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Thanks, PTTP! Grants of $200,000 distributed to work at Institute

Thanks to Paint the Town Pink, cancer research at The Hormel Institute got a boost in the arm Wednesday.

Eight, $25,000 grants were awarded to research scientists, funded through Paint the Town Pink events held from Jan. 30 to Feb. 12. The funds will support the scientists’ research in trying to fight breast cancer.

The $200,000 in grants distributed represented the majority of funds raised, some $306,000. The goal was $300,000.

On hand to help present the grants were members of the PTTP committee, who oversees the multi-community pink events, ranging from signature events such as Paint the Rink Pink, to Plunging for Pink Polar Plunge, and others. Committee Chairman Kathi Finley thanked all involved and urged continued support for PTTP.

Dr. Edward Hinchcliffe, one of the grant recipients, said the grants are perhaps more important than some may realize. New research often fails to land grants or federal funding; these grants “spur on new research,” he said.

Justin Hovde, with the Dutchtown Jumpers, cannonballs into East Side Lake this past February. Herald file photo

And that is particularly gratifying for all cancer research, since it is believed that triggers for breast cancer are triggers for many kinds, he added.

One example of the eight projects funded includes one by Dr. Anna Sundborger, who will use the large Trian Krios electron microscope in her work in developing a down-regulation strategy in the treatment of the aggressive triple negative breast cancer.

Public Affairs Director Gail Dennison extended thanks to everyone in the community who supported the PTTP events, and especially the committee that works so hard.

“You are the heart and soul of Paint the Town Pink,” Dennison said.

She added that continued support will carry the fight for everyone.

“We have all been affected by cancer,” Dennison said, adding that 100 percent of all donations go to the cause.

Dr. Zigang Dong, executive director of the Institute, said “We are deeply honored by Paint the Town Pink and thankful to every group and every person who supports it. It raises awareness about personal healthcare and early detection and the funds raised are so important to further research.

“We know lives are extended and therapies improved and cancer prevented altogether because of research. These donations are how people can help and we thank our generous communities.”

Other research grants, in addition to that given to Sundborger, include:

•Dr. Rhoderick Rick Brown, “Role of Inflammation in Breast Cancer Initiation and Progression: Intervention Potential by Sphingolipid Transfer Proteins.”

•Dr. Yibin Deng: “Targeting Therapy for BRCA1/Trp53 Mutation-dirven Triple Negative Breast Cancer in vivo.”

•Dr. Sergio Gradilone: “Ciliotheraphy: Restoration of Primary Cilia as a Targeted Therapy in Breast Cancer.”

•Dr. Edward Hinchcliffe: “the role of relo-man/PP1y in regulation chromosome instability.”

•Dr. Luke Hoeppner: “New treatments that promote recovery from radiation dermatitis are necessary to improve the quality of life and clinical outcome of breast cancer patients by alleviating painful short-and long-term radiation side effects to ensure completion of radiation therapy regimens.”

•Dr. Shujun Liu: “The clinical implications of the FABP4-DNMT1 cascade in breast cancer.”

•Dr. Rebecca Morris, “Blood epithelial trafficking in mammary cancer.”