Andrew Evans, Alfred R. Bader Chair in Organic Chemistry
When Andrew Evans took up the Alfred R. Bader Chair in Organic Chemistry in July, he was thrilled. It wasn’t just because the position would allow him to move half his 16-person research team to Queen’s from Liverpool, England. The namesake and benefactor of his new chair, Alfred Bader, also has a special significance for Dr. Evans.
“It turns out I met him in my twenties while I was a grad student at Cambridge University,” says Dr. Evans. “Dr. Bader visited the chemistry labs at universities around the world. I remember someone saying ‘That’s Dr. Bader, he’s the owner of Aldrich (Chemical Company)’, and I said ‘no, it can’t be. He wouldn’t be walking through our lab!’ I was so impressed that someone with that much power and influence would seek out the opinion of a grad student. It really struck a chord with me.”
At Queen’s, Dr. Evans and his research team, The Evans Group, will continue their work of developing new ways to build bioactive molecules. Dr. Evans explains that being able to recreate what nature produces can often uncover secrets that identify what makes a drug active in combating a particular disease. That knowledge can help in the development of tools that expedite the production of new drugs and materials.
Taking up his new position, Dr. Evans says he feels like he’s come full circle. Though he’s worked in the chemistry departments at the University of Delaware, Indiana University as well as at the University of Liverpool (where he held the Heath Harrison Chair of Organic Chemistry), he is thrilled with the academic community and excellent facilities he has found at Queen’s.