Hormel Institute Announces $540,000 in Cancer Research Grants awarded to scientists funded entirely by the community

The Hormel Institute has announced over half a million dollars in research funds will be distributed to scientists through its Internal Grants Program. The seed grants are made possible thanks to the community fundraisers Eagles Cancer Telethon, Paint the Town Pink, Karl’s Tourney/Karl Potach Foundation,  Bowling for the Battle, and Blooming Prairie Cancer Group. Officials with the Institute stated that seed grants allow scientists to pursue innovative ideas and gain preliminary data which they then can use to secure greater grant funding from federal funding agencies such as National Cancer Institute, Department of Defense, National Institutes of Health, and more.  Dr. Luke Hoeppner, an Assistant Professor and leader of the Cancer Biology research section at The Hormel Institute stated to KAUS that he will be using one of the seed grants to further research on prostate cancer…

Other internal grants program recipients include…

Karl R. Potach Foundation Research Award (Funds raised for Wilms’ tumor research through Karl’s Tourney)

  • “Identification of potential target genes in Wilms’ tumor progression” – Qiushi Wang, PhD

Prostate Cancer Research Award (Funded by Bowling for the Battle)

  • “New molecular regulation of prostate cancer progression” – Luke Hoeppner, PhD

Paint the Town Pink Awards

  • “Gut microbiota as a mediator of increased breast cancer risk” – Leena Hilakivi-Clarke, PhD
  • “Targeting ALKBH5 RNA demethylase to inhibit activation of hepatic stellate cells into tumor-promoting myofibroblasts” – Ningling Kang, PhD
  • “Investigating nucleocytoplasmic transport pathway for therapy in glioblastoma” – Gasper Kitange, PhD
  • “Histone methylation and chromosome instability in DIPG” – James Robinson, PhD

Eagles Cancer Telethon Postdoctoral Fellowships

  • “Targeted inhibition of MDR1 in cancer therapy” – Devanshu Kurre, PhD and Nandini, PhD
  • “Epigenetic regulation of TXNIP-dependent pro-oxidant signaling in breast cancer growth and progression” – Jasvinder Singh, PhD and Anil Yadav, PhD

The proposals were reviewed using an external peer review process and were awarded based on their overall impact score. 

Ongoing distributions from individual and community donations for cancer/biomedical research continue throughout the year, and Institute officials stated that thanks to The Hormel Foundation, 100% of every donation is used exclusively to advance research, none for administrative costs.