The Sagalowsky Family Endowed Professorship in Biology has been awarded to Heather Hundley, an associate professor in the College of Arts and Sciences Department of Biology at Indiana University in Bloomington.
The professorship was made possible by a generous gift from IU alumnus Howard Sagalowsky (1943-2020). Sagalowsky earned two degrees from IU: a B.A. in medical sciences at IU Bloomington in 1965 and an M.D. from the IU School of Medicine in Indianapolis in 1968. He then embarked on a 40-year career practicing anesthesiology at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. His bequest was made in memory of his parents, Edna and Benjamin, and in honor of his brother, Joel. Joel Sagalowsky is also an IU alum, receiving his B.A. in 1972 and a D.D.S. in 1975.
Drs. Howard and Joel Sagalowsky visited the IU Bloomington campus in May 2011. While meeting with then Department of Biology Chair Roger Innes and Associate Chair Clay Fuqua, they toured the newly renovated laboratories in the Biology Building (then known as Jordan Hall) and the multidisciplinary science building Simon Hall, built in 2007. Both brothers spoke fondly of memorable classes with biology faculty members—including renowned scientists John Preer, Tracy Sonneborn, and Frank Zeller.
As recipient of the Sagalowsky Family Endowed Professorship in Biology, Hundley receives the honorific title of Sagalowsky Professor of Biology. The professorship will provide unrestricted funds for Hundley to pursue research projects.
Hundley and members of her lab focus on understanding gene regulatory mechanisms. They study a family of RNA-binding proteins called ADARs that are important for normal development. Altered function of these proteins occurs in over 35 human pathologies, including neurological diseases and cancers. Hundley's findings are paving the way to improve targeted treatments for human disease.