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Robert Clarke Named New Hormel Institute Executive Director

The Hormel Institute front lobby

This summer, The Hormel Institute will welcome a new leader to guide its world-class cancer research.

Robert Clarke, MD, an internationally recognized leader in breast cancer research, will assume his role as the sixth executive director of the University of Minnesota institute on August 31. In this role, Clarke will oversee efforts to advance knowledge around the mechanisms of cancer development and discover better ways to prevent, detect, and treat cancer in its many forms.

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Robert Clarke headshot
Robert Clarke, MD

“Throughout its nearly eight decades of history, The Hormel Institute has been home to many accomplished researchers whose discoveries have helped to improve human health,” Clarke said in a recent news release. “In assuming the role of executive director, I look forward to joining these talented researchers and charting the institute’s future course toward an even greater understanding of the mechanisms underlying cancer and the uncovering of new possibilities in its prevention and treatment.”

Clarke is currently a professor of oncology at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, where he codirects the Breast Cancer Program at the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. There he studies how hormones, growth factors, and other related molecules affect breast cancer, and how breast cancers become resistant to hormonal and cytotoxic chemotherapies. Clarke’s broader research expertise includes estrogens, antiestrogens, aromatase inhibitors, cell signaling, bioinformatics, drug resistance, signal transduction, and systems biology.

“The research being done every day at The Hormel Institute holds enormous potential to reduce the devastating impacts of cancer on our lives and improve the health of people not just here in Minnesota, but around the world,” said Chris Cramer, UMN vice president for research. “In welcoming Dr. Clarke to lead the institute, with his exceptional experience and expertise, we are helping ensure the institute can reach its greatest potential in the fight against cancer.”

Leena A. Hilakivi-Clarke, MD, also a professor of oncology at Georgetown University, will join The Hormel Institute as a section leader. Hilakivi-Clarke’s research involves studying the role of diet in breast cancer and in women’s health.

See the news release for more information.

Kevin Coss

Kevin Coss

Kevin is a writer with the Office of the Vice President for Research.

coss@umn.edu

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