DELAMAR PROFESSORSHIP IN BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY
Established in 1918 by the estate of Joseph R. DeLamar

In 1849, when he was seven years old, JOSEPH R. DeLAMAR stowed away on a ship bound from his Amsterdam home for the Dutch Indies. The journey lasted 18 months, but he was eventually returned to his parents and to school. As a young man, he continued to seek adventure, immigrating to the United States, where he headed his own salvage company on Martha's Vineyard. He sold the company--after nearly losing his life when he became trapped in the hold of a submerged ship--and went west, becoming a successful mine owner and Idaho state senator. Mr. DeLamar died in 1918 and left much of his substantial estate to be divided among "the three best medical schools of the day--Johns Hopkins, Harvard, and Columbia." This bequest was a crucial factor in the School of Medicine's ability to expand during the Depression. In addition to this professorship, the DeLamar Fund supports numerous teaching and research initiatives at the School of Medicine.

 

GERALD W. HART, the DeLamar Professor of Biological Chemistry and director of the Department of Biological Chemistry, joined the faculty in 1979. An expert in the emerging science of glycobiology, Dr. Hart is noted for his discovery that many proteins inside the nucleus, the central region of the cell, are at times attached to sugars, and that this modification helps regulate the activity of the proteins. The process, called glycosylation, is suspected of playing an important role in a number of disorders, including cancer, diabetes and degenerative nerve diseases. He is past president of the Society of Glycobiology, was the founding editor-in-chief of Glycobiology, and was the first recipient of the International Glycoconjugate Organization Award.