Denyce Wicht, PhD

Associate Professor
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Phone: 617-573-8252
Fax: 617-573-8668
Office: Archer Building, Rm. 613
Office Hours: T 10am-11:30am
Th 11:30am-1pm
W by appointment (please schedule 24 hours in advance)


  • PhD, Dartmouth College
  • BA, University of Vermont

Previous Experience

Wellesley College, 2003-2005
Visiting Assistant Professor

General Electric Global Research Center, 2000-2002
Chemist; Polymer and Specialty Chemical Technologies

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1999-2000
Postdoctoral Associate

Research Interests

Broadly speaking, my research interests involve studying the processes that cleave silicon-carbon (Si-C) and silicon-hydrogen (Si-H) bonds of silicone polymers. Silicones are a class of plastics; the most common silicone material is polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), which is comprised of repeating dimethylsiloxane units end-capped with trimethylsilyl groups. Depending on the number of monomer units, silicones range from low-viscosity fluids to high molecular weight gums and are used in such products as surfactants, lubricants, and sealants.

Suffolk University has a number of mechanisms through which undergraduate students can work on research projects during the academic school year, either for course credit or through paid research assistantships. Declared science majors with a minimum completion of 200-level organic chemistry lecture and lab may work on the following research projects in laboratories at Suffolk University:

  • The biodegradation of dimethylsilanediol by Arthrobacter Methylotrophus: An investigation into the biologically-mediated silicon-carbon bond cleavage process.
  • The mechanism of Zn-catalyzed carbonyl reduction by poly(methylhydro)siloxane.

Due to the interdisciplinary nature of my research, undergraduate research assistants acquire specific skills in the synthesis and characterization of molecules, analytical chemistry, and basic techniques in microbiology, in addition to a deeper appreciation for the importance of green chemistry. Students with whom I have worked on research projects in the past seven years are in scientific fields through a wide variety of professional positions or pursue graduate studies. Suffolk University undergraduate students interested in research opportunities are encouraged to email me (

Recent Publications

Wicht, D. K. Green Chemistry Essay: We’re Going to Need a Bigger Earth. In Chemistry for Changing Times, 12th Edition; Hill, J. W.; McCreary, T. W.; Kolb, D. K.; Eds.; Pearson Prentice Hall: Upper Saddle River, NJ, 2010; p 336.

O’Brien, K. E.; Wicht, D. K. A Greener Organic Chemistry Experiment: Reduction of Citronellal to Citronellol Using Poly(methylhydro)siloxane. Green Chemistry Letters and Reviews 2008, 1, 149-154.

Butts, M.; Cella, J.; Darkangelo-Wood, C.; Gillette, G.; Kerboua, R.; Leman, J.; Lewis, L.; Rubinsztajn, S.; Schattenmann, F.; Stein, J.; Wicht, D.; Rajaraman, S.; Wengrovius, J. Silicones. In Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology, 5th edition. Seidel, A. Ed.; John Wiley & Sons, Inc: Hoboken, NJ, 2006; 22, 547-626.

Courses Taught at Suffolk University

CHEM L111 - General Chemistry I Lab
CHEM 211/L211 - Organic Chemistry I and Lab
CHEM 212/L212 - Organic Chemistry II and Lab
CHEM L355 - Environmental Chemistry Lab
CHEM 375 - Transition Metal Chemistry
CHEM 390 - Advanced Organic Chemistry
CHEM 510 - Independent Study in Chemistry