Faculty Research Highlight: ACS PRF UNI Award Creates New Opportunities in the Vadola Group


We are delighted to report that Dr. Vadola was awarded a competitive and prestigious ACS PRF UNI grant earlier this academic year!

The  Vadola Group takes a top down approach to methods development in synthetic chemistry. Dr. Vadola and his research students search for popular structural motifs in complex molecules used in applied fields from materials to pharmaceuticals. Conventional synthetic methods for creating such targets are often labor-intensive, expensive, or hazardous. The Vadola group searches for more direct, streamlined methods to reach these important targets. Taking a page from nature’s playbook, they make targeted changes to the core structure of the molecules, often through a catalytic approach. This powerful approach can create complex chemical structures while reducing both cost and waste, and is amenable to room temperature work with benign reagents. Dr. Vadola’s ambition is to create synthetic tools that allow chemists to use simple, abundant chemicals as if they were Lego blocks, directly constructing complex chemical architectures with useful industrial or medical properties. Ideally these syntheses will be practicable at room temperature, using non-toxic and nonflammable reagents, with high yield and quick processing times.

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The American Chemical Society has two National Meetings a year, one in the Spring, and one in the late summer/early fall. The spring meeting this year was in San Diego from March 13th to 17th. Dr. Grice attended the conference and presented a talk at a symposium in honor of his graduate research advisor. Two of our department staff members, Sara Rocus and William Schjerven, also attended and presented posters of their work during their MS degrees when they were students here at DePaul. Bill and Sara got some great photos that are shown in a slideshow below (there’s one of Dr. Grice from twitter as well!).

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We look forward to hearing about what our students and faculty present at future meetings!

Staff Spotlight: Nicole Hack

Our department is composed not only of our students and faculty,  but we also have great staff members as well! We are planning on highlighting them periodically on The Catalyst in addition to posting about our students, alumni, and faculty.

IMG_1372If you’ve ever come to our front office, you’ve probably met Nicole, but we wanted to give you a little bit more information about her. Nicole is the Department Assistant, which actually means she handles a wide variety of things behind the scenes, including everything from ordering chemicals, to processing time sheets, to reserving rooms, promoting events and beyond. Her day-to-day work is extremely diverse, so instead of covering what she does, we’ll focus on some of the things you might not know about her.

First of all, Nicole recently had her 10 year anniversary as a staff member for DePaul (January 31st to be specific)! Congratulations Nicole! She has worked in various departments including HR and HAA within LAS.

Nicole is also an alumna of DePaul (2004), and has a degree in English with a concentration in Professional and Technical Writing.

Not only that, but Nicole also is currently a graduate student in the New Media Studies program (WRD/LAS). Her background in writing and experience in the New Media Studies program has been valuable in helping the department with various reports and publications (including getting this blog going!). Once she graduates from the NMS program, she is planning on using her diverse skill set in writing and media and is eyeing a future in content management, social media management, communications management, content/social media strategy, and/or digital marketing.

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Gen Chem Crossword

Here’s something that everyone should be able to solve if they have been through general chemistry (and even if you haven’t!). Give it a shot!

Gen Chem Crossword