John S. Anderson Assistant Professor

Born Downers Grove IL, 1986
B.S./M.S. in Chemistry, University of Chicago, 2008
Ph.D. California Institute of Technology, 2013
Postdoctoral Fellow, Northwestern University, 2013-2015


2014, ACS DIC Young Investigator Award

2014, Herbert Newby McCoy Award

2008-2012, NSF Graduate Research Fellow

2008, MIT Presidential Scholar

2008, Norman H. Nachtrieb Award

2006-2008, Beckman Scholar


PHONE: (773) 702-9025




The Anderson Lab is a group of synthetic inorganic chemists. While our research is centered around transition metal chemistry, we find substantial overlap and applicability through interdisciplinary research in a variety of other fields, including but not limited to organic chemistry, spectroscopy, materials chemistry, and biology. Students in the lab will be trained in a variety of synthetic techniques particularly those related to the isolation and handling of air-sensitive complexes and materials. Furthermore, students will gain expertise in the acquisition and interpretation of common analytical methods such as NMR, UV-Vis, and IR spectroscopies, as well utilizing more advanced data acquired from EPR, XAS, or magnetometry.

At the heart of our research lies the interplay between natural and synthetic systems. We aim to utilize well defined synthetic complexes and materials with two main goals. Firstly we aim to use isolable complexes as models for biological systems, notably as tools to try and understand some of the fundamental properties that govern enzymatic transformations. Secondly, we are utilizing principles employed by biological systems to develop challenging reactivity or properties in complexes or materials. Such themes are careful control of spin-state, bi-functional activation of substrates, and the utilization of redox active scaffolds to mediate reactivity and coupling. For more information on these research projects, please visit the Anderson Lab website.


Selected References:

“A Five-Coordinate Heme Dioxygen Adduct Isolated within a Metal-Organic Framework” Anderson, J.S.; Gallagher, A. T.; Mason, J. A.; Harris, T. D. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 16489-16492.

“Influence of Electronic Spin and Spin-Orbit Coupling on Decoherence in Mononuclear Transition Metal Complexes.” Graham, M. J.; Zadrozny, J. M.; Shiddiq, M.; Anderson, J. S.; Fataftah, M. S.; Hill, S.; Freedman, D. E. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 7623.

“Low-Spin Pseudotetrahedral Iron(I) Sites in Fe2(μ-S) Complexes.” Anderson, J. S.; Peters, J. C. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2014, 53, 5978.

“Catalytic Conversion of Nitrogen to Ammonia by an Iron Model Complex.” Anderson, J. S.; Rittle, J.; Peters, J. C. Nature 2013, 501, 84.

“Conversion of Fe-NH2 to Fe-N2 with release of NH3.” Anderson, J. S.; Moret, M.-E.; Peters, J. C. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135, 534.

“Synthesis and Characterization of Three-Coordinate Ni(III)-Imide Complexes.” Iluc, V. M.; Miller, A. J. M.; Anderson, J. S.; Monreal, M. J.; Mehn, M. P.; Hillhouse, G. L. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2011, 133, 13055.

“Reactions of CO2 and CS2 with 1,2-bis(di-tert-butylphosphino)ethane Complexes of Nickel(0) and Nickel(I).” Anderson, J. S.; Iluc, V. M.; Hillhouse, G. L. Inorg. Chem. 2010, 49, 10203.