DePaul Research Highlighted in ACS Special Issue

The ACS journal Organometallics recently published a Special Virtual Issue focusing on Undergraduate Research in Organometallics. Two DePaul Chemistry and Biochemistry faculty members, Dr. Paul Vadola and Dr. Kyle Grice, had their papers included in this Special Virtual Issue!

According to the website of the special issue,

“This Virtual Issue features 24 organometallic chemistry papers from research groups at Primarily Undergraduate Institutions (PUIs) published in four core journals from 2014-2018: Organometallics, Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Letters, and The Journal of Organic Chemistry. The PUI researchers featured here represent a broad spectrum of institutions across the U.S. and Canada, career levels of faculty, and areas of interest. But they all share the common purpose of the pursuit of high-quality research with undergraduates”.

“It’s clear from these highlighted reports that PUI researchers strive to maintain a presence in emerging frontier areas of organometallic research”.

“As the guest editors noted: “The research featured in this Virtual Issue is a testament to the high-level work that can be performed with undergraduates. …Research for undergraduates is often a transformative experience, providing a natural incubator for the next generation of organometallic chemists””.

Congratulations to Dr. Vadola and Dr. Grice and their students for having their work highlighted! Way to go DePaul Chemistry and Biochemistry undergraduate researchers! You can learn more about the research being performed by Drs. Grice and Vadola, as well as our other faculty, by visiting faculty bio pages.

Here are the citations to the papers that were highlighted:

Electrocatalytic Reduction of CO2 by Group 6 M(CO)6 Species without “Non-Innocent” Ligands
Kyle A. Grice* and Cesar Saucedo
Inorg. Chem., 2016, 55 (12), pp 6240–6246
DOI: 10.1021/acs.inorgchem.6b00875

Gold-Catalyzed Hydroarylation of N-Aryl Alkynamides for the Synthesis of 2-Quinolinones
Taylor Vacala, Lauren P. Bejcek, Chloé G. Williams, Alexandra C. Williamson, and Paul A. Vadola*
J. Org. Chem., 2017, 82 (5), pp 2558–2569
DOI: 10.1021/acs.joc.6b02984

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Publications from Faculty and Students

Research from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry has produced several articles in several major journals in recent months. Undergraduate and graduate student coauthors were prominently involved in many of the studies.

publications-2

In December of 2017, Prof. Kyle Grice and five DePaul student coauthors published a paper in New Journal of Chemistry studying the behavior of drug molecules, in collaboration with colleagues at Rosalind Franklin University and North Carolina State University.The research team used NMR, reactivity testing, absorbance spectroscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy, X-Ray crystallography, and computational methods to study the compounds. They determined that a C-S bond was very weak because of the favorable formation of a carbocation upon cleavage. This result may explain some of the biological activities of these molecules as well.

Prof. Paul Vadola and five DePaul students published an article in the Journal of Organic Chemistry in January reporting a catalytic redox-neutral method for the synthesis of spirolactams, proceeding through the dearomative spirocyclization of N-aryl alkynamides. They were able to achieve selective spirocylcization with 35-87% yields and broad substrate scope.

Profs. Caitlin Karver and Carey Southern published a collaborative paper in February 2018 in the journal Analytical Biochemistry , with four DePaul student coauthors. They were able to develop a new assay for monitoring inflammatory caspase activity, relying on energy transfer between a tryptophan coumarin amino acid side chains. This methodology will allow for C-terminal amino acids to be included in peptide substrates. They were able to find activity differences with minor sequence modifications on the C-terminus with one enzyme, and will be able to develop a substrate specificity/selectivity pattern for all of the inflammatory caspases in the future.

Profs. Kyle Grice  and Graham Griffin published a collaborative paper in the Journal of Physical Chemistry A in March of 2018, along with four DePaul student coauthors. Their study reveals the solution phase structure, electronic structure, and electronic dynamics of a metal-ligand complex that has applications in OLEDs and other organic electronic technologies.

Profs. Wendy Wolbach and Timothy French were co-authors on two papers recently published on a significant bio-mass burning episode 12,800 years ago (a cosmic impact caused a really really big fire!). Both papers were published in the Journal of Geology (second paper) and the articles got some press coverage as well!

Congratulations to all of the authors, we are very proud of their hard work and great achievements!

DePaul Faculty Go to #ACSNOLA

Part of doing science is communicating your results in both written and oral form. Towards this end, DePaul faculty travel to conferences to present the work they’ve done with students here in the department of chemistry and biochemistry.

This spring break, The American Chemical Society has it’s 255th National Meeting and Exposition in New Orleans.

Both Dr. Grice and Dr. Vadola will be presenting, and a poster by one of Dr. Griffin’s Collaborators is also being presented.

Dr. Grice is giving a talk on carbon dioxide reduction research performed with DePaul undergraduates. Here’s the abstract. 

