E-Progress Report of The Hormel Institute


Progress in the fight against cancer cannot be made without great community support. The Hormel Institute is very fortunate to have the significant and continuing support of our good friends with the Lyle Area Cancer organization, who earlier this year topped $2 million in overall fundraising over 36 years through the 5th District Eagles Cancer Telethon. The Hormel Institute receives major funding – $255,000 this year – from the Eagles Cancer Telethon along with Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota Masonic Cancer Center. Last month, we were honored to host about 80 volunteers from Lyle Area Cancer to thank them personally and give a special presentation and tour. Community support such as this is vital for cancer research – providing needed funds along with great encouragement for our researchers. Please consider giving a gift of your own toward The Hormel Institute’s Live Learning Center to support state-of-the-art technology. It will greatly enhance and ease our researchers’ ability to broadcast their discoveries to a global audience,  connect with other scientists for cancer research collaborations and learn from other leading  researchers  whether they present in our new 250 seat lecture hall or via high-definition video conferencing.  As we plan to double our staff toward about 250 employees in the coming years, The Hormel Institute will need this space to accommodate our meetings and presentations. BECOME PART OF THE PROGRESS – YOUR GIFT MAKES A DIFFERENCE. We ask you to join us with your tax-deductible support for this important project. All gifts are welcome and much appreciated. Donors who give $500 and higher will be honored on a new, beautiful donor wall in the Live Learning Center. Those who give $1,000 or more also will be invited to a historic reception for the first International Cancer Research Conference held in the Live Learning Center as part of the June 1, 2016, Grand Opening.
Thank you for your interest and support. We all are “Coming Together for the Cure.”

In friendship,

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


NCI awards $1.7 million federal grant to Dr. Dong for skin cancer research

Preventing and treating sun-induced skin cancer will be targeted over the next five years under a $1.7 million grant recently awarded to The Hormel Institute’s Executive Director Dr. Zigang Dong. Under the grant from the National Cancer Institute – part of the federal National Institutes of Health – researchers will further investigate a molecular target that could be a key for preventing and treating skin cancer induced by the sun’s ultraviolet rays. This is the third NCI grant – each for $1.7 million over five years – awarded to The Hormel Institute since this spring, which included another grant awarded to Dong, who co-leads the Cellular & Molecular Biology section with Associate Director Dr. Ann M. Bode. For more details on the project, read “Institute awarded $1.7 million grant.”

Dr. Dong named one of key presenters at international conference in South Korea

Executive Director Dr. Zigang Dong has been named one of the key speakers for this fall at the 6th International Conference on Food Factors: Bioconvergence for Food Function in Seoul, South Korea. Dong will present on “Precision Medicine of Cancer: Targeted Prevention and Therapy.” He will be one of six key lecture speakers, with the others coming from universities in China, England, Ireland, Japan and South Korea. The Korean Society of Food Science and Technology is organizing the event that happens every four years and brings together global experts in food factors that reduce the risk of lifestyle-related diseases. Food factors for health promotion and disease prevention is one of the focus areas of this year’s conference. About 1,500 people from more than 40 countries are expected to attend.

Dr. Hinchcliffe co-authors paper published, featured on scientific journal cover

A paper co-authored by The Hormel Institute’s Dr. Edward Hinchcliffe is published in and featured on the cover of the latest issue of “Molecular Reproduction & Development” journal. Hinchcliffe wrote the article, “It’s All About the Pentiums: The Use, Manipulation, and Storage of Digital Microscopy Imaging Data for the Biological Sciences” with Dr. Jessica Hornick of the Robert H. Lurie Cancer Center in Chicago. The paper focuses on digital microscopy, providing tips for properly using image file types in processing, analyzing and archiving light-microscopy data. This past month, Hinchcliffe, who leads the Institute’s Cellular Dynamics research section, also gave a symposium lecture July 8 at the 9th Cell Cycle Meeting at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, Calif., and participated as a faculty mentor July 17-20 in the 2nd American Society for Cell Biology Minorities Affairs Committee’s Faculty Research Education Development (FRED) workshop at the University of Houston.

Dr. Robinson, Mayo Clinic’s Dr. Iyer present seminars at Institute

One of The Hormel Institute’s newest faculty members, Dr. James Robinson, gave an internal seminar lecture July 16 titled, “Elucidating novel targets for therapeutic intervention in colon cancer and melanoma.” Robinson, who joined The Hormel Institute last fall, leads the Cell Signaling and Tumorigenesis research section. On July 30, Dr. Prasad Iyer of Mayo Clinic in Rochester gave a guest lecture titled, “ Role of Obesity in Esophageal Carcinogenesis. ”  Iyer is an associate professor at Mayo Clinic’s College of Medicine and is the director of post-doctoral programs at  the  Mayo Clinic Center  for  Clinical & Translational Science.  Both lectures were part of the Institute’s internal, biweekly seminars on research projects to generate feedback on projects and foster scientific collaborations.

National Cancer Institute provides helpful information on cancer staging

Staging is the way a person’s cancer severity is described based on the size and/or extent of the original tumor and whether cancer has spread or metastasized in the body, according to the National Cancer Institute. Cancer staging can help doctors plan the proper treatment for a patient and can be used to estimate the patient’s prognosis. Research at The Hormel Institute takes a comprehensive approach to understanding cancer at all levels, ranging from researching ways to better detect certain types of cancer at an early stage to investigating new strategies to block cancer from metastasizing or spreading within the body.
For more, read NCI’s cancer staging information.


