Summer Journal Club

Each summer, the Department of Chemistry holds a weekly meeting of a “Journal Club” in which faculty and students gather to discuss a recent paper from the chemical literature in a relaxed and collegial atmosphere. Typically, a student from a research group will select and present a paper, after which they will respond to questions. The paper is sent out over email several days before the presentation so that everyone has a chance to read it and be prepared to discuss it. Each of the different research groups participating usually give at least one presentation, so the topics cover a wide variety of chemistry research. The goal is to help everyone learn more about chemistry literature and current research methods that may be relevant to our work here at DePaul.

Every other week lunch is provided by the Department of Chemistry.  All DePaul students and faculty interested in attending are welcome.  Meeting times and location for this coming summer have yet to be determined, but we will most likely meet in one of the classrooms on the first floor of McGowan South around noon. Please email Dr. Southern if you would like to receive more information about the journal club and/or be placed on the contact list.


Check out past photos from Journal Club.


Summer Research in the Chemistry Department

Spring quarter is more than halfway done and you might be curious what goes on over the summer here in the Chemistry Department. One of the things that takes place every summer is research. The Chemistry Department at DePaul University hosts a diverse collection of research programs, and much of this research activity occurs during the summer months. Below is a summary of just a few of the projects that will be active in the coming summer.

Summer Research

Dr. Lihua Jin… 

…has a team of students working in collaboration with Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science researchers Dr. Raúl J. Gazmuri, Dr. Jeejabai Radhakrishnan and Dr. Eric Walters, as well as DePaul Biology Professor Dr. Talitha Rajah. These researchers will investigate the role of cyclophilin-D (Cyp-D) in mitochondrial transcription initiation in terms of whether it acts through simple binding with mitochondrial transcription factors (mTFs) or via its peptidylprolyl cis/trans isomerase (PPIase) activity. Dr. Jin’s team will focus on determining the enzyme kinetics of Cyp-D with mitochondrial transcription factors (mTFs) TFB2M with and without Cyp-D inhibitors or to determine the thermodynamic binding parameters using isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC).

Dr. Jin, Dr. Caitlin Karver, and Dr. Kyle Grice…

…are directing a team of students studying the interaction of small molecule ligands with transition metal ions including Cu2+, Ni2+ and Co2+. They plan to identify metalloenzyme active sites metal structural mimetics and will then  use the mimetics to study their interactions with metalloenzyme competitive inhibitors. These inhibitors are drug molecules targeting diseases such as cancer.

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Save the Date: May 20th is the Awards Symposium

Put May 20th on your calendar! We will be having an awards symposium in the afternoon on May 20th. There will be student research talks and an alumni speaker in addition to the announcements of the winners of departmental scholarships and awards. All students, alumni, friends, and family are welcome and encouraged to attend. It’s a time to celebrate the accomplishments of our fantastic students! More info to come soon.

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Cross McGowan Classic: CHEM vs. BIO


Play in the CHEM vs. BIO softball game on Thursday, May 12 at Cacciatore Stadium. Faculty, staff, and students are all encouraged to play. If you’re not interested in playing, come out and cheer on your team!

The winning team gets bragging rights as the best major in College of Science & Health.

#TEAMBIO wears blue | #TeamCHEM wears white



Alumni Highlight: Azra Vilic


Alumni Photo 1

Azra Vilic graduated from DePaul with a BS in Chemistry in 2012, and went on to get a BS in nursing in 2015 from Loyola. She is currently an ICU Nurse as Resurrection Medical Center Chicago. We had a chance to ask her some questions about her career and her time at DePaul.

How did your degree prepare you for your non-traditional chemistry career path, and how has your education at DePaul prepared you for what you are currently doing?

By the time I graduated DePaul, I found myself looking outside of chemistry. After a few laboratory position interviews, I noticed I was not as excited as I wanted to be. So I stepped back and took a risk in trying something completely different. I started working at Misericordia Home, where I helped people with mental and physical disabilities uphold and learn new skills in order to become more independent. My education at DePaul certainly helped me, not from the scientific perspective, but by reminding me of moments that I was frustrated and challenged by chemistry and that I was able to overcome those situations. I knew I wanted to work with people and helping others directly, and nursing naturally became my passion. Nursing school was a different ball game from chemistry but my scientific knowledge definitely helped me understand and process what was going on inside the human body chemically and how those interactions produced the side effects and disease. Chemistry also taught me the discipline that is needed in nursing.  When I interviewed for my current position, the manager thought my background in chemistry was perfect for the knowledge and the critical thinking skills needed in order to succeed at a fast paced ICU. My education at DePaul thought me how to think critically, how to analyze every piece of information given and how multiple things need to align in order for chaos to make sense. And that is exactly how nursing works.

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Chem Club

The first general body meeting of the chem club last Thursday was a success. Students got together, discussed ideas for club activities, and nominated each other for leadership positions. Voting will occur at next month’s meeting. If you missed the meeting but want to be involved, email Jay Bhanot at He will send out info on the next meeting via email.

Chem club