Dr. Vadola is giving a talk on gold-catalyzed C-C coupling reaction research he has been performing with DePaul undergraduates. Here’s the abstract. 

Here’s the abstract to the poster by Dr. Griffin’s collaborators. Dr. Grice’s collaborator at RFUMS is also giving a poster based on the DePaul-RFUMS collaborative work, see here.

If you want to hear about what happens at the ACS meeting, you can follow the hashtag #ACSNOLA on twitter.

Also, if you are a student researcher and want to go to a conference, you should definitely find a way to do so! They are great experiences for learning about science, practicing science communication, networking with peers, and learning about potential career information. Talk to your research advisor well in advance and you might be able to find a way to fund the trip. The ACS Great Lakes Regional Meeting 2019 will be in Lisle, IL, and will be much cheaper than a ACS National meeting, so it should be fairly easy to attend. There are also many other options out there, so keep your eyes out and talk to your research advisor!

Chemistry Seminar – Amanda East Thesis Defense Friday, Jan 26th

Our 2nd installment of the 2018 Chemistry Seminar series is this Friday from 1-2 pm in McGowan South 103. Amanda East, a student in Dr. Karver’s research lab, will be giving her undergradate CHE398 Thesis Defense. We are excited to hear about all of the work she has done and what she has learned!

Amanda East

Here’s a facebook event page where you can RSVP for the talk.

We look forward to seeing you all there!

Study Abroad Infosession Jan 11th

Drs. Kyle Grice (Chemistry) and Jason Bystriansky (Biology) are running their study abroad program this coming spring and summer. If you want to learn more, come to the infosession on January 11th from 6-7pm in McGowan South 104. Applications to the program are due by February 1st through the Study Abroad Website.

Cadiz Flier Jan 2018

Collaborations within the Department

CollaborationIn the third and final post in our series on Connections and Collaborations, we are going to focus in on collaborations within the Chemistry department. Like many fields, chemistry is increasingly collaborative and interdisciplinary. This is why it is important to learn about a variety of fields in chemistry and see the connections between them. Often, these collaborations spawn new ideas and approaches that would not have been discovered by one researcher alone.

DePaul Chemistry faculty continue to pursue research projects leveraging collaboration between multiple research groups, such as the examples highlighted below:

  • Dr. Ruben Parra and Dr. Lihua Jin are working on a study of the Cu2+ and Zn2+ binding affinities of selected chelate ligands.

 

  • Dr. Grice and Dr. Griffin are currently preparing a manuscript on the solution phase photochemistry of zinc bis-8-hydroxyquinolate, a material with potential applications in sensing, organic electronic technologies, and biological labelling.

 

  • Dr. French is currently pursuing several collaborative projects across many departments. Working with Dr. Sarah Read from Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse, he developed a course in creating and presenting scientific posters. He is working with Dr. Murat Kahveci, also from DePaul Chemistry, on creating learning objects for physical chemistry, with results to presented at the DePaul Teaching and Learning Conference on May 5. He is also working on developing course materials for introductory calculus that are based on physics or chemistry applications, with Dr. David Sher of DePaul’s Mathematical Sciences department. Dr. French is also working with Dr. Sandy Virtue from the Psychology department on a collaborative project.

 

  • Dr. Karver and Dr. French are working together on a project to assess student understanding of pKa and identify sources of alternative conceptions related specifically to the pKa concept, and more broadly to acid/base chemistry.

Connections to the Chicago Area

ChicagoDePaul (1)

In our last post, we talked about research collaborations between DePaul Faculty and other researchers around the US and the World. In this post, we wanted to focus in to the city of Chicago and local areas. Part of DePaul’s mision is to engage Chicago and use the resources of this great city in our teaching and research, and the Chemistry Department is no exception!

We  have a strong connection to our local community here in the city of Chicago. Below are some highlights of recent and current programs.

  • Dr. Kyle Grice does outreach at DePaul Prep, a private Catholic high school in the area. He is also ACS Science coach, working with a local high school chemistry teacher. Through this program, the high school program received funding for supplies and equipment, and Dr. Grice also provides guidance and feedback on lab experiments.

 

 

  • Dr. Timothy French has launched a “Discover Chicago” course (incoming first year students take Discover or Explore Chicago courses in ther first quarter) entitled “Chicago: Food, Science, and Society”. The course will run as part of the Pathways Honors program in the coming fall quarter. Dr. French also works with the Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center, a CPS high school in the North Park neighborhood. He works with them on judging science fairs and preparing their science Olympiad team.

 

  • Several faculty members collaborate with researchers at the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science (RFUMS). These projects also involve DePaul student researchers working on the projects.

 

  • DePaul chemistry students go to the Chicago Area Undergraduate Research Symposium (CAURS) every year to present their research. If you are a student, consider going next year!