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.



  1. Hui Ding, Patrick L. DeRoy, Christian Perreault, Alexandre Larivée, Arshad Siddiqui, Charles G. Caldwell, Susan Harran and Patrick G. Harran (2015). Electrolytic Macrocyclizations: Scalable Synthesis of a Diazonamide-Based Drug Development Candidate. Angew. Chem Intl. Ed. Engl., 54, 4818-4822.
  2. Jack D. Bracken, Andrew D. Carlson, James H. Frederich, Mai Nguyen, Gordon C. Shore and Patrick G. Harran (2015). Tailored fragments of roseophilin selectively antagonize Mcl-1 in vitro. Tetrahedron Lett. (Special issue in honor of Harry Wasserman), 56, 3612-3616.
  3. Tristan E. Rose, Kenneth V. Lawson and Patrick G. Harran (2015). Large Ring-Forming Alkylations Provide Facile Access to Composite Macrocycles. Chem. Sci., 6, 2219-2223.
  4. Patrick G. Harran, Ryan A. Hollibaugh, Haixia Liu (2014).
    Small Lipopeptidomimetic Inhibitors of Ghrelin O-Acyl Transferase. US Provisional Patent Application #62/051,701. Filed September 17, 2014.
  5. Patrick G. Harran, James H. Frederich, Gordon Shore and Mai Nguyen (2014).
    MCL-1 Antagonists. US Provisional Patent Application #61/947,211. Filed March 3, 2014.
  6. Kenneth V. Lawson, Tristan E. Rose, Patrick G. Harran (2013))
    Template Constrained Macrocyclic Peptides Prepared from Native, Unprotected Precursors. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. (USA), 110 (40), E3753-E3760.
  7. Kenneth V. Lawson, Tristan E. Rose, Patrick G. Harran (2013))
    Template-induced macrocycle diversity through large-ring forming alkylations of tryptophan. Tetrahedron (Special issue in honor of P.A. Wender), 69 (36), 7683-7691.
  8. James H. Frederich, Jennifer K. Matsui, Randy O. Chang and Patrick G. Harran (2013).
    Substituted 2,2'-bipyrroles and pyrrolylfurans via intermediate isoxazolylpyrroles. Tetrahedron Lett., 54 (21), 2645-2647.
  9. James H. Frederich and Patrick G. Harran (2013).
    Modular Access to Complex Prodiginines: Total Synthesis of (+)-Roseophilin via its 2-Azafulvene Prototropisomer. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 135 (10), 3788-3791.
  10. Gelin Wang, Xiaoming Wang, Hong Yu, Shuguang Wei, Noelle Williams, Daniel L Holmes, Randal Halfmann, Jacinth Naidoo, Lai Wang, Lin Li, She Chen, Patrick G. Harran , Xiaoguang Lei, Xiaodong Wang (2013).
    Small-molecule activation of the TRAIL receptor DR5 in human cancer cells. Nature Chemical Biology, 9, 84-89.
  11. Hui Ding, Andrew Roberts, and Patrick G. Harran (2013).
    Total synthesis of ageliferin via acyl N-amidinyliminium ion rearrangement. Chem.Sci., 4 (1), 303-306.
  12. Hui Ding, Andrew Roberts, and Patrick G. Harran (2012).
    Synthetic (±)-Axinellamines Deficient in Halogen. Angew. Chem Intl. Ed. Engl., 51, 4340-4343.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Qingyi Li, Paul Hurley, Hui Ding, Andrew G. Roberts, Radha Akella, and Patrick G. Harran (2009)
    Exploring Symmetry-Based Logic for a Synthesis of Palau’amine. J. Org. Chem., 74, 5909-5919.
  18. Patrick G. Harran, Gelin Wang and Xiaodong Wang (2009)
    Ornithine Aminotransferase (OAT): A Target for Anticancer Drugs. US Patent #7,622,289 B2. Issued November 24, 2009.
  19. Patrick G. Harran, Noelle S. Williams, Anthony W.G. Burgett (2009)
    Diazonamide A Analog. U.S. Patent #7,538,129 B2. Issued May 26, 2009.
  20. Tongjin Zhao, Michael S. Brown, Joseph L. Goldstein and Patrick G. Harran (2008)
    Small Molecule Inhibitors of the Ghrelin O-Acyltransferase, Serial No. 61/102,353, Filed October 3, 2008.
  21. Hongda Zhao, Lidet Negash, Qi Wei, Thomas G LaCour, Sandi Jo Estill, Emanuela Capota, Andrew A. Pieper and Patrick G. Harran (2008)
    Acid Promoted Cinnamyl Ion Mobility Within Peptide Derived Macrocycles. J. Am. Chem. Soc.,