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Kingston wins Alumni Award for Excellence in International Outreach and Research


BLACKSBURG, Va., Sept. 30, 2005 – David Kingston, of Blacksburg, University Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at Virginia Tech, won the 2005 Alumni Award for Excellence in International Outreach and Research.

The Alumni Association established the Alumni Award for Excellence in International Outreach and Research to recognize contributions by faculty and staff that have demonstrated an impact on international outreach and research at Virginia Tech. The honor is explicitly aimed at recognizing individuals whose efforts are in the area of international scholarship; global public service to regions, countries, communities; public, private, and non-government organizations; sponsored projects; and innovation in international research and outreach. Selection is based on contributions to the internationalization of Virginia Tech, global impact, significance of the research/outreach, and sustainability of the research/outreach.

Kingston, previously, has won the Virginia Scientist of the Year Award, the Research Achievement Award from the American Society of Pharmacognosy, and the Gene Wise Award from the Blue Ridge Section of the American Chemical Society, among others. He holds 14 U.S. patents, has worked with 24 international visiting scholars, and has given 361 lectures and presentations to national and international meetings and pharmaceutical companies.

He is program leader of the International Cooperative Biodiversity Group (ICBG) in Madagascar, which has contributed to drug discovery and the preservation of biodiversity and the economic development of Suriname and Madagascar. He persuaded industrial partners in the ICBG to contribute to those two countries for renovation of primary schools and other construction projects. In part, as a result of his work, the Central Suriname Nature Research now protects land from the devastation of logging.

Kingston's own research led to the identification, from the study of plant extracts, of a potential anti-cancer drug currently under investigation, and has shared his work with audiences around the world. He has had several international graduate students and postdoctoral associates as members of ICBG, and he has trained scientists from Madagascar, Suriname, Taiwan, Japan, Thailand, India, Saudi Arabia, China, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Korea, Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt, Brazil, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.

Before coming to Virginia Tech in 1971, Kingston taught at the State University of New York at Albany, was a NATO Fellow at Cambridge University and a research associate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a research fellow and director of studies in chemistry at Queens' College in Cambridge, England. He received a B.A. with first class honors from Cambridge, a Dip.Th. from London University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Cambridge.

He has served as editor and officer of numerous publications and organizations. Kingston is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, London, and a member of the American Chemical Society and the American Society of Pharmacognosy. He also serves as an elder of his church, Blacksburg Christian Fellowship.

The College of Science at Virginia Tech gives students a comprehensive foundation in the scientific method. Outstanding faculty members teach courses and conduct research in biology, chemistry, economics, geosciences, mathematics, physics, psychology, and statistics. The college is dedicated to fostering a research intensive environment and offers programs in nano-scale and biological sciences, information theory and science, and supports research centers--in areas such as biomedical and public health sciences, and critical technology and applied science--that encompass other colleges at the university. The College of Science also houses programs in pre-medicine and scientific law.

Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college, Virginia Tech has grown to become among the largest universities in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Today, Virginia Tech's eight colleges are dedicated to putting knowledge to work through teaching, research, and outreach activities and to fulfilling its vision to be among the top research universities in the nation. At its 2,600-acre main campus located in Blacksburg and other campus centers in Northern Virginia, Southwest Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke, Virginia Tech enrolls more than 28,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries in 180 academic degree programs.