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Hormel Institute Prepares for Expansion

Created: 08/12/2014 7:02 PM KAALtv.com
By: Dan Conradt

(ABC 6 News) -- Within days, work should be underway on a $27 million project that will double the size of the Hormel Institute in Austin.

And there should be no problem filling the jobs that will be created as a result.

"Fifteen labs and five core areas -- pretty much a duplicate of the lab facilities we have now," said the Institute’s Craig Jones. “Supposed to be a 14 month construction period."

“We've advertised for two faculty positions, so that will be section leaders," said the Institute's Gail Dennison. “We received about 280 applications."

The field was narrowed to about 40.

"Of those, we're holding initial Skype interviews with about 20, and from there we'll invite for personal face-to-face interviews," Dennison told us.

The new section leaders will be chosen following those interviews.

"They in turn hire the scientists and technicians to carry out the research, said Dennison. "Often they'll bring people they've been working with a couple of core science groups with them."

So why would 280 of the world’s top bio-medical researchers want to come to the Hormel Institute?

“First of all, they're aware  of our very good reputation of doing very good science," Dennison told us.

The Institute is part of a 'science triad' with the University of Minnesota and the Mayo Clinic.

"We have this beautiful building, we have technology that they will have access to. Our grant record, our ability to be published in the world's top cancer research journals," Dennison said. “We're small, but we're very good."

Photo: ABC 6 News