Former director of Centre for Phytochemistry and Pharmacology at of Southern Cross University (SCU), Professor David N Leach has over 25 years experience in phytochemistry specialising in chemical analysis and biological activity in the field of natural products and analytical organic chemistry with a strong focus on biological activity of natural products. Much of the early work in this field was academic in nature and focused on tea tree oil, its chemistry and antimicrobial activity.
More recently, he has been active in researching medicinal plants with anti-inflammatory activity using a range of cell based assays with an extended history of research in lipophilic extracts. During his extensive work with and on behalf of Bio Active Exports Ltd, he has patented the novel antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity of the extract from Centipeda Cunninghamii. In recent years he has been an invited speaker at international conferences in France, China and Indonesia presenting work on bioactive compounds from Australian flora. He has published extensively, refereed papers for key journals including Journal Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Flavour and Fragrance, Biochemical Systematics and Ecology, refereed research submissions for both the European and International Science Foundations and is a member of the TC54 committee on Essential Oils for Standards Australia.
His major areas of expertise lie in extraction and analysis of bioactive plant extracts using modern chromatographic techniques, mass spectrometry and NMR. He has published over 70 papers that reflect a broad range of chemical experience and has supervised or co-supervised 13 PhD students and 2 MSc candidates.
Adjunct Professor, Centre for Phytochemistry and Pharmacology - Southern Cross University, Australia