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New crops and healthcare expert appointed at agricultural university

Dr Xianmin Chang at the RAU

Dr Xianmin Chang at the RAU

The Royal Agricultural University (RAU) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Chang Xianmin to the School of Agriculture, Food and Environment (SAFE).

Dr Chang brings a wealth of expertise and scientific understanding of metabolites in plants, of particular interest to the pharmaceutical industry and future healthcare. He is especially known for his most recent work on daffodils as a source of important alkaloids, particularly the compound galanthamine, with acknowledged potential for the future treatment of Alzheimers disease and some brain disorders.

Dr Chang was previously OVS Health Foundation Senior Fellow at Liverpool University and Principal Scientific Officer for the Agroceutical Products Ltd (APL) company. After many years as an Associate Professor of Agronomy and Vice-Director of University Farms at China Agricultural University, Dr Chang undertook further research in seed technology and plant biochemistry at Poznan Agricultural University in Poland and subsequently at Nottingham University.

RAU Principal Professor Chris Gaskell CBE said: “Dr Chang is joining us at a particularly exciting time, with so much interest in the growing importance of new agritechnology in the UK. We are delighted that he has chosen to come to RAU at a time when we are also further developing our agritech research interests. His research on sourcing new medicinal products from plants is particularly exciting, and we look forward very much to supporting and working closely with Xianmin Chang in this area to develop it further.”

RAU Vice-Principal Professor Paul Davies said: “As many realise, we have hardly tapped the massive potential of the plant kingdom for new products of benefit to man, and this investment by RAU provides a particularly welcome new platform for crop science and agronomy research at Cirencester.

“In this research, we are also very pleased to be working closely with APL, who are continuing to strongly support Dr Chang with this work, and it was a pleasure to meet with Sir Roger Jones and Kevin Stephens recently at RAU to further discuss our mutual interests and the many new opportunities. We look forward to collaborating closely together – and to supporting Dr Chang in any way we can with these important studies.”

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