Members of the Austin Port Authority, local legislators, and personnel from The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota in Austin held a press conference at Minnesota State Capitol Tuesday afternoon to share information and gain support for the Minnesota Bioimaging Center (MBiC) in the 2024 bonding bill. The $20 million project will house a technology that will be installed at The Hormel Institute in August, and would be the first of its kind in North America to advance imaging capabilities.  State District 23B Representative Patricia Mueller, a Republican from Austin was on hand to speak at the press conference, and talked about how the project would positively impact not only the state of Minnesota, but the entire country as well..

District 23 Senator Gene Dornink, a Republican from Brownsdale was also on hand to voice his support for the project…

Jason Baskin, the President of the Austin Port Authority, who will serve as the fiscal agent for the project stated at the news conference that we are in a race when it comes to cancer diagnosis…

Dr. Susan Hafenstein, the Head of the Cryo EM department at the Institute stated that the MBiC project will expand state-of-the-art bioimaging capabilities at the Institute to accelerate scientific discoveries for scientists throughout Minnesota and the Midwest….

Dr. Robert Clarke, Executive Director of the Institute stated to those on hand at the press conference that they are proposing a project that will be transformational….

Dr. Clarke went on to state that the goal is to serve Minnesota, Minnesotans and the research they conduct first…

The Hormel Institute was the 7th facility in the United States to have a Titan Krios Cryo-Electron microscope, the Nobel-prize-winning technology that helps advance the understanding of cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, coronavirus, and more.

MBiC will also offer an innovative STEM education program for Minnesota students and a workforce training and education program to create a pipeline of Minnesota-trained innovators to help meet the worldwide workforce needs for this cutting-edge field. The Hormel Institute is requesting $20 million in funding to be allocated for the project from the state’s 2024 bonding bill, and the $20 million total would be matched or exceeded by the Institute.   Lawmakers say their biggest priority this session is passing a bonding bill due to the fact that the state typically relies on borrowed money for construction projects on roads, bridges, wastewater plants, as well as maintenance of university buildings and other state assets. 

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