2014 ACS International Award for Research in Agrochemicals

Co-Sponsored by DuPont Crop Protection

Ralf NauenDr. Ralf Nauen, a Bayer CropScience Research Fellow working in Monheim, Germany, is the recipient of the 2014 ACS International Award for Research in Agrochemicals. He is
internationally recognized for his research in insect toxicology and resistance, which has focused on insecticide mode of action and insecticide and acaricide resistance mechanisms and management.

Nauen was born in Leverkusen, Germany, and in 1981 he joined Bayer where he completed an educational program as certified laboratory assistant. He received a national diploma in Chemistry in 1992 and a PhD for his work on insecticide pharmacokinetics from the University of Portsmouth, UK. In 2009 Dr. Nauen was elected as a Bayer CropScience Research Fellow. He is also lecturer (equivalent to an adjunct professor) at the University of Hannover and has been the major supervisor for more than 30 PhD, MSc and BSc students.

His early research centered on neonicotinoid insecticides, investigating the antifeedant properties of imidacloprid and, more importantly, reporting on the first issues of neonicotinoid resistance in whiteflies and the molecular mechanisms of resistance. Dr. Nauen’s work on neonicotinoids and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors resulted in several highly cited book chapters and reviews. In addition to his extensive publication record (150 peer-reviewed papers including 14 book chapters, cited more than 3400 times), Dr. Nauen also has 26 patents/patent applications that cover a wide range of novel insect control agents, genetic methods for insecticide discovery, and new chemistries. At Bayer CropScience he contributed to the discovery, characterization and development of novel insect control products such as neonicotinoids, cyclic ketoenols (e.g., spirotetramat), flubendiamide, and most recently the new butenolide insecticide, flupyradifurone.

His research on insecticide and acaricide resistance covered more than a dozen  invertebrate pests and many classes of insecticides. He and his co-authors published many papers on insecticide resistance, its mechanisms and management, including the first case of complete maternal inheritance of resistance to an acaricide as well as the very first paper on a ryanodine receptor target-site mutation in diamondback moth resistant to the newly introduced class of diamide insecticides. Dr. Nauen has been a long time and very active member of the Insecticide Resistance Action Committee (IRAC) serving in a variety of capacities, including Chairmanship from 2008-2013. As IRAC Chairman he has expanded company membership and its global influence.

Dr. Nauen has been one of the preeminent scientists in the world on the subject of insecticide resistance, and he organized and chaired several symposia at international conferences and gave numerous invited and keynote presentations in all sorts of meetings, conferences and symposia globally. He is Fellow of the Entomological Society of America and the Royal Entomological Society and serves on several Editorial Boards such as Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology and is an Executive Editor of the well-known international journal, Pest Management Science.