Dr. Lal, Emeritus Professor and Chairman, Department of Pharmacology and Neuroscience, the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth Texas, and Emeritus Professor of Religious Studies, Guru Nanak Dev University at Amritsar, is a graduate of Punjab University. He received a Masters degree from the University of Kansas and a Doctoral degree from the University of Chicago. In academic circles, he is known for his research in the areas of behavioral medicine, substance abuse, and on prolongation of healthy life span. He served on many US and international science advisory boards including serving for 14 years as the Editor of a monthly journal, Drug Development Research. During his academic career, he published over 400 research papers, 20 books, several research reviews and 56 chapters in technical books. U. of North Texas Health Science Center established a pre-doctoral fellowship award in his name and recognition. Society of Neuroscience held an International Symposium on Anxiety to recognize his research, and its Chapter of Scientists of Indian Origin recognized him with Award of Outstanding Senior Neuroscientist.
Professor Lal, being a Sehajdhari Sikh, is known as Bhai Harbans Lal. Since his school days, he has been active in promotion of Sikh interests. In 1954, he was elected as the President of the All India Sikh Students Federation. He was recognized by robes of honor by the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabhandhak Committee, Delhi Gurdwara Management Committee, the Chief Khalsa Diwan, the Sikh Educational Conference, Sikh Dharma International and the Sikh Social and Educational Society. In 1995, Guru Nanak Dev University awarded him the Degree of Doctor of Literature (honoris causa) in recognition of his contributions in Sikh Studies. On April 14, 1999, the Anandpur Sahib Foundation awarded him the Order of Nishan-e-Khalsa for “his superb accomplishments in promoting the glory and pride of the Khalsa Panth.”
Presently, Dr. Lal’s interests lie in promoting Sikh Studies in North America. His writings on Sikh subjects have appeared in many books and journals such as Sikh Sansar, Sikh Review, Sikh Courier International, Spokesman, Sikh Marg, Studies in Sikhism and Comparative Religion, From Both Sides of the Ocean, Miri Piri, Sach Khand Patraka, Sikh Virsa, Atam Science, Understanding Sikhism: the Research Journal, International Journal of Sikh Spiritualism, Amrit Kirtan, Sachkhand Patrika, the Tribune, Times of India, Dallas Morning News, and Gurbani Is Jag Meh Chanan. He contributes frequent columns in the religious section of the Dallas Morning News and serves on the editorial boards of the Sikh Review, International Journal of Sikh Spiritualism, and Understanding Sikhism: the Research Journal.
Dr. Lal serves on many religious and humanitarian organizations. He is a member of the Interfaith Council of the Center for World Thanksgiving, The Interfaith Center at Fort Worth, and advisor to the American Project on Religion and the News Media, advisors-at-large to THE SIKH TIMES, and to the Sikh Foundation. He is a founding trustee of Bhai Nanad Lal Foundation and Founder Vice-President of the Sri Nanakana Sahib Foundation. Dr. Lal serves as the Founder President of the Academy of Guru Granth Studies
the promotion of scholarly works on the Sri Guru Granth Sahib.