Board of Visitors honors chemistry’s David G.I. Kingston with emeritus status
July 6, 2020
David G.I. Kingston, University Distinguished Professor of Chemistry in the College of Science at Virginia Tech, has been conferred the title of University Distinguished Professor Emeritus by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.
The emeritus title may be conferred on retired professors, associate professors, and administrative officers who are specially recommended to the board by Virginia Tech President Tim Sands in recognition of exemplary service to the university. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board receive a copy of the resolution and a certificate of appreciation.
A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1971, Kingston made significant contributions to biodiversity conservation, drug development, and natural products research through his work as the leader of International Cooperative Biodiversity Groups in Suriname and Madagascar, and through his work on the anticancer drug Taxol and the discovery of potential anticancer and antimalarial agents from nature.
Kingston has served as president of the American Society of Pharmacognosy and as associate editor of the Journal of Natural Products. Additionally, he has supported the National Institutes for Health by serving on numerous grant review committees and has served as a member of the Board of Scientific Advisors of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
Kingston’s scholarship has been recognized by numerous awards, including Virginia Scientist of the Year, the Ernest Guenther Award for the Chemistry of Natural Products from the American Chemical Society, the Research Achievement Award from the American Society of Pharmacognosy, and by having two plants named for him.
In the classroom, Kingston has taught a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate courses ranging across the chemistry curriculum from organic chemistry through advanced graduate classes on the Chemistry of Natural Products. He was the major professor for graduate students completing 27 master’s degree theses and 51 doctoral dissertations, and helped them and many more to develop successful careers in both academic and industrial settings. He also directed the research of 75 postdoctoral associates and visiting scholars.
At Virginia Tech, Kingston also served as the first director of the Virginia Tech Center for Drug Discovery. He was named University Distinguished Professor in 1999 and won the 2005 Alumni Award for Excellence in International Outreach and Research.
In addition to his work at Virginia Tech, Kingston continues to serve as one of the leaders of the Blacksburg Christian Fellowship, a nondenominational church.
Kingston received his undergraduate, master's, and doctoral degrees from Cambridge University in his native England.