January Chem Club Meeting

chemclub_websocialmediaHi from the DePaul Chemistry Club!

We are reviving Chem Club and looking for members! As a club, our mission is to bring awareness of and a greater appreciation for the wonders of chemistry. We also hope to encourage and support those who wish to broaden their knowledge of chemistry.

All DePaul students interested in chemistry are open to join our organization, not only chem majors or minors! If you like chemistry, think it’s cool, or want to learn more, please check us out.

Our first meeting is planned for Wednesday, January 24 at 6:00 in McGowan South, 104. If you’d like to join us or have questions, please email us at dpuchemclub@gmail.com.

We hope to see you the 24th!

-Chem Club


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!

New Chemistry Seminar Starts This Friday!

We are very very excited for the start of our new bi-weekly Chemistry Seminar Series, organized by Dr. Charles Rubert Perez! Presentations will be made by professors from DePaul and other universities, as well as by students who are defending their theses. The first seminar will be a crash-course on Cryo-EM, the powerful technique that was central to the 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

TEM is a powerful technique capable of taking images of biological samples at the micro and nano-level scale. With the development of cryogenic sample preparation and molecular modeling software, this method can now elucidate structural information with low armstrong resolution, similar to x-ray crystallography. This talk will cover a short introduction on cryo-TEM and how it works, highlighting the contribution of Dr. Frank, Dr. Dubochet and Dr. Henderson, the winners of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Seminar Series_Twitter

Here’s a facebook event for the seminar to share with your friends.

The next seminar will be Jan 26th, where a CHE398 Undergraduate thesis defense will be presented. We’ll post the title and info for that seminar when it gets closer.

Following that, we will have guest seminars from Loyola professors on Feb 9 and 23rd, all in McGowan South 103 at 1 pm. Put the dates on your calendar!


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

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2018!

Hello Students, Alumni, and Friends!

We’ve been quiet for a while, but that’s because we were very busy then took a much-needed break.

Welcome to 2018! We hope you had wonderful Holidays with friends and family!

Something new and exciting is a Seminar series that has been organized by Dr. Charles Rubert Perez. 

The seminars will be every other Friday, starting with January 12, 2018. For the first seimar, Dr. Rubert Perez will be giving a presentation on Cryo-EM, a very powerful technique that won the Nobel Prize.

The seminar on January 26 will be a student thesis defense, and the following seminars will be talks from professors at Loyola. A schedule will be posted soon, along with the time and room for the seminars. All students and faculty are welcome, and the seminars will be especially valuable for students doing research and/or looking to go into graduate school!

Classes start tomorrow, and we will see you then!

-Dept. of Chemistry

Safety Post: A Radioactive Awakening

This is a contribution towards our periodic (periodic…get it?) posts about safety in the Catalyst. This was written by our former student Zach Wahrenberg, who worked as a lab manager in our department as well.

“Radium, an element isolated from uranium ore by Marie Curie and her husband Pierre Curie, was hailed as a wonder drug for much of the first part of the late 19th and early 20th century.  The unearthing and mainstream usage of radium also goes down in history as one of the most notorious examples of serious safety lapses in society.

In 1889 when radium was first isolated there were very few regulations pertaining to food and drugs and therefore it was easy for radium to find its way into commercially produced prescription medication and over-the-counter medications without much initial testing. Today it would be much harder for such a drug to get through FDA approval.  It is also to be noted that very little was known about radium, however what they did note was that radium worked to treat a variety of maladies. Tumors shrunk in size people seemed to get better. Skin disorders vanished. It was touted as the miracle drug for ailments from high blood pressure to depression and even cancer. Radium’s usefulness in cancer therapy was recognized early in the century and is still used today. A technique was developed in which tiny ”needles” filled with radon – a radioactive gas given off by radium – were used to kill cancer cells. Radium Chemical and other companies leased the needles to hospitals and shipped them all over the country. No one really investigated what the mechanism of this miracle drug’s action was on non-cancer-containing people until it was much too late.

Marie Curie, the discovered of radium, like other researchers and “industrialists” of the time, was uncertain about the potential dangers of radioactivity from radium. In 1925 Curie was invited to participate in a commission of the French Academy of the Medicine. From these meetings came a series of safety regulations that outlined new safety protocols for handling radioactive materials.  This commission met after several incidents of severe illness of radium dialer painters workings in a watch factory in New Jersey. The “Radium Girls” at the factory all died from horrible diseases caused by ingesting radium. There was radium in the paint to make the glow-in-the-dark dials, and they would lick their paintbrushes to get them to a fine point…. and that was how they injested dangerous amounts of radium.


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MS-level courses available in Winter 2018

GradCourse (2)As you know, we have a MS program here at DePaul. We wanted to highlight our MS classes for the fall and pass on a few pieces of info. These classes tend to be smaller than other classes, generally 8-16 students.

We ask that MS students enroll as soon as they can, or email the MS program director to express interests in classes, because if classes only have a few enrollees, it might not run. If you are a MS student haven’t figured out your fall enrollment yet, email the MS director to get help. If you can’t enroll yet due to financial reasons, let the MS director know what classes you are interested in.

Undergrads, we also want to point out that these classes are available to you as general electives if you are a Junior or Senior. You can take them, but you need permission from your advisor and the instructor. There is an exceptions form to fill out that can be found on our website or from your advisor. These classes are a great opportunity to challenge yourself beyond your undergrad coursework and learn new things! Note that they will not be substituted in place of your major core courses, and are above and beyond the normal undergraduate curriculum.

Classes coming up in winter quarter you should be aware of are listed below. If you are interested, contact the instructor and your academic advisor soon.

CHE 424 – Group Theory

CHE 424 Group Theory is a traditional lecture course which characterizes molecular symmetry mathematically and applies the results to a variety of chemical concepts, such as construction of hybrid and molecular orbitals, crystal field theory, prediction of IR and Raman spectra, etc. Mathematical techniques used include algebra and trigonometry, plus basic matrix algebra (knowledge of this prior to taking the course is not assumed). Though the course is designed for upper level chemistry majors and MS students, the only hard prerequisite is CHE 234. Instructor: Wendy Wolbach

(FYI this would be great for undergrads who have taken inorganic (320) and want to go deeper into group theory and its applications!)

CHE 430 – Polymer Synthesis

This course focuses on the key synthetic organic chemistry methods for making polymers and coatings. A detailed consideration is given to the three types of polymerization reactions: step, chain, and ring-opening polymerizations. Practical application of polymer chemistry in society is a theme throughout the course. Instructor: Gregory Kharas

CHE 431 – Polymer Synthesis Laboratory

The goal of this lab course is to expose students to experimental polymer chemistry. This course focuses on the key synthetic methods for making polymers and basic structural characterization techniques. Practical application of polymer chemistry in society is a theme throughout the course. (2 quarter hours); Instructor: Gregory Kharas

CHE 494 – Science Writing and Communication

This course is required of all Chemistry MS students and is highly recommended for motivated undergrads with an interest in academia, science journalism, or a related field.

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.