Christopher Barney Holds
Endowed Chair in Biology
Christopher Barney of the Hope College biology faculty holds the
T. Elliot Weier Chair in Biology.
Barney is a professor of biology and
has been a member of the Hope faculty since 1980.
The chair, designated for a Hope biologist with a distinguished
record as a teacher and scholar, has been established through
the estate of T. Elliot and Katherine S. Weier. T. Elliot Weier
graduated from Hope in 1926, and Katherine S. Weier in 1921. T.
Elliot died on Oct. 14, 1991, and Katherine on March 19, 1977.
In accord with the terms of the bequest, the holder of the chair
is to be publicly referred to as "The Weier Professor of Plant
T. Elliot Weier had been a member of the botany faculty at the
University of California-Davis for 33 years, until his retirement
in 1969. He was a world authority on plant cell structure.
Among other honors, he received a Merit Award from the Botanical
Society of America in 1988. Hope presented him with a Distinguished
Alumni Award in 1978.
His internationally recognized research focused on photosynthesis,
the process by which plants convert light energy into cell energy.
He pioneered the use of the electron microscope in studying cell
structure. He also developed an introductory plant biology course
and co-authored a widely-used textbook to accompany it.
Weier had completed his doctorate in botany at the University of
Michigan in 1929. In addition to his long-time tenure at UC-Davis,
he had also spent a year as a fellow at the University of Louvain,
Belgium; a year as a National Research Council Fellow at Cornell
University; a year as an instructor at St. Lawrence University;
a year at Connecticut College; and two years at Oregon State College.
Katherine Weier had also done graduate work in botany at the University
of Michigan, and later worked in the botany department at the University
of California. She and her husband co-authored a variety of publications
in botany and cytology.
Barney joined the Hope faculty as an assistant professor in 1980,
and was promoted to associate professor in 1986 and full professor
He served a term as the college's Faculty Moderator, and from 1996
to 2000 was a faculty representative on Hope's Board of Trustees.
An active member of the Hope community, he led a seminar during
the college's "Winter Happening" in January of 1999.
Through the years he has taught courses including "Principles
of Biology," "Human Physiology," "Vertebrate
Physiology," and "Science
and Human Values," in
addition to engaging in collaborative research with Hope students.
His current research emphasis is on the role of hormones in water
balance and blood pressure regulation.
He has received more than 20 external grants in support of his
research and education, including grants from the National Institutes
of Health and the National Science Foundation (NSF). He serves
as a grant reviewer for the NSF and a manuscript reviewer for "The
American Journal of Physiology." He has written or co-authored
more than 50 articles for professional journals, in addition to
making numerous presentations at professional conferences.
He was a member of the Holland East Middle School PTA Feasibility
Committee and the PTA Executive Committee. He is a member of St.
Francis De Sales Church, where he has chaired the Adult and Family
Faith Formation Board and the Pastoral Council.
Barney did his undergraduate work at Wright State University. He
obtained his Ph.D. in medical physiology from Indiana University
in 1977 and then spent three years doing research at the University
of Florida Medical School.
Barney is married to Julie Ann Surface Barney, who also works at
Hope College. They have two children, Jeremy
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