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Dear Friends,

We hope you are enjoying a healthy and active summer.  We continue to grow and make progress in cancer research at a rapid pace at The Hormel Institute, thanks to your continued generous support.  Each week we have new faculty candidates who visit from top institutions across the USA, seeking to join The Hormel Institute. The interview process is extensive and we thank our partners across the city that help us, such as Kristin Olson (Community Concierge), Austin Public Schools, Science Park Housing and more.   Know that virtually every candidate is impressed by our beautiful cancer research center and our friendly, welcoming city.  With the new Austin Recreation Center now under construction, there is ever more to be excited about in showing that Austin is a great community in which to live and The Hormel Institute is an outstanding place to research. Thank you again for making all this possible.

In friendship,

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


$50,000 in prostate cancer grants awarded to Institute researchers

The Hormel Institute awarded two $25,000 seed grants to Institute researchers to begin innovative prostate cancer research projects funded by the new Prostate Cancer Research Fund. Drs. Yibin Deng and Rendong Yang were awarded the grants, which can be renewed for a second year of funding. A growing regional fundraiser, Bowling for the Battle led by the Tom Gillard family and Farmers Insurance, provided the funds for the research grants.

PTTP grants renewed for second year

The Hormel Institute announced eight seed grants will be given continued funding for innovative breast cancer research projects underway at The Hormel Institute. Each Paint the Town Pink grant awards $25,000 per year for a two-year research project. These grants are funded entirely through Paint the Town Pink, a community-led fundraising effort that has raised almost $1.5 million over the past eight years for cancer research at The Hormel Institute.

Dr. James Robinson speaks at Relay for Life

Dr. James Robinson, head of the Cell Signaling & Tumorigenesis lab at The Hormel Institute, spoke at the Relay for Life Event on July 28 in Austin, MN. Dr. Robinson researches drug resistant melanoma and talked to the crowd about the importance of early detection and ways to help prevent skin cancer. In 2017, Dr. Robinson received the American Cancer Society Research Scholar Award to expand his research into drug resistance in melanoma.

Institute to host conference in September

The Hormel Institute will co-host The 9th China-U.S. Forum on Frontiers of Cancer Research and The 6th Zhengzhou International Cancer Forum in Zhengzhou, China in September. The annual conference brings together scientists from across the globe to focus on Precision Oncology, Cancer Prevention and Therapy and will be held at The Hormel Institute in Austin in 2019.


Yale Professor joins The Hormel Institute

Dr. Bin Liu joined The Hormel Institute this month as Assistant Professor in the Transcription and Gene Regulation lab. Dr. Liu’s innovative research focus is in determining the molecular structures of macromolecular complexes using Cryo-EM and X-ray crystallography.  Dr. Liu was previously an Associate Research Scientist at Yale University.


SURE Interns – Summer Students

Our SURE interns are here for the summer.  Each summer we welcome 10 students, usually entering their junior or senior year of college, to The Hormel Institute for a paid internship.  The students work directly in the lab with scientists, gaining real-world experience for students who plan to pursue careers in medicine/health/biotech. This year’s interns include Noah Johnson, Madison Jones, Adrienne Wessel, Hannah Hitchcock, Christina Hernandez, Ryan Kempen, Samantha Skaar, Sydney Hastings, Luke Von Eschen, and Zehua Shao. Additional summer students this year are Paiton Schwab and Daire Dolan working in the labs of Dr. Ted Hinchcliffe and Dr. Rebecca Morris.

 Open houses in August

Come visit The Hormel Institute! Free tours will provide a look at our facility and give you a window into how our innovative cancer research gets done every day.

Friday, August 24, 2-4pm

Saturday, August 25, 11am-1pM

 Brenna Gerhart joins Austin Leadership as part of their 2018-2019 cohort. Austin Leadership is a program that allows participants to learn about the Austin community and connect with area leaders.


Cancer Research Fundraiser a Success

A huge thank you to everyone who helped raise $75,000 for The Hormel Institute’s Paint the Town Pink cancer research fund at the Hotel California “A Salute to the Eagles” concert on July 10. Not only did the event raise money for cancer research, but ticket sponsors also provided free tickets to families affected by cancer to come enjoy a fun and carefree night. The concert was held at The Hormel Institute’s Ray Live Learning Center auditorium with the evening’s concert, food and related expenses entirely paid for by Gary and Pat Ray.  Richard and Nancy Knowlton gave a matching pledge gift of $25,000 and Hy-Vee cosponsored the food/beverage.  We appreciate this gift that will accelerate answers to cancer.

Ryan Gordon Memorial Golf Tournament raises record amount

The Ryan Gordon Memorial Golf Tournament donated $11,161 to The Hormel Institute this year and has given $46,113 to fund the cutting-edge cancer research of The Hormel Institute since 2013. The tournament is in memory of Adams native Ryan Gordon who passed away from stomach cancer in 2011 and was an avid golfer. His parents Roger and Shirley Gordon, along with his family and friends, created the tournament in 2013 to support cancer research while playing the game Ryan was so passionate about.


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For more information about The Hormel Institute, please contact us at:
The Hormel Institute Today’s Research, Tomorrow’s Cures