Brad Andersh

Associate Professor

Olin Hall 230
(309) 677-3493
bja@bradley.edu

Ph.D., Organic Chemistry, Iowa State University
B.S., Chemistry, University of South Dakota

Biography

Dr. Andersh joined the faculty at Bradley University in 1993 after completing his Ph.D. under the direction of Dr. George Kraus at Iowa State University. As an undergraduate he did research with Dr. Miles Koppang at the University of South Dakota and with Dr. Thomas Engler at the University of Kansas (NSF-REU).

Teaching

Dr. Andersh has taught a wide variety of courses at Bradley including: Organic Chemistry I & II, Organic Spectroscopy, Advanced Organic Chemistry, Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry, General Chemistry I, Fundamentals of General Chemistry, and Inorganic Laboratory.

Scholarship

Since joining the faculty at Bradley, over 40 students (high school, undergraduate, and graduate) have worked with Dr. Andersh on various research projects. The primary theme of this collaborative work has been on the development of new synthetic methods and the utilization of these methods for the preparation of biologically active compounds (ex. pharmaceuticals).

His research group is currently working on an environmentally friendly method for performing selective alkylations of 1,3-dicarbonly compounds. Because the acidities of the protons of 1,3-dicarbonyl compounds are different, b-ketoesters and other 1,3-dicarbonyl compounds can be alkylated selectively in either the 2- (alpha) or the 4-(gamma) position. Gamma-carbon-alkylation (g-C-alkylation) of a 1,3-dicarbonyl compound is most commonly accomplished by trapping the preformed dianion of the 1,3-compound with an electrophile. Traditionally, highly reactive bases such as lithium diisopropyl amide, sodium hydride, and n-butyl lithium have been used for this transformation. They have found that equilibrating bases such as carbonates and alkoxides can be used in place of these strong bases for g-C-alkylation of 1,3-dicarbonyl compounds. This discovery is exciting because it contradicts the current mechanistic generalization that a strong base is necessary for this chemistry.

Dr. Andersh’s research group is also working on the synthesis and testing of a potential new class of antibiotics. Additional antibiotics must be continually developed to combat antibiotic resistance, which is a normal evolutionary response to the stress that exposure to antibiotics places on bacteria. Although considerable media attention has recently been given to this growing problem, antibiotic resistance was first observed in the 1940s. Efforts to develop new antibiotics commonly revolve around two approaches: the structural modification of existing antibiotics or the discovery of new classes of antibiotics. The focus of our research is a combination of these two approaches. They have discovered that highly substituted pyranones have antibiotic activity, and they have been able to increase the activity of these compounds by making structural changes.

Service

Dr. Andersh is currently the department’s representative on the University Senate and the Graduate School representative on the Committee for Academic Technology Excellence (CATE).