 years through ‘Paint the Rink Pink’

This year’s 5th annual “Paint the Rink Pink” game by the Austin Bruins hockey team marked a milestone recently when it donated more than $27,000 to support breast cancer research at The Hormel Institute. With that gift, the Bruins organization topped $150,000 in overall support through Paint the Town Pink for The Hormel Institute since 2011 when it started “Paint the Rink Pink,” a game that has been a sellout of 2,000 every year and is played on pink ice with Bruins players wearing specially made pink jerseys that are auctioned after the game. For more information, read, Austin Bruins top $150,000 for 5 years of PTRP.


Institute researchers give advice on use of supplements

Dr. Margot Cleary and The Hormel Institute offer tips and information in relation to the rapidly growing use of nutritional supplements in the latest issue of Austin Living magazine. For more information, read The Skinny on Supplements.

Four Austin science fair projects receive special Institute award

Six students in grades 3-6 received The Hormel Institute’s Outstanding Science Research Award this spring after being selected by Institute scientist judges for doing exceptional work through the Austin Public Schools’ annual science fair. Each student and his/her family and science teacher were invited to take a special tour of The Hormel Institute. Science fair judging is just one of the many ways The Hormel Institute’s supports science education throughout the year, which also includes the annual Sixth Graders Day for more than 300 sixth-graders coming through the Institute for tours and fun science demonstration led by Dr. Rebecca Morris and her team.


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