E-Progress Report of The Hormel Institute



On behalf of the faculty and staff of The Hormel Institute, we thank our leaders and community for the 2016 expansion. The official grand opening celebration on June 1 was a wonderful event and we appreciate all who were able to attend and show support. A special thank you is sent to U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, the office of Senator Al Franken, Governor Mark Dayton, Lt. Governor Tina Smith, U.S. Representative Tim Walz, Minnesota Senator Dave Senjem, Minnesota Senator Dan Sparks, and Minnesota Representative Jeanne Poppe for playing a role in advancing cancer research in Southern Minnesota. Also, thank you to former Senator Norm Coleman, the keynote speaker of the 7th China-US Forum on Frontiers in Cancer Research. Please also read the Austin Daily Herald’s Letter to the Editor thanking those who played a role in the building expansion.

The recent expansion is a historic milestone for The Hormel Institute and we remain dedicated to our research – to finding discoveries that will prevent cancer and extend and improve lives worldwide. We are grateful to all of the people and organizations who generously supported this vitally needed space for Institute scientists to further their research.

Through your support of The Hormel Institute, you have expanded our ability to further discoveries in the quest to find new answers to cancer.

We are truly “Coming Together for the Cure.”

In friendship,

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


Institute hosts Grand Opening for 20 new labs and Ray Live Learning Center
Hundreds gathered on June 1 to celebrate the two-year building project that more than doubles the size of The Hormel Institute. U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar and Congressman Tim Walz joined leaders from across the community, region, country, and globally from China, South Korea and beyond, who came together to take part in the official expansion grand opening program. The expansion allows space for another 120 faculty and staff to be added over the next few years and also includes a new global communications learning center. For more, read “The Hormel Institute – 2nd major expansion in 8 years.

More coverage of the Grand Opening included these features:
Star Tribune – “Austin’s Hormel Institute cancer research center expands again
Austin Daily Herald – “Primed for research; Institute expansion paves the way for more cancer-fighting
Expansion adds Ray Live Learning Center, sculpture, technology
Post Bulletin – “Hormel Institute hosts grand opening for expansion
Hormel Institute opens new lab, patient space
KTTC – “Hormel Institute celebrates expansion with grand opening
KAAL – “Hormel Institute Expansion Grand Opening
KIMT – “The Hormel Institute unveils newest expansion


Institute’s research in top journal Nature

A recent research study at The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota is providing insight into the regulation of chromosome segregation and the mechanisms used by cells to prevent them from forming tumors. Dr. Edward “Ted” Hinchcliffe, leader of the Cellular Dynamics research section, directed the research now featured in one of the world’s top scientific journals, Nature Cell Biology. Nature journals have about 3 million online readers per month in addition to the top scientific community worldwide. For more information, please view the KAAL feature.

The Hormel Institute Hosts First Cancer Conference of 2016

The new Ray Live Learning Center, a 250-seat auditorium with state of the art communications technology and a large multipurpose center, has already provided a gathering a presentation space for international scientists. The Hormel Institute hosted the “7th China-U.S. Forum on Frontiers of Cancer Research & the 4th Hormel Institute Research Conference” from June 1-3. The three-day international cancer conference brought 150 cancer research scientists from around the world to share their most recent findings.

Expansion Comes with New Cryo-Electron Microscope

The Hormel Institute continues to add state-of-the-art technology to its International Center of Research Technology. The new east addition is now home to the most powerful and flexible high-resolution electron microscope available today and captures 2 dimensional (2D) and 3D images using cryo-electron microscopy (EM). As part of the recent building expansion, a specialized laboratory was designed to accommodate the new FEI Titan Krios G2 microscope. For more information, read the Austin Daily Herald’s article, “Big science on a big scale; Microscope brings new power to cancer fight.”

Institute adds translational research doctor/ patient rooms

The 2016 expansion provides space for The Hormel Institute to conduct first stage clinical trials under its own management. Two patient rooms were designed and constructed as part of the east building expansion. The doctor/patient suite of rooms will allow The Hormel Institute to move from basic research into the next phase – translational cancer research. Translational research, more commonly known as clinical trials, applies findings from basic science to enhance human health and well-being.

Internal seminar series at Institute shares research

Recent internal seminars at The Hormel Institute featured a variety of research projects.  Dr. Shujun Liu, leader of the Cancer Epigenetics & Experimental Therapeutics research section at The Hormel Institute, presented May 5 on “AML1/ETO-HIF1a-DNMT3a Axis Defines Unique Epigenetic Patterns in AML Cells.” On May 19, Tatyana Zykova, a scientist in the Cellular & Molecular Biology research section at The Hormel Institute, gave a presentation titled, ““T-Lak Cell-Originated Protein Kinase (TOPK) functions in cancer.” 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 to host summer expansion open houses

The public can look forward to two more opportunities this summer to tour The Hormel Institute’s expansion. Free tours will take visitors through the new labs 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. The open houses will take place on Friday, July 29, from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturday, July 30, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.


China physicians visit Austin, Minn.

Physicians and hospital administrators from China visited The Hormel Institute in May and met with Executive Director Dr. Zigang Dong and Gail Dennison, Director of Development and Public Relations. The visitors learned about the history, research, and recent building expansion of The Hormel Institute. After touring the Institute, the group visited Mayo Clinic Health System in Austin. To view a photo from the visit, please visit The Hormel Institute’s facebook post.


Memorial motorcycle ride in Iowa to raise funding for Institute’s cancer research

For the third-straight year, the 5th annual Norma Foster Memorial “Ride for a Reason” fundraiser has designated The Hormel Institute as the recipient of the proceeds from its event, which will be July 30 in Riceville, Iowa. In 2015, “Ride for a Reason” donated $21,000 in support to The Hormel Institute in memory of Norma Foster, who passed away in 2011 at age 55 from cancer. Aside from the motorcycles and classic cars, the event also will feature live and silent auctions along with raffles and food. For more information, visit the “Ride for a Reason” facebook event.

Golf tournament in memory of area native raising support again for Institute

Family and friends of the late Ryan Gordon, who passed away in 2011 from stomach cancer at age 42, will honor his memory and passion for golf on June 18 by hosting the 4th annual Ryan Gordon Memorial Golf Tournament at the Cedar River Golf Course in Adams, MN. Over the last three years, the memorial event has raised more than $15,000 in support for The Hormel Institute’s cancer research. For full details and registration information, read, “Memorial event in Adams returning to support Institute.”


SURE Interns begin a summer of hands-on research

Twelve college undergraduate science students will begin their SURE (Summer Undergraduate Research Experience) internships this month. Each intern will have a 10-week, paid internship working alongside a mentor scientist in one of the cancer research sections of The Hormel Institute. This year’s group of high-achieving interns come from universities in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania. For more information on the SURE internship, please view the SURE webpage.


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