University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

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Clifford Gee receives Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowship

Clifford Gee, a 4th-year graduate student working with Professor Will Pomerantz, has been awarded a 2016-2017 Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowship.

The fellowship will enable Gee to continue a collaborative project with Professor Gunda Georg in Medicinal Chemistry that was started when he was a Chemical Biology Interface Training Grant trainee. The project is, “Protein Tetris: Ligand Discovery for Targeting the Protein BrdT for Male Contraception.”

Gee’s abstract for the project: “Non-hormone-based male contraceptive agents have yet to be developed into active therapeutic agents. Such a development would provide complementary contraceptive options to what is currently available for women. Herein, we propose the protein BrdT as an attractive and viable target for male contraceptive agents. Through a collaboration with the Institute for Therapeutics Discovery & Development (ITDD), we seek to develop potent and selective molecules that will bind to BrdT and inhibit its function, thereby providing a reversible (i.e., not permanent), non-hormone-based male contraceptive agent.”

Gee earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Azusa Pacific University. At the U of M, he serves as one of the department’s laboratory safety officers, and is an undergraduate student research mentor. His overall research interests encompass developing new small molecule inhibitors for proteins of interest using the Protein Observed Fluorine NMR method developed by the Pomerantz lab.

The fellowship includes an academic year stipend of $23,000, plus tuition for up to 14 credits per semester.