College of Pharmacy Graduate Student Named 2020 Male Contraceptive Initiative Fellow
Md Abdullah Al Noman, PhD candidate in the Georg group in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and the Institute for Therapeutics Discovery and Development, has been named a 2020 Male Contraceptive Initiative (MCI) Fellow by the Male Contraceptive Initiative.
“Noman is an exceptionally talented graduate student with a bright future ahead of him. He is incredibly worthy of this recognition and support. Given how few medicinal chemists work on male contraception, I trust this topic of focus will be featured in Noman’s own research groups someday,” said Gunda Georg, director of the Institute for Therapeutics Discovery and Development.
The support from MCI, which totals $100,000 over the next two years, will allow Noman and the other fellows to focus on research, publish data and build their foundations as principal investigators.
Noman’s research goal is to develop RARɑ antagonists as male contraceptive agents. RARɑ is a receptor for vitamin A metabolite – retinoic acid – and is essential for the production of sperm. Noman aims to block RARɑ signaling using drug-like small molecules to inhibit the sperm production.
“I am excited to be awarded the predoctoral fellowship from the Male Contraceptive Initiative. Now, I am more driven than ever to develop a male contraceptive agent. Receiving a competitive fellowship strengthened my resolve to pursue a career in independent research, and I thank MCI for this opportunity,” said Noman.
Noman joins graduate students from East Carolina University and the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in receiving this support. Each student is working within different realms of male contraceptive research, all with the aim of building toward the eventual market approval of a novel non-hormonal male contraceptive method.
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The University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, the only school of pharmacy in Minnesota, offers its program on the Twin Cities and Duluth campuses. Founded in 1892, the College of Pharmacy educates pharmacists and scientists, and engages in research and practice to improve the health of the people of Minnesota and society. The college is part of the health sciences, which are home to the University of Minnesota’s six health professional schools and colleges as well as several health-related centers and institutes.