INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Institute partners with China’s Henan Province for medical research progress
Leaders from The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota-Mayo Clinic, and China’s Henan Province announced a major collaborative partnership development in October that will accelerate discoveries aimed at improving health worldwide. Executive Director Dr. Zigang Dong of The Hormel Institute joined The Honorable Tie Wang, Vice Governor of Henan Province – one of China’s largest provinces – in presenting details about their new partnership during a major event in Austin that included Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, U.S. Rep. Tim Walz and many state and local leaders. For more information, read Institute announces next worldwide development.”
Dong chosen as “star speaker” for lecture at NCI
Dr. Zigang Dong, Executive Director of The Hormel Institute in Austin, MN, was featured Nov. 5 as a star speaker at the National Cancer Institute. Dong, one of the world’s leading experts on cancer prevention, gave a lecture titled, “Can We Win the War Against Cancer by Prevention?” as part of NCI’s “Stars in Nutrition & Cancer” series. The lecture was given at the National Institutes of Health’s main campus in Bethesda, Md. In his lecture, Dong, co-leader of The Hormel Institute’s Cellular & Molecular Biology research section, discussed why cancer is still a major public health concern in the world, why prevention is critical to lowering the incidence of cancer worldwide, and why nutritional foods should be recognized as important for cancer prevention.
Major federal grant received for skin cancer research
A five-year federal grant totaling more than $1.7 million recently was awarded for skin cancer research led by Dr. Rebecca Morris, leader of the Stem Cells and Cancer section at The Hormel Institute. Morris, whose research uses adult, non-human stem cells, has worked to identify stem cell-regulating genes for 10 years, and has found a gene that appears to be linked to stem cell numbers and helping to protect against skin tumor development. This gene also might have an immune function in the skin that can fight bacteria and protect against environmental damage. As stem cell research leads to discoveries to improve health, these cells can be obtained through ways – such as from adult tissue stem cells or through bio-engineering – to avoid the ethical issues of how to secure stem cells for treatment. For more information, read “Institute receives major funding for skin cancer study.”
Breast cancer research focuses on Type 2 diabetes drug
Researchers at The Hormel Institute are in their second year of working under a major federal grant to determine whether a drug commonly prescribed for Type 2 diabetes has preventive qualities related to breast cancer. Dr. Margot Cleary, leader of the Institute’s Nutrition and Metabolism research section, is leading the project – funded by a five-year grant totaling more than $1.5 million – to study if treatment using the drug metformin offers similar actions as calorie restriction in preventing mammary tumors. Work also will help determine if body weight status affects the anti-cancer actions of metformin and calorie restriction. For more information, read “Institute Gets 5-Year Grant to Study Breast Cancer.”
Plans moving ahead for Institute’s upcoming expansion
In 2013, The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota-Mayo Clinic, in Austin will be doubling in size through the construction of 20 state-of-the-art laboratories and space for an additional 120 scientific research jobs. With its 2006-2008 major expansion project, The Hormel Institute tripled its research lab space and developed an International Center for Research Technology that today includes two IBM supercomputers among other cutting-edge technology. To view drawings of the upcoming project, see 2013 Expansion.
Austin preparing to go pink for Institute
The Hormel Institute, Austin Bruins hockey organization, Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau and the entire Austin community are planning already for the 3rd annual “Paint the Rink Pink” Bruins hockey game and the 2nd annual “Paint the Town Pink” citywide initiative. Both events in early February will raise awareness and tens of thousands of dollars for The Hormel Institute’s cutting-edge breast cancer research. Last year, “Paint the Rink Pink” raised nearly $39,000 as part of more than $62,500 raised overall for the Institute’s breast cancer research. For more information on “Paint the Town Pink,” visit the Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Hormel Foods plant workers donate
Nearly $2,400 was donated in October by Hormel Foods Austin Plant employees in support of The Hormel Institute’s world-renowned cancer research. The annual Deryl Arnold Memorial Golf Tournament now has given more than $10,000 to the Institute’s cancer research in the past four years. For more information, read “Annual golf tourney supports The Hormel Institute.”
Tolly Tourney donates
More than $13,000 was donated to The Hormel Institute for cancer research by the 2nd annual Dave “Tolly” Tollefson Memorial Golf Tournament. The event in June is held in memory of Tolly, a long-time Austin business owner and beloved community leader who died from cancer in 2009. In two years, the Tolly Tourney has raised $32,500 for the Institute’s cancer research. For more information, read “Tolly Tourney donates to Institute.”
Anti-cancer powers of ginger
Plants of the ginger family have been credited with therapeutic and preventive powers as well as having anti-cancer qualities. Ginger root’s main active compound called -gingerol is the one that gives ginger its distinctive flavor. The Hormel Institute has made significant discoveries related to the anti-cancer qualities of -gingerol. Research results strongly suggest that ginger compounds might be effective chemopreventive and/or chemotherapeutic agents for colorectal cancer.