Junpappa received his BSc (1958) and MSc (1960) degrees from Karnataka University, Dharwar and continued research in the same university in organic chemistry under the guidance of S Siddappa to obtain his PhD degree (1964). He worked as post-doctoral Fellow at the Department of Chemistry, IIT, Kanpur with MV George (1965-67) and moved subsequently to Ohio State University, Columbus as post-doctoral Fellow to work with MS Newman (1967-69), and then to Texas Tech. University, Lubbock with Shine (1969-70). He returned to India as CSIR pool officer at Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow (1970), and subsequently obtained the post of scientist in the Institute's Medicinal Chemistry Division (1971-76). He then moved to newly established North Eastern Hill University, Shillong as a Founder Head to start the new Chemistry Department and continued there till his retirement (1998). He was Emeritus Scientist at the Department of Chemistry, IIT Kanpur (1998-2001), finally moving to Bangalore to establish the Bioorganic and Applied Materials Ltd, a custom research company, as its Founder Director (2002-05). He was a Visiting Professor, at Iberdrola National Foundation, Sevilla, Spain (1999).
Academic and Research Achievements: Junjappa began his independent research career at CDRI, Lucknow in the area of synthetic organic chemistry and developed powerful synthetic routes based on polarized ketene dithioacetals, a class of versatile building blocks, easily accessible from wide range of active methylene compounds. He also developed new general synthetic methodologies for a large variety of biologically important five and six membered heterocycles. Besides, he has developed a new method for regiospecific construction of substituted and fused aromatic rings from easily accessible acyclic precursors. This discovery, now known as "Junjappa-Ila (JI) Aromatic and Heteroaromatic Annulation" provides new general regiospecific routes for a large variety of substituted and fused polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons starting from benzene, naphthalenes, phenathrene, athracene and their benzo derivatives. He has published more than 200 papers in international journals and guided over 55 PhD students.
Other Contributions: Junjappa established and developed the Chemistry Department in NEHU, Shillong.
Awards and Honours: Junjappa delivered fourth Dr Sukh Dev Endowment lecture (1996). He is a Fellow of the Indian Academy of Science, Bangalore (1989).