Maria Burnatowska-Hledin Appointed
Frederich Garrett and Helen Floor Dekker Endowed Professorship
Dr. Maria Burnatowska-Hledin of the Hope College biology and chemistry faculty holds the
Frederich Garrett and Helen Floor Dekker Endowed Professorship.
The professorship was established through the estate of Dr. Fred
H. Decker and Marie V. Buranek Decker to provide financial support
for a faculty member who has an established record of excellence
in biophysics, biomedicine or biology. Dr. Decker was a 1921 Hope
The chair was established in the 1980s. Its first recipients were
biologist Dr. Harvey Blankespoor, who held the chair from 1988
until retiring in 2002; and chemist Dr. Michael Silver, who held
it from 2002 until retiring at the end of the 2008-09 school year.
Burnatowska-Hledin has been a member of the Hope faculty since
1992. Her research concerns the protein VACM-1/cul 5, seeking to
understand the role that it may play in inhibiting the growth of
cancer cells as well as cancer-induced angiogenesis (growth of
She has received a variety of grants in support of her work, including
a multi-year, $503,303 award from the National Institutes of Health
(NIH) in 1994, and awards from the American Heart Association,
and most recently she received a grant from the National Cancer
Institute, titled "VACM-1, a cul 5 gene regulates cell growth
and angionesis." In 1999, she received one of only six "Henry
Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Awards" presented nationwide to professors
in the chemical sciences by the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation
in recognition of her teaching, mentorship, and accomplishments
in research and teaching. She has authored more than 40 publications,
in scientific journals including the "American Journal of
Physiology," "Microvascular Research," "Toxicology" and
the "Journal of Clinical Investigation."
Burnatowska-Hledin has mentored more than 80 students in research
during her time at Hope. A number of the students who have worked
with her have earned co-author credits on published articles related
to their research, and the students in her research group regularly
make presentations at national and regional professional society
In March 2009 she received the "Dean's Science Division Faculty
Research Award" from the college.
Endowed chairs are established by donors who wish to assist the
college on a permanent basis through the support of a faculty member.
The gift is placed in the college's endowment fund with investment
income used to support the work of the honored professor. In addition
to recognizing faculty members for excellence, endowed chairs provide
funding for summer research projects as well as some salary support.
more about establishing an endowed professorship