Andrea was awarded a PhD in chemistry from the ETH (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) in 1971 having previously graduated from the University of Fribourg with a degree in chemistry and biology.
He went on to complete postdoctoral studies at Kings College (London), MIT and Harvard University after which he returned to the ETH in 1974. He moved to the University of Fribourg in 1977 as Assistant Professor and subsequently to the University of Zürich in 1981, where he was made full Professor and chaired the Institute of Organic Chemistry from 1987-1989. Between 1993 and 2008 he was Professor of Organic Chemistry at the ETH and since 2008, a professor emeritus at the same institution. Most of Andrea’s research is focused on carbohydrates. His main topics are the elucidation of the mechanism of action of glycosidases and related enzymes using the design and kinetic characterisation of transition state analogues. Other interests include the characterisation of hydrogen bonds, particularly in celluloses and novel cellulose analogues, the preparation of cyclodextrins and the synthesis of new types of DNA and RNA analogues. He is widely known in academia and industry and has many research publications and patents to his credit. Andrea is the recipient of the Werner Award of the Swiss Chemical Society and the Roy L.Whistler Award.