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Ballard_C Associate Professor of Chemistry
  • B.S. in Chemical Engineering, University of Kentucky; Mentor: Professor Asit K. Ray
  • Ph.D. in Chemistry, North Carolina State University; Mentor: Professor Binghe Wang
  • Postdoctoral Researcher in Chemistry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Mentor: Professor James P. Morken
 

Research Interests

I am interested in discovering new methods for the preparation of organic compounds. In particular I am interested in new reactions applying green chemistry concepts. (Green chemistry aims to perform chemical reactions more efficiently with safer reagents to generate less waste.) New synthetic methods, especially those consistent with the ideas of green chemistry, are always needed for the total synthesis of biologically and chemically interesting molecules and for useful preparations of new materials or pharmaceuticals.

The natural products shown below have been prepared by total synthesis in the laboratory. Paclitaxel (Taxol®) became one of the best selling drugs. It is a mitotic inhibitor used for the treatment of several cancers, including breast and ovarian tumors. Paclitaxel was originally isolated from the Pacific yew tree. Saxitoxin is one of the most potent neurotoxins; it causes paralytic shellfish poisoning caused by red tides. These two compounds hint at the diversity of powerful biological activities and beautiful architectures associated with naturally occurring substances. To prepare complex molecules, new synthetic methods are always needed.

Ballard Research
Graphic credits: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxol; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_ tide; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saxitoxin

Undergraduate Research in My Lab

Ballard Student
A UT student in Dr. Ballard's lab records data from an experiment.

Learning by conducting research is complementary to learning in lecture and laboratory courses. In courses, students learn about science; in the research lab students perform science. In my lab, student co-workers are given a research project to develop. They learn how to apply the scientific method to a research project by reading the literature to generate hypotheses and design experiments. Student researchers learn additional techniques about conducting experiments and interpreting empirical data. I encourage students to contact me if they are curious about my research or interested in working in my lab.
Current Projects

Development of an enantioselective acylation catalyst for secondary alcoholsBallard Research 2

Study of an intramolecular Cannizzaro reaction for the preparation of hydroxy acidsBallard Lewis Acid

Off-campus presentations (UT student coauthors' names are in bold type)
:
C. Eric Ballard, Jack C. McGeachy , Jessica A. Hurtak , Morgan T. Raymond, and Robab G. Dehkharghani , "Preparation of 2-Substituted Indoles by Lewis Acid-Catalyzed Alkylation and Oxidation of 4,7-Dihydroindole ," Poster at the 241st ACS National Meeting, March 27-31, 2011, ORGN-536.

C. Eric Ballard, "Green Reductive Homocoupling of Bromobenzene," Oral presentation at the 241st ACS National Meeting, March 27-31, 2011, CHED-1451.

C. Eric Ballard, Jack C. McGeachy , and Robab G. Dehkharghani, "Lewis Acid-Catalyzed Alkylation of Pyrroles: A Possible Route to 2-Substituted Indoles," Poster presented at the National Organic Symposium, June 7-11, 2009.

C. Eric Ballard, "Study of Aza Nucleophiles as Catalysts of the Morita-Baylis-Hillman Reaction," Oral presentation at the 237th ACS National Meeting, March 22-26, 2009, CHED-1293.

Bronson E. Cox and C. Eric Ballard, "Investigation of Amidines and Isothioureas as Catalysts of the Morita-Baylis-Hillman Reaction," Oral presentation at the 60th Southeast Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society, November 12-15, 2008, SERM-835.

Bronson E. Cox
and C. Eric Ballard, "Chiral Amidines as Nucelophilic Organocatalysts," Poster presented at the 235th ACS National Meeting, April 6-10, 2008, CHED-664.

Robab G. Dehkharghani
and C. Eric Ballard, "Lewis Acid-Catalyzed Alkylation of 4,5,6,7-Tetrahydroindole: A Possible Route to 2-Substituted Indoles," Poster presented at the 235th ACS National Meeting, April 6-10, 2008, CHED-663.

C. Eric Ballard, "pH-Controlled Oxidation of an Aromatic Ketone: Structural Elucidation of the Products of Two Green Chemical Reactions," Oral presentation at the 59th Southeast Regional Meeting of the ACS, October 24-27, 2007, GEN 538.

C. Eric Ballard, John A. Struss, Scott E. Allen, and L. Michael Carastro, "Regioselective Bromination of Aromatic Ketones: Discovery in the Organic Chemistry Laboratory," Oral presentation at the 233rd ACS National Meeting, March 25-29, 2007, CHED-1843.

Recent Publications
C. Eric Ballard, “Green Reductive Homocoupling of Bromobenzene,” J. Chem. Ed. 2011, 88, 1148-1151. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ed100945h

C. Eric Ballard, “pH-Controlled Oxidation of an Aromatic Ketone: Structural Elucidation of the Products of Two Green Chemical Reactions,” J. Chem. Ed. 2010, 87, 190-193. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ed800054s

Yanling Zhang, C. Eric Ballard, Shi-Long Zheng, Xingming Gao, Ko-Chun Ko, Hsiuchin Yang, Gary Brandt, Xinhui Lou, Phang C. Tai, Chung-Dar Lu, and Binghe Wang, “Design, Synthesis and Evaluation of Efflux Substrate-Metal Chelator Conjugates as Potential Anti-Microbial Agents,” Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 2007, 17, 707-711. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/0960894X