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PrOF NMR in the undergraduate teaching laboratory

Recent research from the research group of Professor

University of Minnesota (UMN) incoming graduate student Amani Lee, and three undergraduate chemistry and biochemistry students from Gustavus Adolphus College, Alora Smith, Morgan Evensen and Bri Malecha, participated in a National Science Foundation (NSF)-supported collaborative research project between Professor William Pomerantz from UMN and Professor Scott Bur from Gustavus Adolphus College.

Pomerantz and Bur received a $10,000 grant from the NSF to implement protein-observed fluorine nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) research into the undergraduate organic chemistry curriculum.

Working with trainers from Pomerantz's lab, including graduate student Clifford Gee and Laura Hawk, Ph.D., and graduate student Amand Divakaran from the Department of Medicinal Chemistry, the students synthesizied small molecule analogs as potential ligands for the protein KIX. The students spent three days in Pomerantz’s laboratory and learned how to express, isolate and characterize a fluorinated KIX protein by Protein-observed Fluorine NMR (PrOF NMR). They learned about protein mass spectrometry in the LeClaire-Dow Instrumentation facility with Gustavus alumnus Joe Dalluge, Ph.D., director of the Chemistry Department-based Mass Spectrometry Laboratory. The students also learned how to prepare NMR samples and carry out PrOF NMR binding studies with their new small molecules.

The program will continue to be developed in a January-term course at Gustavus Adolphus College, and ultimately implemented into its organic chemistry curriculum.  

For further information on PrOF NMR see:
“Fragment Screening and Druggability Assessment for the CBP/p300 KIX Domain Via Protein Observed 19F NMR” C. T. Gee, E. J. Koleski W. C. Pomerantz*.  Angewandte Chemie Int Ed. 2015 54. 3735-9

Pictured, from left, are Professor Scott Bur, Professor Will Pomerantz, Laura Hawk, Ph.D., Clifford Gee, Morgan Evenssn, Amani Lee, Bri Malecha, Anand Divakaran, and Alora Smith.

Additional photos are on the Department of Chemistry Facebook page.