Faculty Conference Presentations


Related to our recent post highlighting faculty publications in 2016, our faculty members have been busy sharing the wonderful work that has been going on here at DePaul during some recent conference trips.

During the summer of 2016, Dr. Timothy French was awarded a travel grant so that he could travel to The Biennial Conference on Chemical Education and present a talk regarding the development of his Discover Chicago (LSP110) course entitled “Chicago: Food, Science and Society”. He had previously attended a cCWCS workshop regarding food chemistry in summer 2015 and used the information he had learned there to develop this course. Dr. French gave a presentation on how this workshop had transformed his teaching and inspired the creation of his LSP110, which explores special topics such as molecular gastronomy and the way that food shapes our culture and society, with specific focus on foods produced and consumed in Chicago.

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✏️️👩‍🏫 Nominate your favorite professor for the Excellence in Teaching Award 📓👨‍🏫


The CSH Dean’s Office is looking for nominations for the 2017 Excellence in Teaching Award.

A paragraph or two about your professor via email is all it takes to nominate your professor of choice. E-mail cshawards@depaul.edu by February 17th with your nomination. Don’t let your favorite professor’s work go unrecognized.

DePaul Chemistry Faculty Publications of 2016

The Department of Chemistry had a very productive year in 2016! Below are brief summaries highlighting some of our published research, including links to the online articles. These works included many DePaul students as co-authors and we are very proud of their accomplishements with our faculty!


  • A collaborative project between Dr. Lihua Jin, Dr. Caitlin Karver, and Dr. Kyle Grice explored the binding interactions and energetics of mimics of metalloenzyme active sites with known inhibitors of metalloenzymes. This information can be used to help in the design of more effective and more selective inhibitors of metalloenzymes, which are targets of many drug discovery pursuits. Read here.


  • Dr. Karver also published a follow-up study building on the potent inhibitors of caspase-1 that her group discovered in 2015. The current article describes the synthesis of 12 novel compounds, as well as biochemical analysis against caspase-1 and its other inflammatory caspase family members (caspase-4 and caspase-5). They found a few interesting compounds: one showing selectivity between the three different caspases is a possibility, and another was found to be pan-active, with low nM potencies, against all three enzymes. The inhibitors were also shown not to be active against other inflammatory proteases in difference enzyme families. Read here.


  • Dr. Grice published several additional articles this year. The Grice group examined 7 early transition metal complexes for electrocatalytic CO2 reduction in acetonitrile, in the presence and absence of added water as a proton donor. They found that the Mo, W, and Nb complexes showed promise for CO2 reduction over short time scales, but were not efficient for CO2 reduction over longer time experiments. Read here.


  • In another study, the Grice Group found that group 6 transition metals form hexacarbonyl complexes that are facile electrocatalysts for CO2 reduction to CO in acetonitrile and DMF. This result is in stark contrast to the carbonyls of group 7 transition metals such as Re and Mn, which aren’t effective catalysts and require “non-innocent” bipyridine ligands to perform CO2 reduction. Read here.


  • In another article, the Grice Group synthesized several small molecule zinc complexes that mimic the active sites of various enzymes coordinated to drug compounds.They structurally characterized these compounds using single crystal X-ray crystallography and compared them with previous literature. The drug inhibitors used are known compounds for the treatment of various diseases, including cancer. Read here.


  • Dr. Greg Kharas published 16(!) articles demonstrating the synthesis of novel copolymers of Styrene.These articles can be found in several issues of the Journal of Macromolecular Science Part A, volume 53. Each manuscript describes the synthesis, IR and NMR spectra of a uniquely substituted styrene copolymer. Each polymer was also analyzed by GPC, TGA, and DSC. Read here.

Upcoming Conferences

Although Chicago is a big city, we don’t often have a lot of chemistry conferences in Chicago for students to attend (the ACS National Meeting hasn’t been in Chicago for a long time, but it will be back in 2022). However, there are opportunities out there. We wanted to let you know about some upcoming conference opportunities in Chicago.

In April, the annual Chicago Area Undergraduate Research Symposium (CAURS)  will be hosted by Roosevelt University. It’s on Saturday April 29th, and registration is free. Students from DePaul present every year and you should talk to your research advisor about giving a poster or oral presentation. If you haven’t given a poster presentation at a conference, this is a very good place to do it the first time. You need to register with an abstract online, and the last day to do so is March 31st. We hope to see you there!

Pittcon is coming to Chicago March 5-9 at McCormick Place. Pittcon is a more industry/instrumentation/technical-focused conference compared to others and would be a good conference to attend if you are interested in a technical position in industry. They have an employment bureau as a part of the registration to help you find potential employers. Student (undergraduate and graduate) registration is $50.

Spring Quarter 2017 Classes

Students start enrolling in courses this week. Don’t forget to meet with your academic advisor to discuss your plans! We wanted to highlight some classes that will be offered in SQ2017 besides the regularly offered courses.

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Dr. Vadola is offering a class on Organometallic Chemistry (CHE326/327 lecture and lab). Organometallic chemistry is the intersection of organic and inorganic chemistry, and many of the modern synthetic methods for organic compounds involve organometallic catalysts. This course will provide an introduction to the fundamental structure and bonding of organometallic complexes, while offering an in depth study of the unique reaction mechanisms by which metals, particularly transition metals, react with organic molecules. Applications of these compounds and reactions to real-world industrial processes will also be presented to highlight the tremendous utility of this chemistry.

Dr. Maresh is teaching Drugs and Toxicology (CHE362). This course covers the chemical and biological analysis of the metabolism and distribution of drugs, toxins and chemicals in animals and humans, and the mechanism by which they cause therapeutic and toxic responses. Metabolism and toxicity as a basis for drug development, metabolic polymorphisms and biomarkers of exposure are also covered.

At the MS level, Dr. Grice is offering a special topics’ course in inorganic chemistry (CHE484). This course is a 2-credit seminar-style class that meets once a week. Students will learn about the roles that metals and inorganic compounds play in biology, from enzyme active sites to metal-based drugs and environmental toxins. Motivated undergraduate upperclassmen can also enroll with instructor permission and an exceptions form (talk to Dr. Grice and your academic adviser)

Dr. French is teaching a 4-credit MS course (CHE494) entitled Science Writing and Communication. This course is co-taught with Dr. Sarah Read from WRD.
The goal of this course is to prepare students to be effective writers and communicators in academic and industrial settings. The course is organized around learning how to write a scientific argument via modules that cover the nature of scientific fact, different genres of scientific writing (e.g., reports and proposals), writing collaboratively and presenting a scientific argument to a stakeholder audience. This class was highlighted recently in DePaul’s Newsline