Upstate Medical University presented 16 awards at its fall convocation Sept. 16. The SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities — was given to Steven L. Youngentob, PhD. Below is his biography, as it appears in the convocation program.
By Stephanie DeJoseph
One of the world’s leading researchers in chemosensory systems, Dr. Steven L. Youngentob has excelled in groundbreaking research, and as a leader, collaborator and mentor of graduate students. During his 30 years of service at Upstate Medical University, he has demonstrated a remarkable degree of excellence and leadership in research.
Dr. Youngentob joined the Upstate faculty in 1984 after obtaining his PhD degree here. He was promoted to associate, then full professor, in the Department of Neuroscience in 2004. In 2008, he was appointed associate dean of the College of Graduate Studies, and in 2011 he joined the Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Youngentob currently serves as the associate director of the SUNY Developmental Alcohol Research Center.
The focus of Dr. Youngentob’s current research is the biological basis for the relationship between fetal alcohol exposure and the development of adolescent alcohol misuse. In particular, he is actively engaged in defining the factors that contribute to the perpetuating cycle of misuse, from fetal exposure to adolescent and adult misuse and back. “Within the field of olfactory research, Steve is absolutely the most thoughtful, innovative, accomplished and rigorous — in other words, the best in the world at what he does,” said a nominator.
In addition to maintaining his own research lab, Dr. Youngentob has been involved in a number of leadership positions directed toward building research within the SUNY system. He spearheaded several research collaborations intended to transcend traditional institutional boundaries, including SUNY REACH and a Binghamton University/Upstate Medical University Collaborative Task Force. He has also been involved in an international collaboration between Upstate and universities in Israel and Taiwan, and a local strategic partnership between Upstate, Syracuse University, the VA Medical Center and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.
Dr. Youngentob has trained and/or sponsored five PhD candidates, three master’s candidates, one postdoctoral fellow, three residents and 11 undergraduate students. “He is a wonderful mentor and collaborator to other faculty members and a magnet for recruitment of new neuroscience faculty,” said a nominator.
He has been the principal investigator (PI) on 12 different grants from the National Institutes of Health, including one that is current. He is the PI on one of the main research project components, a National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) funded center that is currently in its seventh year of funding and has had a successful competitive renewal. The center, which is a research collaboration between SUNY Upstate and SUNY Binghamton, will bring an additional five years of funding to the SUNY system with a total direct cost for the five-year budget of nearly $7 million. He has also served on, or chaired, 12 grant review or advisory committees for the National Institutes of Health.
A prolific and regularly cited author, Dr. Youngentob’s studies have gained both national and international interest from such publications as US News & World Report and the London Telegram. Some of his seminal findings were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. He is editor-in-chief for Adolescent Health, Medicine and Therapeutics and associate editor for the neuroscience section of Experimental Biology and Medicine. He is credited with over 70 peer-reviewed articles along with eight invited articles and book chapters.
Dr. Youngentob graduated from the University of Georgia in 1976 with a BS in biology and obtained a PhD in physiology at Upstate Medical University in 1984.