Harran, Patrick G.

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D.J. and J.M. Cram Chair

Contact Information

Molecular Sciences Building 4505A
(310) 825-6578
Molecular Sciences Building 5210
(310) 825-1512

Short Biography

Professor Harran received his bachelors degree from Skidmore College in New York. He obtained a Ph.D. from Yale University in 1995 and completed an NIH sponsored postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University in 1997. That fall, he joined the faculty at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. In 2005, he was promoted to Full Professor and named the Mar Nell & F Andrew Bell Distinguished Chair in Biochemistry. He joined the faculty at UCLA in July 2008 as the inaugural D.J. & J.M. Cram Chair in Organic Chemistry.


Professor Harran was raised in the Adirondacks region of Upstate New York and trained in chemistry at Skidmore College. He spent three years working with Raymond Giguere on the use of sequenced bimolecular ene / intramolecular Diels-Alder reactions. He carried out doctoral studies with Frederick Ziegler at Yale University. There they explored behavior of photochemically-generated radical intermediates in the synthesis of optically active pyrroloindoles related to mitomycins. He then moved to Stanford University as an NIH sponsored postdoctoral fellow, working with Paul Wender to create simplified, functional analogs of bryostatin. In late 1997 Professor Harran accepted his first independent appointment in the Biochemistry Department at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. He was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2002 and Full Professor in 2005. During his time at Southwestern, the institution built a nationally recognized program in organic chemistry. The chemistry faculty at UTSW continues to grow and train students in a uniquely interdisciplinary environment. In the summer of 2008 Professor Harran accepted the inaugural D.J. & J.M. Cram Chair in Organic Chemistry at UCLA.

Research Interest

We study architectural aspects of building molecules. This is expressed through exercises in total synthesis, the development of reactions and processes, and in attempts to generally emulate small-molecule biosynthetic schemes. Like others in creative science, we hope to make the gap between 'what is' and 'what might be' smaller.



  • Hui Ding, Andrew Roberts, and Patrick G. Harran (2012) Synthetic (±)-Axinellamines Deficient in Halogen. Angew. Chem Intl. Ed. Engl., 51, 4340-4343

  • Rachel M. Greer, Michael Peyton, Jill E. Larsen, Luc Girard, Yang Xie, Adi Gazdar, Patrick Harran, Lai Wang, Rolf A. Brekken, Xiaodong Wang, and John D. Minna (2011) SMAC mimetic (JP1201) sensitizes non small cell lung cancers to multiple chemotherapy agents in an IAP dependent but TNFα independent manner. Cancer Research, 71, 7640-8. Download PDF html

  • Kenneth V. Lawson, Tristan E. Rose, and Patrick G. Harran (2011) Synthesis of a Designed Sesquiterpenoid that Forms Useful Composites with Peptides and Related Oligomers. Tetrahedron Lett., 52, 653-654. Download PDF html

  • Charles Caldwell, Gunnar Hanson, Susan Harran, Patrick G. Harran, Qi Wei, Ming Zhou (2010) Methods for Preparing Diazonamides. US Patent #7,851,620 B2, Issued Decemeber 14, 2010.

  • Patrick G. Harran, Xiaodong Wang, Jef K. De Brabander, Lin Li, Ranny Mathew Thomas, Hidetaka Suzuki (2010) Dimeric Small Molecule Potentiators of Apoptosis. US Patent #7,816,538 B2; Issued: October 19, 2010.
Qingyi Li, Paul Hurley, Hui Ding, Andrew G. Roberts, Radha Akella, and Patrick G. Harran   Exploring Symmetry-Based Logic for a Synthesis of Palau'amine, J. Org. Chem., 2009; 74: 5909-5919.
Tongjin Zhao, Michael S. Brown, Joseph L. Goldstein and Patrick G. Harran   Small Molecule Inhibitors of the Ghrelin O-Acyltransferase, US Patent Application - Serial No. 61/102,353, Filed October 3, 2008.
Hongda Zhao, Lidet Negash, Qi Wei, Thomas G LaCour, Sandi Jo Estill, Emanuela Capota, Andrew A. Pieper and Patrick G. Harran   Acid Promoted Cinnamyl Ion Mobility Within Peptide Derived Macrocycles , J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2008; 130: 13864-13866.
Sean L. Petersen, Lai Wang, Asligul Yalcin-Chin, Lin Li, Michael Peyton, John Minna, Patrick G. Harran and Xiaodong Wang   Autocrine TNF? Signaling Renders Human Cancer Cells Susceptible to Smac-Mimetic-Induced Apoptosis, Cancer Cell, 2007; 12: 445-456.
Gelin Wang, Anthony Burgett, Patrick G. Harran and Xiaodong Wang   Diazonamide Toxins Reveal an Unexpected Function for Ornithine ?-Aminotransferase in Mitotic Cell Division, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. (USA) , 2007; 104: 2068-2073.
Noelle Williams, Anthony Burgett, Ashley Atkins, Xiaodong Wang, Patrick G. Harran and Steven McKnight   Therapeutic Anti-Cancer Efficiacy of a Synthetic Diazonamide Analog in the Absence of Overt Toxicity , Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci . (USA), 2007; 104: 2074-2079.
Iryna Zubovych, Thomas Doundoulakis, Patrick G Harran and Michael G Roth   A Missense Mutation in C.elegans Prohibitin 2 Confers an Atypical Multidrug Resistance, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci., 2006; (103): 15523-15528.
Hugo Garrido-Hernandez, Masakazu Nakadai, Marc Vimolratana, Qingyi Li, Thomas Doundoulakis and Patrick G. Harran   Spirocycloisomerization of Tethered Alkylidene Glycocyamidines: Synthesis of a Base Template Common to Palau?amine Family Alkaloids , Angew. Chem. Intl. Ed. Engl., 2005; 44: 765-769.
Lin Li, Ranny Thomas, Hidetaka Suzuki, Jef K. De Brabander, Xiaodong Wang and Patrick G. Harran   A Small Molecule Smac Mimic Potentiates TRAIL and TNFa-Mediated Cell Death, Science , 2004; 305: 1471-1474.
Anthony Burgett, Qingyi Li, Qi Wei, and Patrick G. Harran   A Concise and Flexible Total Synthesis of (?)-Diazonamide A, Angew. Chem Intl. Ed. Engl., 2003; (42): 4961-4966.
Zobeida Cruz-Monserrate, Jeffrey T. Mullaney, Patrick G. Harran, George R. Pettit and ErnestHamel   Dolastatin 15 Binds in the Vinca Domain of Tubulin as Demonstrated by Hummel-Dreyer Chromatography, Eur. J. Biochem., 2003; 3822-3828.
Qi Wei, Susan Harran, Patrick Harran   Methods to Initiate Synthetic Re-structuring of Peptides, Tetrahedron (symposium in print) , 2003; 59: 8947-8954.
Jing Li, Susan Jeong, Lothar Esser, Patrick Harran   Total Synthesis of Nominal Diazonamides: Part 1. Convergent Preparation of the Structure Proposed for (-)-Diazonamide A, Angew. Chem. Intl. Ed. Engl., 2001; 40: 4765-4770.
Jing Li, Anthony Burgett, Lothar Esser, Carlos Amezcua, Patrick Harran   Total Synthesis of Nominal Diazonamides: Part 2. On the True Structure and Origin of Natural Isolates, Angew. Chem. Intl. Ed. Engl., 2001; 40: 4770-4773.