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!


Research Lab Open House Next Week

We will have a research lab open house next Thursday (Jan 12th) from 11am to 1pm.

We have 14 research-active chemistry faculty here at Lincoln Park, and their research labs are on the 3rd floor of McGowan South, as well as one lab on the 4th floor of McGowan South.

The research lab open house is a great opportunity to come and see what faculty do for research and also find out how to get involved in research in the chemistry department!

See you on Thursday!


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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Alumni Profile: Sophia Robinson

Sophia Robinson DePaul Chemistry AlumniSophia Robinson graduated from DePaul in 2015 with a BS/MS in Chemistry.  Here she reflects back on her academic career at DePaul University’s Department of Chemistry with Associate Professor and Department Chair, Dr. Lihua Jin.

Accomplished: DePaul University, BS/MS Chemistry 2015
Current: University of Utah, Organic chemistry graduate student

Jin: How has your MS study at DePaul helped you reach where you are now, a PhD student at a top research lab in the country?

Robinson: As an undergraduate, I switched my major to chemistry in the winter quarter of my junior year because I was enjoying my biochemistry class so much. I realized I wanted to have a career in chemistry but felt I had not yet put enough time in at the bench to commit to a PhD program. With more experience in the lab, I became confident that I had the passion for research and personal drive to succeed in a PhD program.

Having an MS was somewhat advantageous for my graduate school applications as it showed my commitment to my education and that despite additional years of study after undergrad; I was still passionate about chemistry and research. Chemistry PhD programs are making an investment in their students and as an applicant it is important to demonstrate your passion for research, chemistry, and that you have the drive to not only finish the program but hopefully make important contributions to science during your time there.

Jin: What aspects of your MS study at DePaul have been the most beneficial to you for your growth as a graduate student?

Robinson: By far the most beneficial aspect of my MS study was my research experience. The MS program gave me the opportunity to have my own research project with more independence and also the valuable experience of writing a thesis. Having written a MS thesis, I feel better prepared for how to approach my PhD dissertation and most importantly, stay organized to keep putting the whole story together much easier.

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Students: Use Your Resources!

Hello DePaul Students, Alumni and Friends! Dr. Grice here (@GriceChemistry). One thing we always tell our students in our classes is to use their resources to help them succeed. We want students to read their texts, come to class, go to course assistant (CA) and instructor office hours, and do practice problems so that they can improve. Everyone learns in a different way, so we want to give students various resources to learn how to tackle the concepts. But it doesn’t stop there. As a student you should be building your resume and networking while here at DePaul, so you can be prepared for your life after college (yes, it exists and we want to help you get there!). There are many resources on the internet that can be extremely valuable for other important parts of a student’s time here at DePaul (and beyond). In addition, if you start doing research or plan to go into a research/bench chemistry position, there are many great resources to help you learn about your projects and tackle the challenges that chemistry research throws at you. Maybe you need to write a thesis or research paper and you want to know how approach writing such a large document.  Maybe that TLC or column is giving you a lot of trouble. There are resources out there to help!

The Catalyst is a home for links to many resources to help you succeed.

We want the The Catalyst to be your go-to place for online resources. You will find many under the Links to Resources tab at the top of the page. We will try to keep the links updated as new tools come up, so go ahead and bookmark it! We’ve sorted them by area where they may be useful to you and have only included links to things that we have read and/or used ourselves. There’s a lot of not-so-great stuff out there on the internet and we want to help you sort through it by giving you this resource. Future posts to The Catalyst will be dedicated to introducing you to many of these. In the meantime, visit Links to Resources and dive in! All the best, -Dr. Grice

Here are a few links that I have put together for you based on input from faculty and staff.

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