Dr. Robert Clarke joins Hormel Institute as its sixth Executive Director

Dr. Robert Clarke today joins The Hormel Institute as its sixth executive director. Dr. Clarke is a recognized world leader in cancer research and will lead the Institute’s next era of scientific advancement to further knowledge around the mechanisms of cancer development and better ways to prevent, detect, and treat cancer. 

Work is underway to move Dr. Clarke’s research labs to The Hormel Institute UMN along with his team of scientists. Dr. Leena Hilakivi-Clarke will also join The Hormel Institute to head a research lab and her research studies the role of diet in breast cancer and women’s health. 

In addition to his role as executive director, Dr. Clarke holds a faculty appointment with the University of Minnesota Medical School, which also begins today. Dr. Clarke was previously a professor of oncology and co- director of the Breast Cancer Program at the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Care Center in Washington, D.C. 

Roland G. Gentzler, Treasurer of The Hormel Foundation, chaired the search committee that hired Dr. Clarke as the new director after a national search. Dr. Ann M. Bode, former Associate Director of The Hormel Institute, served as interim executive director from May 2019 to August 2020 and will assist in the transfer of leadership. 

Over the next few weeks Dr. Clarke will continue to meet with faculty and staff from The Hormel Institute and leadership from University of Minnesota, as well as with collaborators from Masonic Cancer Center, Mayo Clinic, The Hormel Foundation and regional/ local leaders. As COVID-19 allows, community members will be invited to meet Dr. Clarke at events planned throughout the fall and spring.