Basu was educated at Presidency College and Univ College of Science, Kolkata. He obtained his MSc (1964) and PhD (1968) in biochemistry. He is currently JC Bose Chair Professor of the Natl Academy of Sciences India at the Natl Inst of Science Communication and Information Resources, New Delhi. His previous positions include: Faculty associate, Dept of Microbiology, Michael Reese Med Ctr, Chicago; instructor and asst professor, Southwestern Med School, Dallas; asst director, Indian Inst of Chem Biol, Kolkata; deputy director, acting director and director, Inst of Micro Technol, Chandigarh; professor, Jawaharlal Nehru Ctr for Adv Scientific Research, Bangalore; director and professor of eminence of the Natl Institute of Immunology, New Delhi. He is elected member of the Indian Natl Science Acad; Indian Acad of Sciences; Natl Acad of Sciences India; and Amer Soc of Biochem and Mol Biol.