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Meet a SLU Researcher: Alexei Demchenko, Ph.D.

11/09/2021

Alexei Demchenko, Ph.D., is a professor of Chemistry and the Chemistry Department Chair. Demchenko’s research focuses on carbohydrate molecules, which are vital for the development of therapeutics and pharmaceuticals, and how to make the molecule more accessible through technology.

 

Background

"My friends at the high school back in Russia, of course, some of them were interested in literature, others in math, engineering, and things like that, music," Demchenko said. "I was not interested in anything, but in the junior year of high school, organic chemistry started, and that changed my life."

Research Work

"I work with carbohydrates," he said. "Carbohydrates are essential molecules of life. They have many applications as therapeutics and pharmaceuticals and vaccines and food additives and things like that. But being so desirable for biological and medical applications, they are very challenging targets for chemists.

"We are trying to make these molecules more accessible for the general community by developing accessible and automated technologies when, in a nutshell, even a high school student can come to the lab, press the button, and make these molecules appear."

Life at SLU

"What draws me to this position is the commitment of SLU to research," he said. "Great facilities, great support staff — this department has gone a long way toward a research one-ranking institution." 

Meet the Researcher Video Series

This is part of a weekly series of short videos featuring faculty researchers from across the University sharing the important and cutting-edge research taking place at SLU. 

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