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  • Daniel A. Harki

    Associate Professor (Department of Medicinal Chemistry)

    • Organic Chemistry
    • Chemical Biology
    • B.A. West Virginia University, 1999
    • Ph.D. Pennsylvania State University, 2005
    • Post Doctorate California Institute of Technology, 2005-2009
    Office: 2-139 Cancer and Cardiovascular Research Building, 2231 6th St SE, Minneapolis, MN, 55455

Principal Research Interests

Research in the Harki laboratory focuses on the design, synthesis and biological characterization of novel small molecules, peptides, and oligonucleotides 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 biochemistry, biophysics, and cellular/molecular biology to evaluate the biological activities of the compounds we synthesize.

Professor Daniel Harki's graphic illustrating his research.

Current projects in the Harki laboratory include:

Development of APOBEC3 Chemical Probes
In collaboration with multiple groups at the University of Minnesota and external, we are developing the first-in-class chemical probes of the APOBEC3 family of DNA cytosine-to-uracil deaminases. Our approach to chemical probe discovery relies on high-throughput small molecule and fragment screening, as well as computation- and structure-based designs, to inform our iterative cycles of rational compound design, synthesis, and biochemical/cellular evaluation.

Chemical Modulation of Transcription Factor Signaling
Aberrant transcription factor (TF) signaling drives the progression of numerous diseases and represents a formidable challenge for the development of chemical probes. We are developing small molecule and nucleic acid-based chemical probes of multiple TFs, including NF-κB and androgen receptor. We are particularly focused on covalent inhibitors of TF signaling networks with a strong interest in natural product-based analogues. Additionally, our group has extensive experience synthesizing non-natural nucleosides and oligonucleotides, which are useful for developing TF-targeted probes.

Honors and Awards

  • 2016 Rho Chi, Mu Chapter, University of Minnesota
  • 2012-14 V Foundation V Scholar, The V Foundation for Cancer Research
  • 2007-09 California Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program, Post-doctoral Fellowship
  • 2006-07 Friedreich´s Ataxia Research Alliance, Post-doctoral Fellowship
  • 2002-05 American Heart Association, Pre-doctoral Fellowship
  • 1999 Phi Beta Kappa, Alpha of West Virginia, West Virginia University

Mailing Address

  • Daniel A. Harki, University of Minnesota, Department of Chemistry
  • CCRB (delivery code 2812), 139 Smith Hall, 207 Pleasant St SE, 139 Smith Hall, 207 Pleasant St SE
  • Minneapolis, MN 55455-0431