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.
The Pomerantz lab welcomes a new chemistry graduate student to the group, Chun-Ju (Victoria) Tsou, she will be working on BPTF inhibitor synthesis.
She earned her B.S. in chemistry at National Tsing Hua University in 2017 and her M.S. in Biochemical Science National Taiwan University in 2019. Her long-term goal is to be a medicinal chemist and contribute herself to this field. Her hobbies include hiking, jogging and playing guitar.
Fun fact: I'm really bad at recognizing faces.
Congratulations to Huda and Noelle for the publication of "Opportunity knocks for uncovering the new function of an understudied nucleosome remodeling complex member, the bromodomain PHD finger transcription factor, BPTF" to Current Opinion in Chemical Biology.
Their review focuses on BPTF and recent advances in understanding its function and oncogenic role, new chemical biology approaches, and reported small molecule inhibitors.
Congrats to Jennifer on her NCI-funded postdoctoral fellowship! She will be exploring “Degradation of the Nucleosome Remodeling Complex, NURF, with Bromodomain-Targeting Heterobifunctional Molecules.”
Congratulations to Dr. Pomerantz for being named as co-chair of the ICBS Global Council. The International Chemical Biology Society (ICBS) Global Council is made up of chemical biology leaders who drive new initiatives and communicate exciting new chemical biology research.
You can read the full press release here.