Adam Duerfeldt, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Medicinal Chemistry
Adam Duerfeldt


Office Phone
Office Address

455 717 Delaware St SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States


Associate Professor, Department of Medicinal Chemistry


Postdoc, The Scripps Research Institute, 2011-2014

PhD, University of Kansas, 2011

BS, Central College, 2006

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Broadly, our research focuses on 1) developing chemical tools that can be utilized to enhance our understanding of disease pathology and 2) developing new therapeutic leads that exploit novel targets for the treatment of bacterial infections and retinal diseases. More specifically, we have four major research interests: 1) determining the biological significance and therapeutic potential of enzyme/pathway activation in bacteria, 2) understanding physicochemical parameters that influence small molecule permeation and accumulation in Gram-negative bacteria, 3) revealing and exploiting novel therapeutic targets in C. difficile, and 4) developing non-invasive (to the eye) small-molecule treatments for retinal diseases. We integrate synthetic chemistry, chemical and structural biology, microbiology, and computational methods to drive our research.


  • PPAR modulation
  • antibacterial discovery
  • Clostridium difficile
  • medicinal chemistry
  • organic synthesis

Awards & Recognition

2020 – ACS MEDI Young Investigator
2017 – University of Oklahoma CBR Professor of the Year (student voted)
2017 – ACS Jack L. Beal Award
2015 – American Cancer Society Special Friend – Researcher Award
2011 – University of Kansas Irsay–Dahle Award

Research Interests

  • PPAR modulation
  • antibacterial discovery
  • Clostridium difficile
  • medicinal chemistry
  • organic synthesis


Duerfeldt, A.S.; Ma, J.X.; Sinh, Y.; Nath, D.; Dou, X.; Agonists of Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor-Alpha (PPAR-Alpha) and Methods of Use, filed PCT/US19/22400 on Mar. 16, 2019.

Ma, J.X.; Duerfeldt, A.S.; Moran, E.; Deng, G.; Phenylquinoline Compositions for Treatment of Ocular Disorders and Conditions, filed PCT/US2017/030053 on Apr. 28, 2017.

Blagg, B.S.J.; Duerfeldt, A.S.; Grp94 Inhibitors, U.S. Patent 8,685,966, April 1, 2014.



Selected Publications

Dou, X.; Nath, D.; Shin, Y.; Nurmemmedov, E.; Bourne, P.C.; Ma, J.X.; Duerfeldt, A.S. Evolution of a 4-Benzyloxy-benzylamino Chemotype to Provide Efficacious, Potent, and Isoform Selective PPAR-Alpha Agonists as Leads for Retinal Disorders. J. Med. Chem., 2020, 63, 2854–2876.

Lavey, N.P.; Shadid, T.; Ballard, J.D.; Duerfeldt, A.S. Clostridium difficile ClpP Homologues are Capable of Uncoupled Activity and Exhibit Different Levels of Susceptibility to Acyldepsipeptide Modulation. ACS Infect. Dis., 2019, 5, 79.

Li, Y; Gardner, J.J.; Fortney, K.R.; Leus, I.V.; Bonifay, V.; Zgurskaya, H.I.; Pletnev, A.A.; Zhang, S.; Zhang, Z.Y.; Gribble, G.W.; Spinola, S.M.; Duerfeldt, A.S. First-Generation Structure-Activity Relationship Studies of 2,3,4,9-tetrahydro-1H-carbaol-1-amines as CpxA Phosphatase Inhibitors. Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett., 2019, 29, 1836–1841.

Avila, Q.P.; Zgurskaya, H.I.; Duerfeldt, A.S. Recent Advances Towards Rational Antibacterial Discovery: Addressing Permeation and Efflux. ACS Med. Chem. Rev., 2017, 52, 319–339.

Li, Y.; Lavey, N.P.; Coker, J.A.; Knobbe, J.E.; Truong, D.C.; Yu, H.; Lin, Y.S.; Nimmo, S.L.; Duerfeldt, A.S. Consequences of Depsipeptide Substitution on the ClpP Activation Activity of Antibacterial Acyldepsipeptides. ACS Med. Chem. Lett., 2017, 8, 1171.