Dr. Isabel Larraza brings an international flair to her chemistry classrooms. Growing up and earning her degrees in Mexico gives her a unique perspective on the sciences and chemical industries in both the United States and Latin America, and their impacts on industry and medicine.
Dr. Larraza is passionate about offering students research experience and access to state-of-the-art equipment that will prepare them for success in any graduate school or career. She also sits on the pre-professional committee that advises students who are interested continuing in health professions like medicine, dentistry, and pharmacology. “Because our classes are small, there is a high level of student engagement and personalized attention that promotes students’ academic success,” she says. “The department is also keeping pace in the acquisition of modern, state-of-the-art instrumentation for our labs, where students get involved in undergraduate research and have hands-on experiences very similar to what they will find in graduate school or the industry.”
Dr. Larraza’s classes engage the community in environmental awareness and improvement and work on a civic learning and urban engagement project with plastics recycling in the Chicago area. This investigation and application of green chemistry is one of her areas of research interest, along with organic synthesis and applications to medicinal chemistry.