Dr. Paul Vadola, an Assistant Professor of Chemistry in the College of Science and Health, is a recent recipient of a highly competitive Undergraduate New Investigator (UNI) award from the Petroleum Research Fund (PRF). Dr. Vadola received $55,000 in funding to study processes involved in formation of carbon-carbon bonds between different classes of molecules. In particular, Dr. Vadola and his group are interested in synthesizing new compounds that range from those exhibiting bioactivity to others serving as bases for new materials. Of particular importance in Dr. Vadola’s work is the development of catalysts that allow his synthetic reactions to proceed over a wide range of starting materials and under environmentally-friendly laboratory conditions.
Dr. Vadola is using a good portion of his award to directly fund four undergraduate students working in his laboratory. With this support, Dr. Vadola’s students are not only pushing the award project forward, they are also experiencing the joy of making unexpected discoveries that may lead to new projects in the future. Dr. Vadola’s research is just one of many examples of how the College of Science and Health at DePaul University strives to meet its mission to deliver its students a high quality education in the sciences with an emphasis on authentic research experiences.