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.


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!


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!

Undergrads, Present your Research at CAURS!



Every spring, the Chicago Area Undergraduate Research Symposium (CAURS) is held at a location in Chicago and undergraduates from DePaul, IIT, U of Chicago, Northwestern, Loyola, and Roosevelt Universities present posters and talks.

Here’s the website for CAURS.

This year, we are delighted that CAURS will be held at DePaul in our student center. The event is all day April 15th, 2018. Put it on your calendar!

It’s free and everyone is welcome, but registration is required for all attendees. Undergraduates, if you would like to present, talk to your research advisor and then submit your information by March 31. If you would like to go and see the posters and talks but do not want to present, register as an observer. Faculty and graduate students can register to be judges if they would like to get involved beyond just being an observer.

Students get valuable experience presenting their work, networking with peers, and seeing what kinds of research is being done by undergraduates around the Chicagoland area. In addition, several awards are given out for the best posters and talks.

We hope to see you all there!


Seminar This Friday from 1-2 pm in McGowan South 103!

Cho_TwitterOur Chemistry Seminar continues this Friday, with Professor Hee Yeon Cho from Loyola University! She will be talking about Transition-Metal Catalyzed Carbon-Heteroatom (C-X) Bond Formation, a very important topic for a variety of chemistry fields. See the flier below for an abstract of the talk. We hope to see you all there, everyone is welcome. The Seminar will be in McGowan South 103 from 1-3 pm on Friday February 23.Cho_Abstract_Web

Seminar Friday – Prof. James Devery from Loyola

This Friday, the seminar from 1-2 pm in McGowan South 103 will be a research presentation from Prof. James Devery from Loyola University. The seminar will be a very interesting report about Dr. Devery’s studies of catalytic synthesis relevant to complex organic molecules. All are welcome to come see it!


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!

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