The Pomerantz lab is a chemical biology group at the University of Minnesota. Our interdisciplinary research uses a wide range of techniques including organic synthesis, bioanalytical chemistry, biochemistry and molecular biology for studying the function of transcription factors involved in disease. Our primary goal is to discover small molecules which we can synthesize in the laboratory to modulate the function of protein-protein interactions involved in transcription, with the ultimate goal of developing new chemical probes for understanding the biology of these proteins.
Our Research: Our overarching goal is to discover new ways to inhibit protein-protein interactions (PPIs) involved in transcription. Our research seeks to understand the molecular level details of transcription factor-protein interactions and epigenetic complexes which control how our genetic information is expressed. At the same time, we use chemistry to design synthetic molecules that disrupt the dysregulated forms of PPI communication to further understand the underlying biology and treat disease. We apply NMR and MRI, to visualize biomolecular interactions, and use small molecules that we synthesize in the laboratory to perturb the protein function. Students and postdocs working in this area are exposed to broad training in organic synthesis, protein biochemistry, fragment-based drug design and additional applied biophysics techniques to validate our 19F NMR approach.
Given that transcription factors represent a major class of potential drug targets and the demand for structural methods to characterize them, our biomolecular 19F NMR approach for transcription factor-PPIs could significantly increase the repertoire of new targets and open up new paths forward for small molecule discovery.
Congratulations to Jorden for the Tony B. Academic Travel Award to attend the Society of Laboratory Automation and Screening 2020 Conference in San Diego. The Tony B. Academic Travel Award is a competative travel award offered both nationally and internationally. Through the SLAS Tony B.
Congratulations to Amani Lee for earning the Institute for Engineering in Medicine (IEM) doctoral fellowship. The fellowship, which is available only to students of IEM members, includes a $25,000 stipend plus $2,500 for professional development.
In addition, Amani tied for 2nd place for the Best Student Poster-Awards, in the category "Frontier and Emerging Areas", at the IEM Annual Conference. There were 27 poster presenters in that category.
This summer the Pomerantz Lab mentored several undergraduate students and one high school student. All the students showed their capability and eagerness to work at the interface of chemistry and biology. This highlight showcases the students from outside institutions.
The Early Career Board, including our own Prof. Pomerantz, from ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters chose their most influential articles for the 10th year anniversary of ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters.