E-Progress Report of The Hormel Institute


Dear Friends-

This summer’s expansion and celebration is another a historic milestone for The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota. After tripling in size and doubling faculty and staff jobs in 2008, we are both thankful and excited to again double our size with space for another 120 faculty and staff jobs. Throughout this growth, we remain dedicated to our core mission: cutting edge cancer research and discoveries leading to cancer prevention and methods to extend and improve lives worldwide. We are grateful to The Hormel Foundation and all of the people and organizations who so generously support The Hormel Institute’s research and provide the innovative space and technology required for it.

The search is now underway to recruit the world’s best scientists to fill the new lab space at The Hormel Institute. Hundreds of applicants understand the Institute is a high-achieving research facility and wish to join our team. We look forward to hiring these bright minds and their future contributions to our research success.  Coming from all over the world, they will continue to grow Austin in diverse and interesting directions.

Our research is made possible through your support. You have expanded our ability to further discoveries in the quest to find new answers to cancer, and we sincerely thank you.

We are truly “Coming Together for the Cure.”

In friendship,

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


Internal seminar series at Institute shares research

 A recent internal seminar at The Hormel Institute featured an update on a current research project. Dr. James Robinson, leader of the Cell Signaling & Tumorigenesis research section at The Hormel Institute, presented on July 14. His talk was titled, “Characterization of Resistance Mechanisms to BRAFV600E Inhibition.” The Hormel Institute’s internal lectures are offered every other week and aimed at generating feedback on projects as well as fostering scientific collaborations.

Institute’s Dr. Morris gives month-long, internal course on studying tissues

Dr. Rebecca Morris, leader of the Stem Cells & Cancer section at The Hormel Institute, completed her free offering this month on introducing fellow Institute scientists to histopathology, which is the study of tissues from the body under a microscope to look for signs of diseases, such as cancer. Morris, who offered the course twice a week in the Institute’s main seminar room, is a morphologist by training and her lab uses many histopathological techniques to study stem cells and cancer. While at Columbia University in New York, Morris participated for four years in team teaching of histology to first-year medical students and graduate students in pathology.  Participants in the Institute’s course learned about major techniques in histopathology along with basic microscopic anatomy, including the four major tissue types, how to identify many of the major organs, and the basics of inflammation and cancer.


Institute hosted summer expansion open houses

Hundreds of guests visited The Hormel Institute on June 4, July 29, and July 30 for the summer open houses. Free tours took visitors through the new east expansion, featuring 20 new laboratories and the Ray Live Learning Center – including views of the new state-of-the-art auditorium and technology – to get an inside look at the tools used to accelerate cancer research.

Employment opportunities increasing at Institute with expansion

The recent expansion of The Hormel Institute’s facilities also means the size of the Institute’s faculty and staff are growing. 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.


Ryan Gordon Memorial Golf Tournament donates $9,600 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 nearly $25,000 in support over four 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 $9,600 donation to Associate Director Dr. Ann Bode from this year’s 4th annual Ryan Gordon Memorial Golf Tournament & Silent Auction. The event was held June 18 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, now donating more than $3,000 since 2010 to the Institute. As with any donation to The Hormel Institute, 100 percent directly funds cancer research.


Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities Hosts Conference in Austin

 The Hormel Institute welcomed members of the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities (CGMC) on July 22. CGMC gathered in Austin for their Summer Conference. The group utilized the new Ray Live Learning Center for their meeting and also toured The Hormel Institute’s new expansion. To view a picture of the group, please visit this Facebook post.

Institute takes part in Riverland Career Café

Brenna Gerhart, Development Associate at The Hormel Institute, recently participated in the Career Café at Riverland Community College. The event provided an opportunity for students to meet with members of the community and learn more about possible career options. The Career Café was organized by the GED & College Prep Center through Austin Public Schools and the Be Your Best program at Riverland Community College.


“Like” The Hormel Institute on Facebook to get updates in your news feed on The Hormel Institute’s world-renowned cancer research, fundraising events throughout the year, cancer prevention tips and much more. The page’s content is open to the public – you do not need to be a Facebook member/user.

For more information about The Hormel Institute, please contact us at: info@hi.umn.edu
The Hormel Institute Today’s Research, Tomorrow’s Cures