Skip to Main Content

Behind the Research: Anton Terekhov

About the feature

 

Many people are involved in the remarkable range of programs, services and facilities that undergird research in the College of Agriculture. Collectively they’re integral to the college fulfilling its research mission. “Behind the Research” explores their individual roles. Each academic year, we profile six people whose work supports the College of Agriculture’s global reputation for developing innovative, multidisciplinary solutions to challenges and then putting those solutions into action.

Anton Terekhov

 

Anton Terekhov, Analytical Chemist and Managing Director of Analytical Services, Whistler Center for Carbohydrate Research

 

  • Joined the Whistler Center in 2007 as an analytical chemist with an increasing range of responsibilities since then. 
  • Supports research and graduate education in the College of Agriculture through his own research and by training graduate students on analytical instrumentation. 
  • Part of marketing efforts to raise awareness and recognition of the Whistler Center.

Anton Terekhov knows it’s important to keep the analytical instrumentation at the Whistler Center for Carbohydrate Research operating properly. But even as he focuses on maintaining the equipment, he also values the human talent that surrounds him at work every day.

 “The Whistler Center is unique because faculty and staff with different expertise are brought together and look at a problem from different perspectives,” he says. The center conducts research and offers a range of analytical services to those using or researching complex carbohydrate structure and function for food and non-food applications.

 “If industry comes to us with a question, they need our analytical ability,” Terekhov adds. “Some of them have billion-dollar R&D budgets and state-of-the-art equipment, but they come to us for expertise — the ability to interpret or develop a method for their needs.” 

Terekhov trained as analytical chemist with an emphasis on instrumentation.  His main research area is carbohydrate analysis using analytical instruments such as mass spectrometry, gas chromatography, liquid chromatography and NMR spectroscopy, to name a few. He likes working with the varied equipment at the Whistler Center, he says, “because it is straightforward. It’s either working or not working, and there’s no second guessing.” And when the instrumentation doesn’t work, it’s up to Terekhov to figure out why.

He grew up in Russia and came to the U.S. to pursue his education. As an undergraduate at the University of Tennessee, he worked at its Center for Environmental Biology with Bruce Applegate, then a postdoc and now an associate professor of food science at Purdue. Applegate would go on to join Purdue’s food science faculty, and in 2007, encouraged Terekhov to come to the Whistler Center as an analytical chemist. Purdue wasn’t completely foreign to Terekhov: earlier he had helped a mentor move from Tennessee to West Lafayette to fill a position at Purdue.

Terekhov’s job has evolved to encompass a wide range of responsibilities. In addition to maintaining most of the analytical equipment in Whistler Center to ensure its correct operation, he analyzes samples for projects with private food companies like Nestlé or General Mills. He works with students on their research and theses, training them how to use the center’s analytical equipment and overseeing their progress. And he also is involved on the business side of the Whistler Center in marketing and contracts.

 “The appeal of the job is that I do all those things together,” he says. “I have different tasks every day. I don’t get tired of it because there’s always something new to do.”

His position involves occasional travel for projects and education. When the center orders new equipment, for example, he often receives training at the company that is providing it.

Working with graduate students on their thesis projects is both challenging and rewarding, Terekhov says. “I’m proud of helping students take the next step for their success,” he says. “I think that’s the most important aspect of my satisfaction here at Purdue.”

Teaching graduate students how to use analytical equipment and interpret data is also beneficial to Terekhov’s own knowledge he adds: “When I help them, that provides insight into new research.” His research has been published numerous times in carbohydrate journals.

Terekhov also enjoys his colleagues. “I think I’m fortunate to be surrounded by great people — great personally and professionally. The supporting staff is amazing. I used to play soccer and I know that ‘team’ is very important. You’re as good as your team.”

Featured Stories

Yellow flowers against a leafy green background
April Showers Bring May Flowers to Jules Janick Horticulture Garden

The sweet smell of hundreds of blossoms draws pollinators and people alike to the Jules Janick...

Read More
Bob Auber presents from a screen titled "A Day in the Life." In the foreground, there are two graduate students watching.
‘Plants to people:’ Bob Auber’s path from the Center for Plant Biology to oncology

On Friday March 22, Bob Auber returned to Room 116 in Whistler Hall to stand behind a podium in...

Read More
Measuring soil in a field
New Indiana Organic Network to engage farmers in statewide soil health census

A Purdue University interdisciplinary team is establishing a network of organic farmers to...

Read More
Bob and Karen Thompson walking side-by-side while smiling at each other and holding hands
Funding endowed chair in agricultural economics reflects couple’s global vision brought home: “Purdue is special in our lives”

Bob and Karen Thompson have operated as a team, both throughout their 55-year marriage and in...

Read More
Melanie Hasler on Purdue University campus with Boilermaker special train in background
The COVID-19 Class: One senior's pursuit for a well-rounded education

The “COVID-19 Class” is a mini-series documenting the experiences of three members of...

Read More
Bryan Pijanowski and his graduate student look up at the eclipse with eclipse glasses on.
What Purdue researchers learned from the 2024 eclipse

While most vehicles driving towards the path of totality in the 2024 solar eclipse were loaded...

Read More
To Top