As October “Breast Cancer Awareness” month comes to a close, it also kicks off a year of innovative cancer research funded by the community at The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota. The upcoming Paint the Town Pink season will be the tenth year and leaders aim to “raise a record number” of events, dollars, grants, participating communities and donations. Austin and surrounding communities and even states have come together to raise money for innovative cancer research at The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota.

Paint the Town Pink started in 2011 with a single Austin Bruins hockey game with pink ice, raising $23,000. Over the past ten years, Paint the Town Pink has grown to include a multitude of events throughout the year and has raised over $1.77 million to support breast cancer research at The Hormel Institute. This amazing show of support from the community has inspired and energized each of the researchers at The Hormel Institute.

In 2017, Paint the Town Pink distributed eight $25,000 seed grants to scientists at The Hormel Institute with innovative ideas for breast cancer research. Each of those grants were renewed for a second year in 2018. While the campaign is called “Paint the Town Pink” and signifies breast cancer, the research projects and studies benefit the understanding of many cancers. Faculty are invited to apply for PTTP grants specific to breast cancer OR other cancers.

This year, five new innovative PTTP research $30,000 grants were awarded at The Hormel Institute. These seed grants fund research which would not otherwise be possible, and allow Institute scientists to gather preliminary data in novel areas. The researchers then use that data to apply for larger national grants to continue their research.

This year’s Paint the Town Pink grant recipients and research projects are:

Dr. Ilana Chefetz – ALDH inhibitors in TNBC

Dr. Yibin Deng – Targeting human translation initiation factor eIF4A/eIF4G complex inhibits pathogenesis of inflammatory breast cancer in vivo

Dr. Sergio Gradilone – Development of targeted therapy for triple-negative breast cancer

Dr. Liang Liu – Hairless As A Novel Tumor Suppressor Gene in Breast Cancer

Dr. Shujun Liu – The Role of the FTO/m6A Axis in Breast Cancer

Paint the Town Pink has events scheduled throughout 2020 to celebrate 10 years of funding breast cancer research at The Hormel Institute and to thank the community for their amazing support. The celebration and goal to “Raise a Record Number” includes concerts, seminars and special events.

PTTP is a reflection of the community’s goal to accelerate answers to cancer and people and groups are urged to plan now how to support Paint the Town Pink and “raise a record number” in 2020.

For more information on Paint the Town Pink visit or contact Paint the Town Pink director Kathi Finley at [email protected] or 507-460-0259.