Harran, Patrick G.



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. In the summer of 2008 Professor Harran accepted the inaugural D.J. & J.M. Cram Chair in Organic Chemistry at UCLA.

Research Interests

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. We seek to create new structures in new ways, and for those molecules to have valuable biological functions.


Honors & Awards

  • Inaugural Robert Foster Cherry Lecture on Research and Education, 2019
  • JSPS Fellow and International Organic Chemistry Foundation Yoshida Lectureship, 2017
  • Herbert Newby McCoy Award, 2016
  • Hanson-Dow Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2013
  • Glenn T. Seaborg Award – Alpha Chi Sigma, 2009
  • Norman Hackerman Prize of the Robert A. Welch Foundation, 2007
  • E. Bright Wilson Prize – Harvard University, 2005
  • Merck Research Laboratories Chemistry Council Award, 2005-2007
  • Mar Nell and F. Andrew Bell Distinguished Chair, 2005
  • Pfizer Award for Creativity in Organic Synthesis, 2003
  • Distinguished Alumni Award, Skidmore College, 2003
  • Eli Lilly Grantee, 2003-2004
  • AstraZeneca Excellence in Chemistry Award, 2002
  • Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow, 2002-2004
  • National Science Foundation CAREER Award, 2000-2004
  • National Research Service Award, Stanford University, 1995-1997
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb Research Fellow, Yale University, 1993
  • American Institute of Chemists Award, Skidmore College, 1990
  • Highest Departmental Honors in Chemistry, Skidmore College, 1990
  • One Year Advanced Admission, Skidmore College, 1986

Representative Publications

  • 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 December 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 (2009Exploring Symmetry-Based Logic for a Synthesis of Palau’amine. J. Org. Chem., 74, 5909-5919.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Hongda Zhao, Lidet Negash, Qi Wei, Thomas G LaCour, Sandi Jo Estill, Emanuela Capota, Andrew A. Pieper and Patrick G. Harran (2008Acid Promoted Cinnamyl Ion Mobility Within Peptide Derived Macrocycles. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 130.