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Honorary graduates 2018

Professor Raymond J. St. Leger (DSc)

Thursday 19 July 2018 11:45am

Raymond St Leger is Distinguished Professor in the Department of Entomology at the University of Maryland. His research program uses fungal parasites of insects and other animals as models for understanding and hence combating infectious processes in general. This work has yielded an abundance of both new methods and new discoveries, so that insect pathogenic fungi have become an important model system, as well as offering a source of innovation for agricultural, medical and pharmaceutical industries.

Recent studies have employed insect pathogenic fungi as a vehicle to carry genes encoding spider and scorpion toxins into the mosquitoes that vector malaria. These fungi are currently being tested for efficacy in West Africa. The identification and characterisation of biologically active fungal products, which are often specific to particular biochemical/organ systems, has provided a vast resource of genes which his research team and collaborators are employing to develop new medicines and agricultural products.

Dr St Leger received his PhD and completed his post-doctoral studies in crop protection at the University of Bath, his MSc in Entomology at University of London and his BSc in Biology at the University of Exeter. He has been a consultant on biotechnology to many private and public concerns, and has served on many national and international policy-making committees. His professional accolades include the American Society for Microbiology Promega Biotechnology Research Award, and he was the inaugural recipient of the Tai Fung-Lan Award for International Cooperation from The Mycological Society of China.