NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – The Rutgers University Board of Governors named Dipak K. Sarkar, a distinguished professor in the Department of Animal Sciences, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (SEBS), a Board of Governors Professor at today’s meeting. The professorship was established in 1989 to recognize exceptional scholarship and accomplishment by a faculty member at the full professorial rank.
Sarkar is also director of the endocrine program at SEBS and director of the biomedical division of Rutgers’ Center of Alcohol Studies. His research focuses on understanding how stress promotes infection, cancers and alcohol-related diseases. He and his team also evaluate the feasibility of cell therapy, gene therapy and tissue-specific gene targeting procedures to understand and prevent stress-related problems and cancers in normal and alcoholic patients.The consumption of alcohol during pregnancy is believed to result in a wide range of adverse outcomes for the child that can last a lifetime. Many fetal alcohol syndrome patients have problems coping with stress, learning disabilities, infections and increased susceptibility to diseases, including obesity and diabetes.
“Professor Sarkar’s dedicated study into the effects of alcohol consumption during pregnancy might one day help eradicate a costly public health problem,” said Robert Barchi, president of Rutgers University. “For more than 30 years, his research has been continuously supported by some of the nation’s most prestigious funding agencies, including the National Institutes of Health.”
Sarkar has served as a regular member of three NIH regular study sections and as ad hoc member of several center grant study sections of the NIH National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). He is a recipient of the NIAAA’s prestigious MERIT award (Method to Extend Research in Time), worth $3.5 million in funding over a decade beginning in 2009. The award supports his continuing research of the damaging effects of alcohol on the nervous systems of the unborn. He is also a fellow to the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Indian Academy of Neurosciences.
Sarkar, who lives in Skillman, Somerset County, has been at Rutgers since 1999. He has earned doctorates from both Oxford University in the United Kingdom and Calcutta University in India, where he also earned his bachelor of science and master of science degrees.
He has been course director for a special Byrne seminar for first-year students, “Endocrine Health and Diseases,” and a graduate and upper class course, “Neuroendocrinology,” and has taught “Research in Animal Sciences” and the “Physiological Basis of Diseases.”
Sarkar has published more than 200 research articles, 10 reviews, 13 book chapters, 200 conference proceedings and one book. He has been an editorial board member of several high impact factor journals, including Neuroendocrinology, Endocrinology, and Alcohol Research and Health.