— Chief Guest —

Prof. Leslie Gunatilaka

Director, Natural Products Centre, The University of Arizona, USA

Prof. Leslie Gunatilake is a name that is renowned in the field of natural products chemistry. Having obtained his B.Sc. Chemistry from the University of Ceylon, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka with exceptional results, Prof. Leslie became the recipient of the commonwealth scholarship (1970) to conduct Graduate studies at the Imperial College of Science and Technology, University of London, England. There he worked under the supervision of Derek H.R. Barton, F.R.S., Nobel Laureate with whom he went on to do his post-doc as well. As a renowned academic in his field, he has mentored many MSc and PhD students of both foreign and local descent and has also held many significant positions at various educational institutions.

His research interests are oriented in the direction of developing innovative techniques for the development of small molecule natural products that can be used in medicine, agriculture, affecting the chemistry and biology of arid land plants and symbiotic microorganisms, biodiversity conservation, plant-fungal interactions, and medicinal plants. Prof. Leslie has many commendable publications to his name, interalia, patents, a monograph, several book chapters and over 280 refereed journal articles. He has held positions in many Institutional, academic and scientific societies and has rendered his support immensely towards them. For his immense contribution to scientific innovations and academia, he has been awarded many honors and awards from both Sri Lanka as well as abroad. Prof. Leslie currently serves as the Director of the Natural Products Centre at the University of Arizona.