Associate professor in chemistry lands international leadership award

April 14, 2010 | Research, UToday
By Jeffrey Romagni

Last month, nearly 20,000 industry, academia and government professionals gathered in Orlando, Fla., for Pittcon, the world’s premier conference and exposition on laboratory science.

Dr. Jared Anderson loaded an autosampler to generate calibration curves on a gas chromatograph.

Dr. Jared Anderson loaded an autosampler to generate calibration curves on a gas chromatograph.

During the conference, Dr. Jared Anderson, associate professor in the UT Department of Chemistry, was recognized by LCGC magazine, the largest dedicated chromatography publication in North America, as the 2010 Emerging Leader in Chromatography.

The award recognizes the achievements and aspirations of talented, young scientific and technical professionals who make great strides toward the advancement of chromatographic applications and techniques.

Anderson, the only American among the five finalists for the award, was honored for his research focusing on the use of ionic liquids as highly selective stationary phases for gas chromatography, and as selective extraction phases for single-drop microextraction and solid-phase microextraction.

He said research utilizing ionic liquids, which have the fundamental properties of common salts, have many applications and are ideal to use because of their chemical stability. Depending on how the salts are prepared, they can be designed to possess specific physical and chemical properties that make them useful for extracting targeted components from complex samples.

“We can vary the physical properties, such as viscosity and density, very easily without affecting the purity,” he said. “In the microextraction techniques we are developing, we can re-use the ionic liquid for over 100 extractions.”

Applications include pinpointing impurities in pharmaceutical products and isolating environmental contaminants, he added.

“It is an honor to be chosen as this year’s recipient of this prestigious award,” Anderson said. “Ever since I was a graduate student working on my earliest research projects, I have always been fascinated with chromatographic separations and how they have become an essential tool in nearly every field of science and engineering.”

As a graduate student at Iowa State University, Anderson’s research impacted numerous aspects of separation science and is described in 15 publications. Of particular importance were his studies on the synthesis, characterization and development of novel high-stability ionic liquids for use in analytical separations.

The work of Anderson and his research group, which includes UT graduate and undergraduate students, has attracted the attention of pharmaceutical companies that are interested in performing rapid and targeted extraction of molecules from complex synthetically derived formulations.

“I am lucky to have such a dedicated group of students who share my passion for research,” Anderson said. “Our industrial and academic collaborators provide us with assistance in coming up with creative approaches to meet some of the most difficult challenges in separation science today.”

“The Department of Chemistry is proud that the work of one of our faculty has been recognized in this international forum,” said Dr. Alan Pinkerton, professor and chair of the Department of Chemistry. “The award recognizes both the talents of Dr. Anderson and the stature of the chemistry research program at The University of Toledo.”

In 2008, Anderson was granted a five-year award for $595,000 through the National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development Program to fund his research project, “Task-Specific Microextractions Using Ionic Liquids.”

In addition to giving numerous talks at conferences and pharmaceutical companies in the United States, Anderson has presented his group’s research results at international conferences in Japan, Australia and Germany. This fall, he will travel to conferences in Poland and China to share his research.

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