William C. K. Pomerantz grew up in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania prior to attending Ithaca College, in Ithaca, NY. As a chemistry major, he conducted mechanistic studies with Prof. Heinz Koch to describe dehydrohalogenation reactions in π-conjugated systems, most notably with fluorinated fluorenyl compounds. In addition to obtaining his B.S. degree in Chemistry, he was a collegiate athlete on the wrestling team and rowing club.
After completing his degree in 2002, Will completed by a Fulbright Fellowship at ETH, Zurich with Professors François Diederich and Jack Dunitz, designing intramolecular charge transfer compounds using acetylenic scaffolds as well as fundamental analyses of fluoroaromatic interactions. He obtained a Ph.D. in chemistry under Professors Sam Gellman and Nick Abbott at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2008 designing β-peptide foldamers that form higher-ordered assemblies at fungal membranes, on gold surfaces, and in solution. He also became a beer brewer. In 2008 he was a postdoctoral fellow under Prof. Anna Mapp at the University of Michigan, supported by the NIH from 2009-2012. Here, he worked on designing small molecule mimics of transcription factors which led to the genesis of the protein-observed fluorine NMR approach used extensively in the Pomerantz lab.
He ultimately joined the chemistry faculty at the University of Minnesota in 2012. His research focuses on the development of chemical biology and medicinal chemistry approaches for modulating transcription factor function through disruption of protein-protein interactions. Several areas of innovation have included the application of protein-observed 19F NMR (PrOF NMR) for fragment-based drug discovery, development of new epigenetic inhibitors of BET and non-BET bromοdomains, and design of highly fluorinated molecules for 19F MRI.
Will is currently a member of the Early Career Board for the ACS Med. Chem. Lett, is a global council member for the International Chemical Biology Society (ICBS), and the nominations committee chair for the Minnesota American Chemical Society Chapter. Will currently loves coffee-both roasting and imbibing, as well as dading-out with his son Linus and wife Miriam and their fuzzy pets Violet and Russell.