Biography and research overview
Hari Hundal graduated with a BSc in Biochemistry in 1984 and a doctorate in 1988, both from the University of Dundee. He subsequently carried out post doctoral research at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto before returning to Dundee in 1993 to take up a lectureship supported by a Wellcome Trust University Award. He is currently Professor of Molecular Physiology within the Division of Cell Signalling & Immunology in the School of Life Sciences.
Hari’s research programme is aimed at defining the intracellular signalling processes that regulate uptake, storage and metabolism of nutrients (e.g. glucose, fatty acids and amino acids) with particular focus on how cells sense nutrient availability and how nutrient over-load can induce metabolic disorders such as insulin resistance and diabetes. Over the past 4 years, his research has opened up a new and exciting area of study that principally aims to develop our understanding of the action of a class of compounds, termed cannabinoids, in peripheral tissues such as skeletal muscle. Cannabinoids are present in cannabis, but our bodies naturally create cannabinoid-like chemicals, known as endocannabinoids that lock-on to protein molecules found on the surface of cells called cannabinoid receptors (i.e. CB1 and CB2). Pathological over-activation of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a feature of obesity and diabetes and one that the Hundal lab has recently discovered to be upregulated during aging and to influence insulin signalling in skeletal muscle. For more information of our work in the above areas press the red button links above.
Hari’s research has been supported by funding from research councils (MRC and BBSRC), medical charities (Diabetes UK), the Scottish Government and pharmaceutical sources (AstraZeneca). Hari serves as an Associate Editor for the American Journal of Physiology (Endocrinology & Metabolism) and is member of a number of learned societies, including the Biochemical and Physiological Societies and is an elected Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and Royal Society of Biology.