The Hormel Institute announces $540,000 in cancer research grants

Published 6:46 am Friday, August 5, 2022

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The Hormel Institute is excited to announce over half a million dollars in research funds will be distributed to scientists through its Internal Grants Program. These seed grants are only made possible thanks to the community fundraisers Eagles Cancer Telethon, Paint the Town Pink, Karl’s Tourney/Karl Potach Foundation, Bowling for the Battle, and Blooming Prairie Cancer Group.  

“It is really moving and rewarding to see innovative cancer research projects such as these take place because of donations from our generous community,” said Gail Dennison, Director of Development and External Relations. 

Seed grants allow scientists to pursue innovative ideas and gain preliminary data which they then can use to secure greater grant funding from federal funding agencies such as National Cancer Institute, Department of Defense, National Institutes of Health, and more.  

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“On behalf of all of us here, we want to thank the leaders of these fundraisers and those who donate. Our scientists are full of gratitude as this support allows them to explore new ideas leading to more answers and more discoveries. We truly are all working together for the same reason – to find answers to cancer as quickly as possible so we can all lead longer, healthier lives,” Dennison said.

Internal Grants Program Recipients:

Karl R. Potach Foundation Research Award (Funds raised for Wilms’ tumor research through Karl’s Tourney)

  • “Identification of potential target genes in Wilms’ tumor progression” 

 Qiushi Wang, PhD

Prostate Cancer Research Award (Funded by Bowling for the Battle)

  • “New molecular regulation of prostate cancer progression”

 Luke Hoeppner, PhD 

Paint the Town Pink Awards 

  • “Gut microbiota as a mediator of increased breast cancer risk “

   Leena Hilakivi-Clarke, PhD

  • Targeting ALKBH5 RNA demethylase to inhibit activation of hepatic stellate  cells into tumor-promoting myofibroblasts” 

Ningling Kang, PhD 

  • “Investigating nucleocytoplasmic transport pathway for therapy in glioblastoma”   Gasper Kitange, PhD 
  • “Histone methylation and chromosome instability in DIPG”

 James Robinson, PhD 

Eagles Cancer Telethon Postdoctoral Fellowships

  • “Targeted inhibition of MDR1 in cancer therapy” 

 Devanshu Kurre, PhD and FNU Nandini, PhD

  • “Epigenetic regulation of TXNIP-dependent pro-oxidant signaling in breast cancer growth and progression” 

Jasvinder Singh, PhD and Anil Yadav, PhD


The proposals were reviewed using an external peer review process and were awarded based on their overall impact score. Ongoing distributions from individual and community donations for cancer/biomedical research continue throughout the year, and thanks to The Hormel Foundation, 100% of every donation is used exclusively to advance research, none for administrative costs.If you’d like to support The Hormel Institute’s cancer and biomedical research, visit