Chemistry, Biochemistry, and… Nachos!

Interested in learning more about the new Chemistry and Biochemistry majors? Stop by McGowan South 107 on October 6 from 11:30 am – 1:00 pm to meet the faculty and hear more about our new degree programs.

Snacks will be provided so be sure to come and say hi!

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Throwin’ it back to the Class of 2017

The graduation of 2017 has come and gone, but we wanted to acknowledge how proud we are of the Class of 2017. We wish them the best in their future endeavors.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”
– Steve Jobs

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 (http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.inorgchem.6b02384). He is also working with Prof. John Keith from the University of Pittsburgh on developing catalysts for CO2 reduction (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0016236115001477).

 

  • 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 (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960894X16310538). 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!

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.

Chemistry Courses for Non-Majors

Teaching non-science majors to become science-literate and to understand that science is a way of knowing has always been a part of the mission for the Department of Chemistry. One such course that the department has offered over the years is CHE 104 – Chemicals, Drugs and Living Systems. Students take this course to fulfill their liberal studies program’s scientific inquiry (SI) learning domain requirement.

Dr. Lihua Jin, Chair of the Department, recently visited the class to see firsthand how the students of CHE 104 are doing in learning science as a way of knowing. The course is currently taught by Dr. Gwen Baumann. Dr. Baumann is a professional lecturer who joined the department in the fall of 2016. Having received her education at MIT (B.S.) and the Johns Hopkins University (Ph.D.), taught chemistry and other science subjects for two decades at various colleges and universities, Dr. Baumann brings to the class a wealth of knowledge and effective teaching strategies. The focus of the course is on the molecular structure and function of drugs and their use for common diseases and ailments.  Students are learning how to think critically about drugs in the world, including everyday common drugs.

When Dr. Jin visited the class on Wednesday, Feb. 22nd…

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Faculty Conference Presentations

faculty-conference-travel

Related to our recent post highlighting faculty publications in 2016, our faculty members have been busy sharing the wonderful work that has been going on here at DePaul during some recent conference trips.

During the summer of 2016, Dr. Timothy French was awarded a travel grant so that he could travel to The Biennial Conference on Chemical Education and present a talk regarding the development of his Discover Chicago (LSP110) course entitled “Chicago: Food, Science and Society”. He had previously attended a cCWCS workshop regarding food chemistry in summer 2015 and used the information he had learned there to develop this course. Dr. French gave a presentation on how this workshop had transformed his teaching and inspired the creation of his LSP110, which explores special topics such as molecular gastronomy and the way that food shapes our culture and society, with specific focus on foods produced and consumed in Chicago.

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Spring Quarter 2017 Classes

Students start enrolling in courses this week. Don’t forget to meet with your academic advisor to discuss your plans! We wanted to highlight some classes that will be offered in SQ2017 besides the regularly offered courses.

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Dr. Vadola is offering a class on Organometallic Chemistry (CHE326/327 lecture and lab). Organometallic chemistry is the intersection of organic and inorganic chemistry, and many of the modern synthetic methods for organic compounds involve organometallic catalysts. This course will provide an introduction to the fundamental structure and bonding of organometallic complexes, while offering an in depth study of the unique reaction mechanisms by which metals, particularly transition metals, react with organic molecules. Applications of these compounds and reactions to real-world industrial processes will also be presented to highlight the tremendous utility of this chemistry.

Dr. Maresh is teaching Drugs and Toxicology (CHE362). This course covers the chemical and biological analysis of the metabolism and distribution of drugs, toxins and chemicals in animals and humans, and the mechanism by which they cause therapeutic and toxic responses. Metabolism and toxicity as a basis for drug development, metabolic polymorphisms and biomarkers of exposure are also covered.

At the MS level, Dr. Grice is offering a special topics’ course in inorganic chemistry (CHE484). This course is a 2-credit seminar-style class that meets once a week. Students will learn about the roles that metals and inorganic compounds play in biology, from enzyme active sites to metal-based drugs and environmental toxins. Motivated undergraduate upperclassmen can also enroll with instructor permission and an exceptions form (talk to Dr. Grice and your academic adviser)

Dr. French is teaching a 4-credit MS course (CHE494) entitled Science Writing and Communication. This course is co-taught with Dr. Sarah Read from WRD.
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. This class was highlighted recently in DePaul’s Newsline