Christine Leon awarded an MBE
Christine Leon from the Sustainable Uses of Plant Group, Jodrell Laboratory, Kew has been awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List for services to the UK-China Science Relationship.
10 Jan 2013
Christine Leon collecting medicinal plants in the Min Shan mountains of Sichuan with Chinese colleagues and local people.
Christine's work at Kew
Since 1994, Chris has been working on the identification and safety of traditional herbal medicines. In 1998, she commenced an active field programme in China to collect plants and their medicinal parts as used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). This has taken her to 19 provinces in China where she has worked closely with different groups and fostered collaborations, notably with her main partner the Institute of Medicinal Plant Development (IMPLAD) in Beijing. This has resulted in the creation of a vouchered collection of over 4,500 plant and fungal dried reference drugs including common herbal substitutes, adulterants and counterfeits. Housed at Kew and Beijing, these authentic drugs and substitutes are actively being used to help improve the safe and efficacious use of Chinese medicinal plants in the UK and further afield, to help set standards for their quality control and to promote their sustainable supply from China.
Chris says: “I’m deeply honoured to receive this award but as always the work described is a team effort so I accept this award on behalf of my Kew colleagues that have been so supportive but with particular thanks for the expertise, support and friendships developed with my many Chinese colleagues notably at the IMPLAD; without them this resource would never have come into being.”
The wider network of colleagues that Chris has developed across China has also lead to related joint research and scientific exchange in the areas of medicinal plant identification, naming and conservation.
This MBE to Chris reflects the regard that these colleagues have for her in China, the great work she is doing and represents years of dedication by Chris that have resulted in the Chinese Medicinal Plants Authentication and Conservation Centre at Kew.
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