• 2019 3M/Ronald A. Mitsch Lecture in Chemistry

    Male Contraception: A Quest

    Guest Lecturer


    Dr. Gunda I. Georg
    Regents Professor and Department Head
    Robert Vince Endowed Chair
    McKnight Presidential Chair in Medicinal Chemistry,
    Department of Medicinal Chemistry
    Director, Institute for Therapeutic Discovery and Development,
    College of Pharmacy, University of Minnesota

    Thursday, April 4 at 12:45 p.m.
    Sundin Music Hall, 1531 Hewitt Avenue,
    Saint Paul, Minnesota

    Withdrawal and the condom are the only methods for reversible male contraceptive, and new methods would offer additional means for men to control their fertility. Advances in the understanding of reproductive biology have provided many testis-specific targets that can be used to develop a contraceptive pill for men. Medicinal chemists are now discovering and developing drug candidates that involve reduction of sperm counts, effect spermiation, prevent sperm maturation, or block sperm motility. However, developing agents that are highly effective, very safe, and completely reversible is a very significant challenge.

    Dr. Georg is regents professor and head of the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and the founding director of the Institute for Therapeutics Discovery and Development (ITDD) at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy. She holds the Robert Vince Endowed Chair and the McKnight Presidential Chair in Medicinal Chemistry. She is the co-editor in chief for the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry and was elected to the American Chemical Society Medicinal Chemistry Hall of Fame in 2017. She is an AAAS Fellow and a Fellow of the American Chemical Society and has received the Ernest H. Volwiler Research Achievement Award of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, the Sato Memorial International Award of the Pharmaceutical Society of Japan, the University of Minnesota Academy for Excellence in Health Research, and others.

    Dr. Georg received a BS in pharmacy (1975) and a PhD degree in medicinal chemistry (1980) from Philipps University in Marburg, Germany. She was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Ottawa in Canada. She started her independent career at the University of Kansas in 1984. After 22 years as a faculty member at the University of Kansas, she joined the University of Minnesota in 2007. Her research focuses on the design, synthesis, and evaluation of biologically active agents. Current major therapeutic areas are focused on cancer and male contraception.


  • About the Mitsch Lectures in Chemistry

    The 3M/Ronald A. Mitsch Lectures in Chemistry are part of the 3M/Ronald A. Mitsch Endowed Fund in Chemistry, established in 1998 by the 3M Foundation in recognition and appreciation of Dr. Mitsch. The fund is intended to promote new connections and pioneering efforts between education and industry as an essential basis for the education of chemists who are prepared to meet the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century and beyond. Dr. Mitsch, a 1956 graduate of Hamline University’s College of Liberal Arts, began his career at 3M in 1960 as a research chemist. He earned 19 patents.

    In 1998, he retired from 3M as vice chairman of the board and executive vice president of the Industrial and Consumer Sector, Corporate Services. He is a Hamline University life trustee.

  • Past Lectures


    "Illuminating Sugars, the 'Dark Matter' of the Cell Surface." Dr. Carolyn R. Bertozzi, Stanford University


    "Meeting the Clean Energy Demand with Nanotechnology." Prashant V. Kamat, University of Norte Dame


    "New Chemical Probe Technologies: Applications to Cancer Imaging and Drug Discovery." Matthew Bogyo, Stanford University School of Medicine


    "Got Fakes? New Ways to Detect Counterfeit Pharmaceuticals." Dr. Marya Lieberman, University of Notre Dame


    "Biological and Ecological Toxicity of Engineered Nanomaterials." Dr. Christy L. Haynes, University of Minnesota


    "Recent Developments in the Peaceful Use of Chemistry: Eliminating the Chemical Weapons Threat." Ambassador Robert Mikulak '64 


    "From Toxicology Mechanisms to Translational Medicine: Paracelsus Meets Sarandib." Dr. Daniel G. Baden, University of North Carolina at Wilmington


    “The Aging Brain and What We are Trying To Do About It.” Dr. Gregory A. Petsko, Brandeis University


     "The Golden Age of Pharmaceuticals." Dr. Cynthia A. Maryanoff, Stanford University


    Dr. Richard N. Zare, Stanford University


    "Applications of Olefin Metathesis Catalysts: Fundamental Research to Commercial Products." Dr. Robert H. Grubbs, California Institute of Technology


    Dr. JoAnne Stubbe, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


    Chemical Studies of Violence, Sex and Drugs in the Insect World. " Dr. Jerrold Meinwald, Cornell University