Chemistry and Biochemistry

Merritt B. Andrus

Merritt Andrus

Office: C410 BNSN
Office Phone: 801-422-8171
Lab Room: C476 and C488
Lab Phone: 801-422-9008
Office Hours


BS, Brigham Young University (1986)

Ph.D., University of Utah (1986-1991)

NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University (1991-1993)

Assistant Professor, Purdue University (1993-1997)


The Andrus Lab Group synthesizes biologically active natural products with potential for combinatorial library construction and screening.

We use metal catalyzed couplings and condensations to assemble key intermediates. Libraries of structural variants are then designed and used to probe receptor bindings and improve activity.

Recent work includes the synthesis of the polyene stipiamide, a new reversal agent of multidrug resistance (MDR). Various non-natural compounds have been made that restore the potency of cancer drugs to resistant cancer cell lines. New synthetic methods include a copper-tin conjugate addition and palladium acetylene couplings. A combinatorial library, an array of variants using a new solution-phase based approach, has been made and screened based on a simplified stipiamide motif. More potent compounds were identified and characterized. New oligomeric MDR reversal agents are also under consideration along with photoaffinity labels for the causative MDR protein, Pgp.


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