Nobel Prize Season

It’s that time of year again.

The Nobel Prizes are announced in early October, and the all-important Nobel Prize in Chemistry will be announced Wednesday October 7th, no earlier than 11:45 am (That’s less that two weeks from now!). Note that it is announced in Sweden, so that would be no earlier than 4:45 am our time. If you are awake at that time, you can probably watch the announcement live on a videostream.

So, who is going to win the Nobel Prize? Its always kept a secret until the announcement, so we will have to wait and see. If you want to see information on previous Nobel Laureates in chemistry, the Nobel website is a great resource. According to the website, the prize goes to “the person who shall have made the most important chemical discovery or improvement”. Often it is a real surprise to many people, including the winners themselves.

We aren’t going to speculate who will get it this year, but there are those out there who are putting forth various predictions. See these external sites: Here, Here, and Here.

We will definitely write a post after we find out who gets it this year! Until then, we will have to wait in anticipation.

-Dr. Grice


Alumni Profile: Sophia Robinson

Sophia Robinson DePaul Chemistry AlumniSophia Robinson graduated from DePaul in 2015 with a BS/MS in Chemistry.  Here she reflects back on her academic career at DePaul University’s Department of Chemistry with Associate Professor and Department Chair, Dr. Lihua Jin.

Accomplished: DePaul University, BS/MS Chemistry 2015
Current: University of Utah, Organic chemistry graduate student

Jin: How has your MS study at DePaul helped you reach where you are now, a PhD student at a top research lab in the country?

Robinson: As an undergraduate, I switched my major to chemistry in the winter quarter of my junior year because I was enjoying my biochemistry class so much. I realized I wanted to have a career in chemistry but felt I had not yet put enough time in at the bench to commit to a PhD program. With more experience in the lab, I became confident that I had the passion for research and personal drive to succeed in a PhD program.

Having an MS was somewhat advantageous for my graduate school applications as it showed my commitment to my education and that despite additional years of study after undergrad; I was still passionate about chemistry and research. Chemistry PhD programs are making an investment in their students and as an applicant it is important to demonstrate your passion for research, chemistry, and that you have the drive to not only finish the program but hopefully make important contributions to science during your time there.

Jin: What aspects of your MS study at DePaul have been the most beneficial to you for your growth as a graduate student?

Robinson: By far the most beneficial aspect of my MS study was my research experience. The MS program gave me the opportunity to have my own research project with more independence and also the valuable experience of writing a thesis. Having written a MS thesis, I feel better prepared for how to approach my PhD dissertation and most importantly, stay organized to keep putting the whole story together much easier.

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More on the Student Volunteer Trip to the Illinois State Fair

One of our students who volunteered at the state fair wanted to give a little more information about what they did. Check out her report and photos below!

DePaul Chem Club volunteers with ACS at Illinois State Fair

By Casey Murphy (DePaul MS student, BS ‘15)

On August 22, a group of DePaul chemistry students volunteered with the Illinois division of the American Chemical Society at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield.

There were two parts to our volunteering. First, we performed chemical “magic tricks” for a large group of children and adults followed by explanations of the physical or chemical concepts behind them like surface tension, kinetic and potential energy, and vacuum. In the photo, Nick Tassone (BS ‘17) explains how the classic “tornado in a bottle” is a vortex that allows the air and water to pass through the bottlenecks at the same time. If the vortex is not created, the water and air have to take turns passing to the other side.

Depaul University Chemistry ACS
Nick explaining how a vortex works.

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Blue Demons volunteer with ACS at Illinois State Fair

DePaul Chemistry American Chemical Society State Fair

This summer, DePaul Chemistry students volunteered at the Illinois State Fair where they facilitated scientific demonstrations for Fair guests at the American Chemistry Society Tent. These demonstrations allowed children the opportunity to seek interest in Chemistry while simultaneously building knowledge of science and the world around them.

Via: Nicholas Tassone (DePaul BS Student, BS ’17)

Check out more photos from the event here and here.

Welcome back, Blue Demons!

Welcome back to campus, Blue Demons! Start the Fall Quarter off right and check out some of these great DePaul Welcome Week Events. Visit for more information and don’t forget to follow #DPUWelcomeWeek on Twitter.

DePaul Welcome Week 2015

Alumni Highlight: Dana Klug BS ’13

Hello DePaul Community,

We are very proud of our DePaul students and alumni. They go on to do great things in a wide variety of areas. One chemistry alumna, Dana Klug (BS ’13), was just honored with a prestigious scholarship from the American Chemical Society’s Division of Medicinal Chemistry!

DePaul University Chemistry Dana Klug
Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

Here’s the story from Northeastern University, where Dana is currently working on getting her PhD in chemistry:

While at DePaul, Dana worked in Dr. Karver’s lab and we are sure the skills she learned there are being put to good use. Congratulations Dana!