Central College News

Adam Duerfeldt ’06 to speak at Central College Commencement

Featured: Adam Duerfeldt ’06 to speak at Central College Commencement

February 26, 2024

Adam Duerfeldt, associate professor in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Minnesota, will speak at Central College’s Commencement ceremony, which will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 11, 2024, in Ron and Joyce Schipper Stadium.

Duerfeldt, a 2006 Central graduate, currently leads a research group focused on developing new antibiotics and therapies for common eye diseases and teaches in the University of Minnesota’s College of Pharmacy. In 2018, Duerfeldt co-founded Excitant Therapeutics, a drug development company focused on developing new therapeutics for diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration.

Duerfeldt’s interest in chemistry developed at Central while conducting independent research and eventually a senior thesis project with James Shriver, professor of chemistry.

“Adam’s success is no surprise,” Shriver says. “He was independent and productive in the lab. If I could have had him for two years, we likely would have published a paper on his work. He was that productive. And he still cares about Central students. He and another graduate were kind enough to meet with my students during their presentation at a National American Chemistry Society meeting a few years ago. He offered his support if they needed it in the future.”

While at Central, Duerfeldt played baseball, serving as the team captain for two years. He was the 2006 College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-American of the Year and garnered other athletics awards during his career. He was part of the first Iowa Conference championship team in 31 years. Duerfeldt was inducted into the Central College Hall of Fame in 2022 and served on Central’s National Advisory Council from 2015 to 2017.

A native of Urbandale, Iowa, Duerfeldt studied chemistry at Central and graduated with the highest distinction. After graduating from Central, Duerfeldt completed a doctorate in 2011 at the University of Kansas in medicinal chemistry, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at the Scripps Research Institute in California. He began his faculty career at the University of Oklahoma, where he remained for six years and was named Outstanding Professor of the Year in 2017. He moved to the University of Minnesota in 2020.

Duerfeldt and his wife, Katie, have two sons and live in Maple Grove, Minnesota.

For more information on Commencement, visit central.edu/commencement.