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.

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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!

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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.

✏️️👩‍🏫 Nominate your favorite professor for the Excellence in Teaching Award 📓👨‍🏫

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The CSH Dean’s Office is looking for nominations for the 2017 Excellence in Teaching Award.

A paragraph or two about your professor via email is all it takes to nominate your professor of choice. E-mail cshawards@depaul.edu by February 17th with your nomination. Don’t let your favorite professor’s work go unrecognized.