Institute’s Dr. Zigang Dong stepping down after nearly 18 years

Published 6:32 pm Wednesday, May 15, 2019

The Hormel Institute announced Wednesday that after nearly 18 years of leading the world-renowned cancer research center, Executive Director Dr. Zigang Dong is stepping down.

Dr. Dong will transition from his institute-wide administrative role to that of special assistant to the University of Minnesota Vice President of Research Christopher J. Cramer and the Vice President for Academic and Clinical Affairs Jakub Tolar according to a press release late Wednesday afternoon.

The Hormel Institute’s Executive Director Dr. Zigang Dong and Associate Director Dr. Ann Bode are pictured in one of the institute’s exam rooms. It was announced Wednesday that Dr. Dong will be stepping down from his role and that Dr. Bode will become the interim director. Herald file photo

Dr. Dong will be working to develop a clinical, academic and financial blueprint for a planned dermatology clinic at the Institute.

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However, he will also continue to lead his lab at the Institute, which focuses on molecular mechanisms of carcinogenesis and prevention of cancer, as well as novel targets and agents for skin cancer prevention and therapy according to the release.

It was also announced that Institute Associate Director Prof. Ann M. Bode will become the interim director of the institute during this period of transition. Dr. Bode is also the leader of the Biomarkers and Drug Resistance and Molecular and Cellular Biology research sections. She has been with the Institute since 1999.

“We thank Dr. Dong for his many contributions to the Institute as a leader and scientist, and look forward to the next chapter of discovery and innovation at The Hormel Institute,” Cramer said through the press release.