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Meet Amanda C. Evans

Bio-Organic Chemist Develops Pharmaceuticals and Materials Using New Technologies

Oct. 22, 2014

As a new assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, Amanda C. Evans brings a breadth of research and teaching experience to her students in the classroom and in her research lab.

Evans earned her doctorate in synthetic organic chemistry from King's College at the University of Cambridge in England, then continued her research into polymers and DNA nanochemistry as a postdoctoral fellow at Cambridge. She also served as a teaching fellow and director of studies for chemistry at Cambridge's Murray Edwards College.

Before joining Cal State Fullerton this fall semester, Evans worked as a research fellow and visiting professor in astrobiology at the University of Nice – Sophia Antopolis in France and as a research associate in energy materials and flow chemistry at the University of Padova in Italy.

Her research interests include asymmetry, medicinal chemistry and materials synthesis. She uses flow chemistry to make molecules, which is a new synthetic technique increasingly being used by industry to more quickly and efficiently make chemicals in both small and large quantities, Evans explained.

"My research group is investigating new, safer and more efficient ways to make the chemical structures — such as 'cyclopropane rings' containing only three carbon atoms — that are commonly found in many pharmaceutical drugs and in the organic materials that are used for alternative energy applications," she said. Part of her work focuses on synthesizing new cyclopropane-containing therapeutics to treat neuromuscular disorders, such as fibromyalgia, and depressive disorders.

"More efficient ways in which to synthesize cyclopropane rings are essential as we attempt to optimize our treatments of these debilitating diseases," she said.

Evans, who received a Fulbright Fellowship to study chemistry in Munich, looks forward to her work with students and colleagues.

"The teaching environment at Cal State Fullerton facilitates and encourages a cooperative interaction between student and teacher that provides both with an evolutional educational experience," said Evans, who holds a bachelor's degree in chemistry and classical studies from Bryn Mawr College.

Evans and department associate Alexandra Orchard were recently awarded a prestigious Jean Dreyfus Boissevain Lectureship for Undergraduate Institutions grant by the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation.

Tags:  Academics & Research