The Governing Board of the Entomological Society of America (ESA) has elected 10 new Fellows of the Society for 2015. Election as a Fellow acknowledges outstanding contributions to entomology in one or more of the following: research, teaching, extension, or administration. Professor Le Kang is elected as the 2015 Fellow.
Kang is Professor of Entomology in the Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). He is internationally recognized for his research on the ecological genomics of insects.
Kang began his explorations of the ecology of grassland grasshoppers in 1987. In 1995, he expanded this to include the study of the cold tolerance of locusts, grasshoppers, and dipteran leafminers. At same time, he also studied plant-leafminer-parasitoid interactions. Since 1999, he has been working on the ecological genomics of locusts. His research has revealed much of the coding and noncoding RNA involved in locust phase change, in which olfactory-related genes play an important role. He has also identified genes in the dopamine pathway and in microRNA-133 that act as a maintenance mechanism of gregarious locusts. He has contributed substantially to our understanding of the general principles of metabolomic and immunity-specific differences between solitary and gregarious locusts, specifically demonstrating that gregarious locusts have a more active lipid metabolism and stronger resistance to fungal pathogens. He decoded the entire genome sequence of the locust, the largest genome sequenced in animals to date. He has published more than 157 peer-reviewed scientific papers with more than 2,400 citations.
Kang serves as president of the Entomological Society of China, and as Editor-in-Chief of Insect Science, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Protein & Cell, and editor for several international journals, including Journal of Insect Physiology, Current Opinion in Insect Science, and Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, among others.
Kang has been elected to the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS). He received an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from the University of Nebraska in 2009. He has received several important awards including the National Award of Natural Sciences of China, prestigious Life Science & Biotechnology Prize of Ho Leung Ho Lee Foundation (Hong Kong) in 2011, the ESA International Branch Distinguished Scientist Award in 2013, and Tan’s Life Science Achievement Prize in 2015.