Hormel Institute welcomes scientific additions to its staff

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 4, 2002

Dr. David Wan-Cheng Li and Dr. Junxuan Lu have joined the faculty of the Hormel Institute.

Dr. Zigang Dong, executive director of the institute, made the announcement, saying, "We are happy and proud to have these two scientists join our research efforts at Hormel Institute."

Dr. Li is an assistant professor of cellular and developmental biology at the institute in Austin.

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Before coming to Austin, Li was assistant professor of molecular biology at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

He came to America in 1986 to be a research and teaching assistant at the University of Washington-Seattle.

Li has earned many honors. Most recently, he received the New Jersey Foundation research award at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

He was also honored with the first investigator award from the national Institute of Health, the International Society For Eye research and the NIH's individual post doctoral award among other recognitions.

He is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, American Society for Cell Biology and other scientific and research organizations.

He has contributed 28 publications in his field of study and research.

Selenium is focus

Dr. Lu, an associate professor at the institute, previously was a scientist with the associate professor rank in the areas of cancer causation and prevention at the AMC Cancer Research Center, Denver, Colo.

Lu came to American in 1984 to be a graduate research assistant at Cornell University in the areas of animal nutrition and nutritional biochem.

Among the services, memberships and awards the scientist has earned are the Liu Memorial award for academic and research excellence at Cornell University, Graduate School, full membership in the University of Colorado Comprehensive Cancer Center and National Institute of Health study section's ad hoc reviewer and special emphasis panels.

He has also served as an ad hoc reviewer for several scientific journals and been published in selected peer-reviewed publications.

He has received research support and been the principal investigator in such areas as the cellular and molecular processes and mechanisms by which selenium inhibits angiogenesis.

"The ultimate goal of our research is to cure cancer through prevention," he said. "Cancer is a complex host of diseases underlied by multiple genetic and enigenetic alterations, taking decades to develop into the clinical problems as we know today."

"Our specific objectives are to understand the biochemical, cellular and molecular processes crucial for the genesis of cancer and to develop mechanism-based cancer prevention strategies for implementation through supplements, functional foods and drug approaches to reduce the morbidity and mortality of cancer," he said.

"By targeting multiple pathways with cocktails of chemical agents early during the cancer initiation, promotion and progression processes, we envision that the rare occurrence of clinical cancer will be delayed into the real old age and that cancer that does occur will become management as other chronic diseases such as diabetes."

Key to much of his research is selenium, one of the essential trace elements in the human body. The nutrient, according to Lu, is the subject of much discussion and even controversy, but he believes a tantalizing vehicle to examine if it does inhibit angiogenesis and its impact on heart disease and arthritis as well as cancer.

Born July 15, 1962 in Lai-wu County, Shandong Province, China (PRC), he and his wife, Cheng (Cherry) Jiang, a medical doctor, have a son, Jeffrey Colorado, born in 1995.

Dr. Jiang is a senior research associate in cancer biology and prevention at Hormel Institute.

Lee Bonorden can be contacted at 434-2232 or by e-mail at