David Leigh FRS obtained his PhD from the University of Sheffield in 1987 and, after postdoctoral research at the National Research Council of Canada in Ottawa, he returned to the UK as a Lecturer at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology in 1989. In 1998 he moved to the University of Warwick as Professor of Synthetic Chemistry and in 2001 he took up the Forbes Chair of Organic Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh. In 2012 he returned to Manchester as Professor of Organic Chemistry and, since 2014, Sir Samuel Hall Chair of Chemistry.
Leigh has won a number of major international awards including the 2007 Izatt-Christensen Award for Macrocyclic Chemistry, 2007 Descartes Prize and the 2007 Feynman Prize for Nanotechnology. He was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2009.