Progress continues on The Hormel Institute’s 2014-16 expansion

The Hormel Institute’s future Live Learning Center has started taking shape in recent weeks, with most of the walls now up on the 250-seat lecture hall and multipurpose conference room being built off the Institute’s west side. Progress also is continuing on the Institute’s east expansion of 20 state-of-the-art laboratories, with mostly interior work being done now. Construction on both projects – totaling about $31.5 million – is projected to be done by late this year, with final interior details completed before the June 1, 2016, grand opening celebration.
For more, view the latest photos of the expansion progress.

Employment opportunities increasing at Institute with expansion

As construction continues to double the size of The Hormel Institute’s facilities, the additional space also is expected to nearly double the Institute’s overall employment in the coming years. Numerous employment opportunities – both scientific (such as lab technicians, junior scientists, post-docs scientists and principal investigators) and non-scientific (support staff) – will be posted by The Hormel Institute in the months ahead, and several jobs are available now for applications. Those hired for the positions become University of Minnesota employees through The Hormel Institute. For more, view The Hormel Institute’s current job postings and share with others who might be interested in joining our world-renowned cancer research team.


Karl Potach Memorial Golf Tournament prepares for 18th annual fundraiser

Register now for golf, dinner or both at the 18th annual Karl Potach Memorial Golf Tournament set for Monday, Aug. 17, at the Austin Country Club. This extraordinary golf tourney and dinner/auction is in memory of Karl Potach, who passed away at age 4 from a form of pediatric cancer known as Wilm’s tumor. Overall, nearly $317,000 has been donated since 2008 by the Karl Tourney to The Hormel Institute to support cutting-edge research into Wilm’s tumor. Last year, the Karl Tourney made its biggest donation yet of $60,000 to the Institute.
For more about Karl and this special event, visit the Karl R. Potach Foundation website.

Ryan Gordon Memorial Golf Tournament donates $6,800 for Institute’s research

An annual event in memory of Ryan Gordon – an Adams, Minn., native who passed away in 2011 at age 42 from stomach cancer – now has raised $15,300 in support over three years for cancer research at The Hormel Institute. In July, Ryan’s parents Roger and Shirley Gordon along with his brother Chad Gordon presented a $6,800 donation to Executive Director Dr. Zigang Dong from this year’s 3rd annual Ryan Gordon Memorial Golf Tournament & Silent Auction. The event was held June 20 at the Cedar River Golf Course in Adams.

AHS Class of 1967 continues annual golf fundraiser to support Institute

Class reunions sometimes raise money for charity during their gatherings, and The Hormel Institute has been fortunate over the years to be the recipient of these donations, with many being $300 or more for the reunion class to get a panel on our beautiful Donor Recognition Wall. One reunion group – the Austin High School Class of 1967 – has had annual golf gathering that raises funds for The Hormel Institute’s cancer research. Led by Terry Barnett, the Class of 1967 made another donation in July, putting it at nearly $3,200 donated since 2010 to the Institute. As with any donation to The Hormel Institute, 100 percent directly funds cancer research.

Austin Packers’ ‘Pink Out’ football game for breast cancer research Aug. 28

This year’s “Pink Out” fundraiser by the Austin Packers football team and parents for The Hormel Institute’s breast cancer research will be the home opener on Friday, Aug. 28. The Austin Packers will play the Winona Winhawks at Hass Stadium, with pink shirts and other pink décor being part of the game that raises money for The Hormel Institute’s breast cancer research through the annual “Paint the Town Pink” initiative. Since 2012, the team’s “Pink Out” fundraising has raised nearly $3,900 for the Institute’s breast cancer research.


Bubbles, scientific art to be featured by Institute for upcoming ArtWorks Festival

As part of the 4th annual Austin ArtWorks Festival, The Hormel Institute once again will display colorful scientific images taken at a microscopic level Aug. 22-23 at the Historic Downtown Power Plant. Festival organizers also are planning a massive bubbles-blowing event at 12 PM on Aug. 22 along Austin’s North Main Street downtown. The Hormel Institute plans to have a large beaker cutout that will emit bubbles as part of this new, highly fun event. For more, view the Austin ArtWorks Festival’s schedule of events.

Institute researcher, wife featured for their extensive work with growing daylilies

Dr. Michael Grossmann, a cancer researcher at The Hormel Institute, and his wife, Kathy, were featured recently in the Rochester Post-Bulletin newspaper for their love of daylily flowers. Dr. Grossmann, who works in the Nutrition & Metabolism section led by Dr. Margot Cleary, knows how to hybridize daylilies. Together, he and his wife run their Northern Lights Daylilies gardens in West Concord, Minn.

Institute thanks community in Freedom Fest parade, hosts summer open house

Faculty and staff of The Hormel Institute along with their family members participated July 4 in Austin’s annual Freedom Fest parade to thank the community for its significant and ongoing support of the Institute’s world-class cancer research and growth. The Institute parade unit’s lead car carried breast cancer survivor Stephanie Blaser of Austin. On July 16, The Hormel Institute also hosted three evening tours as part of its annual summer open house. Attendees learned about the Institute’s seven-decade history, leading cancer research and 2014-16 expansion as well as toured the facilities created by the 2006-2008 major expansion and renovation.
For more, view photos from the open house.


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For more information about The Hormel Institute, please contact us at: info@hi.umn.edu
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