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.

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