Basalingappa Hungund, PhD
Associate Professor of Clinical Behaviorial Biology (in Psychiatry)
I am basically trained as a Bio-organic chemist and awarded a Ph.D in this discipline from Poona University, India in 1969. I was recruited as a Post-Doctoral Fellow by Stevens Institute of Technology, and worked on elucidating metabolic pathways for sesquiterpenes from 1969 through 1972. Then I proceeded to Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology and worked on cholesterol biosynthetic pathways until 1974. Then I joined the group at Neuroscience Department, NYS Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI) that was headed by now deceased Dr. Maurice Rappor the one who discovered serotonin, where I got my training lipid biochemistry as it relates to neurochemical abnormalities of various brain disorders until 1975. From there I moved on to now defunct Long Island Research Institute (LIRI), where I worked on developing my own research program to study the neurobiological mechanisms underlying alcohol abuse-related disorders (ABRD) as it relates to brain lipids. I was given an opportunity to get trained for developing animal models to study ARBD. I spent a year of sabbatical in the laboratory of Dr. Dora Goldstein at Stanford University, who was a pioneer in the development of inhalation mouse model at the time. She was also the first researcher to demonstrate a role for membrane lipids in ARBD. After nine years at LIRI, I returned to NYSPI and continued pursuing of my research interests in ARBD neurobiological mechanisms. One of my early research accomplishment was that of my pioneering work that demonstrated a role for alcohol-induced elevation of endogenously formed cannabinoid (CB)-like compounds (endocannabinoids, ECs) and CB1 receptors in alcohol tolerance and dependence. Ever since I have been continuously funded to continue my research on the role of EC signaling mechanisms both by private and federal sources. I have had several funded projects throughout that included both domestic and foreign collaborations. I have published over 100 publications in reputable peer-reviewed journals. My work has been cited widely in the field and enhanced further developments in the field. I am most thankful to the resources and the environment the Institute/University provided me to be a successful researcher. I feel proud to represent the Institute/University any which way I can.