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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. 

Lab News

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Caroline Earns Bighley Fellowship

Congratulations to Caroline for winning a College of Pharmacy graduate fellowship!

Pomerantz Lab Publishes to ACS Med Chem Lett

Congrats to Anand, Cole, and Huda for the publication of "Development of an N-Terminal BRD4 Bromodomain-Targeted Degrader" to ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters.

This paper marks the first PROTAC publication in the lab, with BRD4 degraders.

You can read more about their work here.

Jackie Earns Her Masters Degree

Congrats to Jackie for earning her M.S. in Pharmacology, "Investigation of the CECR2 bromodomain binding interactions with H2A.Z histone variants using a new AlphaScreen assay." She will continue in the lab working on DNA-BET interactions as she starts her Ph.D. in Pharmacology.

Dr. Noelle Olson Successfully Defends Doctoral Research!

Congrats to Noelle for defending her thesis today "Dissecting the Histone Code Involving Bromodomains and the Histone Variant H2A.Z"  Noelle will be heading off to start her new position at 3M this September.

Pomerantz Lab Publishes to Journal of Fluorine Chemistry

Congrats to Noelle, Jorden, and Kerstin for the publication of "Development of a single culture E. coli expression system for the enzymatic synthesis of fluorinated tyrosine and its incorporation into proteins" to the Journal of Fluorine Chemistry.

This work expands the repertoire of biosynthetic labeling approaches for PrOF NMR.

You can read more about their work here.