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Hormel Institute continues impact on national cancer research

Dr. Sergio Gradilone, senior faculty member of The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota, earned an invite to serve as a member of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Hepatobiliary Pathophysiology Study Section.   These critically important study sections review grant applications for specialized research and Dr. Gradilone will serve for a term of six years.

Dr. Gradilone leads the Cancer Cell Biology & Translational Research lab at The Hormel Institute and his research focuses on how a normal cell becomes a cancerous one, looking specifically at the primary cilium, a part of a cell similar to an antenna that receives signals from the environment around it. Dr. Gradilone’s research is currently directed at an aggressive form of liver cancer called cholangiocarcinoma which originates in the epithelial cells of the bile ducts.

The Hepatobiliary Pathophysiology Study Section reviews grant applications for research involving diseases of the liver, gallbladder, bile ducts or bile. While the study section looks at a wide range of diseases, Dr. Gradilone will bring his cancer expertise to the group.  The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is a major government source of research grants and all applications go to the NIH’s Center for Scientific Review. To make sure each application is properly vetted, there are study sections made up of experts in their respective fields who review those applications.

Study section members are selected based on their publishing record, participation in major scientific
meetings, grant funding, and overall recognition of expertise within the field. Members give a significant
amount of professional time to their duties and perform and important function in the grant process for
biomedical research.

The Hormel Institute is made up of 20 plus cancer research sections led by PIs (principle investigators) who are professors, associate professors or assistant professors leading his or her area of cancer research. Many of The Hormel Institute’s section leaders serve or have served on grant review panels including interim executive director Dr. Ann M. Bode who has served as an ad hoc member of the NIH Small Business Innovation Research, Drug Discovery and Molecular Pharmacology, Chemo/Dietary Prevention, and Minority Fellowship Training study sections.


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