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!

Research Connections Across the Globe

Research Connections

We wanted to highlight how the faculty in the Department of Chemistry have collaborations in research and teaching that span many different levels. These connections include those within the department as well as connections to other parts of the university, to Chicago, to the US, and even to the world. Let’s start with research collaboration on the national and global level and work our way back down to the local levels.

DePaul chemistry has a broad impact that extends well beyond our Lincoln Park campus! Below are just a few of the highlights of national and international research collaborations that DePaul chemistry faculty have been involved in.

  • Dr. Kyle Grice has several active collaborative research projects. Working with Dr. Alfredo Angeles-Boza from UConn, and collaborators from other institutions such as Brookhaven National Laboratory, he recently published a paper in the journal Inorganic Chemistry studying potential CO2 reduction catalysts by IR-SEC (Infrared-Spectroelectrochemistry) and bulk electrolysis ( He is also working with Prof. John Keith from the University of Pittsburgh on developing catalysts for CO2 reduction (


  • Dr. Grice is also co-developing a research-based study abroad program to Spain with Dr. Jason Bystriansky of the DePaul Biology Department. Details of the program will be discussed in a future Catalyst post.


  • Dr. Caitlin Karver recently published the synthesis and optimization of triaminopyrimidine compounds as inhibitors of caspases involved in inflammation ( Several of these compounds have been shipped to collaborators at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. There they will be tested for the activity in blood samples from patients with inflammatory conditions like Lupus.


  • Dr. Wendy Wolbach is a geochemist interested in studying environmental changes associated with meteorite impacts and mass extinctions. She searches for forms of elemental carbon in sedimentary rocks dating to the time of known impacts and extinctions by chemically isolating and quantifying elemental carbon in various forms: soot and charcoal (from fires triggered by an impact) or nanodiamonds formed in target rock from the pressure of impact. Sedimentary rocks can come from within or near a known crater or, if the impact was large enough to wreak global havoc, from anywhere that sediments accumulated at the time. In pursuing this research, Dr. Wolbach collaborates with teams of field geologists spread across the globe, including the United Kingdom, The People’s Republic of China, New Zealand, Canada, Norway, Russia, Netherlands, Hungary, Austria, Denmark, Japan, Mexico, Spain, and Chile!

The Department Marches For Science!

As you are probably aware, last Saturday, the 22nd, was the March for Science across the globe. Chicago’s march was 40,000 strong, and DePaul students, staff, and faculty were there to show their support for Science.

DePaul chemistry students and faculty members joined other science enthusiasts downtown in Grant Park to participate in the March for Science. The march was organized in the spirit of advocating for the scientific community and to voice support for the preservation of the scientific method. The morning began with a lively rally that encouraged those in attendance to continue to strive for scientific excellence all while promoting scientific curiosity and the preservation of our planet as the march coincided with the annual celebration of Earth Day. Supporters then marched down Columbus Drive toward The Field Museum where the event culminated with a science expo that included booths from local educational programs and advocate groups eager to share their information and passion for science with the general public. Those present included Drs. Karver, French, Baum-Wagner, Maresh, and Perez, as well as various students both individually and as part of student groups. They even ran into some faculty from the BIO department there!

Check out the photos below:

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Recent Curriculum Changes


The Department of Chemistry strives to provide the best and the most appropriate curriculum to its majors and minors. It is therefore necessary to make changes periodically in response to the changing needs of the field and the students and therefore to better prepare students for the future.  Below is a list of recent curriculum changes that students need to be familiar with. Students are highly encouraged to seek advising from their academic advisor to better plan for their program of study.

  1. CHE 128/129 – Basic Chemistry Concepts: This set of lecture and lab courses will no longer be offered during the regular academic year. Instead, the department will start offering CHE 120 and CHE 122 (see below) to fill the gap. Summer FYAS will offer CHE128/129 as they have in previous years.


  1. CHE 120 – General Chemistry IP (meets 6 hours per week) – This is a new course the department will be offering starting in AY1718. It is an introductory course for science majors and covers the same subject matter and sequence of topics as that of CHE 130 – General Chemistry I. However, this course includes additional coverage of fundamental chemistry concepts and more in-class time devoted to developing problem-solving skills. CO-REQUISITE(S): CHE131 and MAT 130 if math placement indicates MAT 130 (5 quarter hours). Enrollment into this course will be dependent on the student’s Chemistry Placement Test score.


  1. CHE 122 – General Chemistry IIP (meets 6 hours per week) – This is the second course of three in the General Chemistry series that covers the same material as that of CHE 132. However, this course includes additional coverage of fundamental chemistry concepts and more in-class time devoted to developing problem-solving skills. CO-REQUISITE(S): CHE133 (5 quarter hours). Enrollment into this course will be dependent on a student receiving a C- or higher in either CHE 120 or CHE 130.


  1. CHE 202 – Applied Probability and Statistics (2 credit hours) and CHE 394 – Seminar (2 credit hours) will no longer be offered starting in the 2017-18 academic year.


The content of CHE 202 will be partially covered in CHE 205 (Analytical Chemistry Lab) but mostly covered in CHE 261 (Instrumental Analysis Lecture and Lab), a new chemistry foundation course that will replace CHE 202 and CHE 394 (in terms of credits) for students entering into the chemistry program in autumn of 2017 and beyond.

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Cesar Saucedo wins 1st Place Oral Presentation at LSAMP Conference

We found out recently that Cesar Saucedo, a Junior Chemistry major, won 1st place in Oral presentations at the Louise Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) spring symposium in STEM. Cesar’s talk was titled “Electrochemical Behavior of Group 6 Metal Carbonyls for CO2 Reduction.”  Congratulations Cesar!

Cesar LSAMP photo

LSAMP is an organization that supports minority participation in Science and Technology, and they can fund students performing research in chemistry. They have a yearly spring symposium where students from several Illinois colleges and universities come to present their research in the form of posters and oral presentations. If you are interested in being involved in the LSAMP program at DePaul, contact Victoria Simek at the STEM center.

SAVE THE DATE: 2017 Annual Chemistry Research & Awards Symposium

2017 Symposium

Our 2017 Annual Chemistry Research & Awards Symposium will take place on Friday, May 19th in McGowan South (room TBD). Join us in celebration of the end of the academic year and find out if you or your peers will be honored in winning scholarships or other departmental awards.

In the meantime, check out photos from the 2016 Symposium.