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Robert Clarke, PhD, DSc, of Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., has been named the next executive director of The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota. The Hormel Institute is part of the University’s Office of the Vice President for Research and affiliated with the University’s Masonic Cancer Center.

Dr. Clarke, an internationally recognized leader in breast cancer research, will lead the institute’s work to advance knowledge around the mechanisms of cancer development and to discover better ways to prevent, detect and treat cancer in its many forms. He will begin in the role on Aug. 31 and will also hold a faculty appointment with the UMN Twin Cities Medical School.

Dr. Clarke will be the sixth executive director to lead The Hormel Institute since it was started by Jay C. Hormel in 1942 and gifted to the University of Minnesota. Dr. Ann Bode, who currently serves as interim executive director, will continue to provide support throughout the transition. Events planned for the fall will allow the community, partners, and stakeholders to meet the new executive director.

Dr. Leena A. Hilakivi-Clarke, a professor of oncology at Georgetown University, will also 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.

"We look forward to welcoming Dr. Robert Clarke and Dr. Leena Hilakivi-Clarke to our community to further the great success and progress of The Hormel Institute," said Jeffrey M. Ettinger, chair of The Hormel Foundation.