Taimeng Liang awarded ACS Division of Medicinal Chemistry Predoctoral Fellowship

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (3/28/2024) – Chemistry PhD student Taimeng Liang recently received a Division of Medicinal Chemistry Predoctoral Fellowship from the American Chemical Society (ACS). The fellowship aims to support outstanding third and fourth year graduate students in the field of Medicinal Chemistry.

Liang came to the University of Minnesota in 2020, after completing her undergraduate studies in Chemistry at Boston University. As a fourth year graduate student studying in the lab of Dr. Gunda Georg, Liang is working to develop novel non-hormonal, reversible, male contraceptives. “The target I am working on is BRDT, which is a testis-specific protein responsible for spermatogenesis. I am responsible for the synthesis of compounds, biological assaying of compounds, design and computational modeling of compounds,” she says. “In other words, it is a project that requires interdisciplinary focus and techniques. My overall interest in chemistry has always been performing ‘wet work’ and overseeing the entire process of drug design. Having the experience of designing a compound, optimizing it for drug candidacy, and testing its properties is all very exciting to me!” 

Being involved in interdisciplinary, multi-modal research motivates Liang to master a variety of research techniques and to be involved in a blend of specialty topics. Her goal for the next few years is to keep working to attain improved compounds and results before graduation. “I believe the project I am working on is very important for our society and shines a new light on our traditional understanding of birth control, which is usually implemented for female usage,” Liang says. 

The ACS Division of Medicinal Chemistry offers Predoctoral Fellowships to outstanding graduate students involved in Medicinal Chemistry research. The award will provide Liang with a $40,000 stipend. Over the course of their nearly 150 year history, the ACS and their subdivisions have developed a variety of financial and professional support programs. Funding from the ACS aims to advance the chemical sciences through research, education and community projects.