Department of Medicinal Chemistry

Daniel A. Harki, Ph.D.

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    Medicinal Chemistry
    Assistant Professor
  • B.A.
    West Virginia University (1999)
  • Ph.D.
    The Pennsylvania State University (2005)
  • Postdoc
    California Institute of Technology (2005-2009)
  • synthetic - organic and medicinal chemistry
  • chemical biology
  • nucleic acids
  • cancer stem cells
  • 2-139 Cancer & Cardiovascular Research Building
  • University of Minnesota
    College of Pharmacy
    Department of Medicinal Chemistry
    2231 Sixth Street SE #2-139
    Minneapolis, MN 55455

About Daniel A. Harki, Ph.D.

Research in the Harki laboratory focuses on the design, synthesis and biophysical characterization of small molecules that influence cellular function. Applications for these molecules range from anticancer drug discovery to new tools for modern biotechnology research. Our core science is organic chemistry. However, we use techniques of modern molecular biology, genetics, and genomics to probe the biological activities of the compounds we synthesize. The following projects are currently underway:

Targeting Cancer Stem Cells with Small Molecules:
This research aims to develop chemical probes to study cancer stem cell (CSC) biology, and to develop small molecules that target CSCs.

Light-regulated Nucleotides and Oligonucleotides:
We are developing novel nucleosides whose hybridization properties can be controlled photochemically.

Development of Antibodies to Detect Topoisomerase-DNA Complexes:
In collaboration with Professor Scott Kaufmann (Mayo Clinic) we are developing theragnostic antibodies to detect topoisomerase-DNA covalent complexes.

Small Molecule Inhibitors of APOBEC3 Proteins:
In collaboration with Professor Reuben Harris (UMN) we are developing small molecule inhibitors of APOBEC3 cytosine deaminases for applications in biotechnology and human medicine.

California Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program, Postdoctoral Fellowship 2007-09
Friedreich's Ataxia Research Alliance, Postdoctoral Fellowship 2006-07
American Heart Association, Predoctoral Fellowship 2002-05
Phi Beta Kappa, Alpha of West Virginia, West Virginia University 1999

Harki DA and Wang D (2011) “Therapeutic compounds” U.S. Ser. No. 61/477,380 (provisional); filed April 20, 2011.

Harris RS, Harki DA, Perkins-Harki AL, Carpenter MA and Li M (2010) “Cytosine deaminase modulators for enhancement of DNA transfection” U.S. Ser. No. 61/410,482 (provisional); filed November 5, 2010.

Dervan PB, Jacobs CS, Nickols NG, and Harki DA (2007) “Polyamides with tail structures capable of binding DNA” U.S. Patent No. US 7,935,530 B2; issued May 3, 2011.

Published Works

Olson ME, Li M, Harris RS and Harki DA*. Small molecule APOBEC3G DNA cytosine deaminase inhibitors based on a 4-amino-1,2,4-triazole-3-thiol scaffold. ChemMedChem 2013, 8, 112-117.

Struntz NB, Hu T, White BR, Olson ME, and Harki DA*. Inhibition of guanosine monophosphate synthetase by the substrate enantiomer L-XMP. ChemBioChem 2012, 13, 2517-2520.

Hexum JK, Tello-Aburto R, Struntz NB, Harned AM*, and Harki DA*. Bicyclic cyclohexenones as inhibitors of NF-kappaB signaling. ACS Med. Chem. Lett. 2012, 3, 459-464.

Li M, Shandilya SMD, Carpenter MA, Rathore A, Brown WL, Perkins AL, Harki DA, Solberg J, Hook DJ, Johnson JR, Krogan NJ, Somasundaran M, Ali A, Schiffer CA, and Harris RS*. First-in-class small molecule inhibitors of the single-strand DNA cytosine deaminase APOBEC3G. ACS Chem. Biol. 2012, 7, 506-517.


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  • Last modified on August 14, 2013