Doctor David Harman

Doctor David Harman

Lecturer in Chemistry,
Physical Sciences


My introduction to scientific research occurred in Armidale when I undertook a BSc (Hons) degree with Stephen Glover at the University of New England, investigating the cyclisation reactions of alkoxyiminyl radicals.  Following the offer of a scholarship, I moved south to Canberra to study for a PhD with Althel Beckwith within the Research School of Chemistry at the Australian National University.  While at the RSC I investigated the mechanism of the rearrangements of various activated intermediates, including free radicals.  After completion of doctoral studies, I worked for three months with Alan Watchman from Archaeology and Natural History at ANU.  During this time we investigated by HPLC the nature of binders in 6000 year old rock art from Baja California (Mexico), verified by GC-MS dating ages from rock art in New Mexico by exclusion of petroleum residue from paint samples, and established by FT-IR that samples from suspected "touch ups" of rock art in Malta were not modern paint.  In 2004 I began postdoctoral studies in mass spectrometry with Stephen Blanksby at the University of Wollongong.  After setting up a synthetic organic chemistry laboratory, I prepared a suite of compounds to study the gas phase decarboxylation of aromotic percarboxylate anions.  While in Wollongong I modified a state-of-the-art ion trap mass spectrometer in order to allow the study of reactions between charge-tagged radicals and small molecules and to measure their rate constants.  These modifications paved the way for the development of ozone induced dissociation of alkenes (OzID), from which came two US patents on lipid structural analysis.  After a year working as a mass spectrometer technician at UoW, in 2008 I moved into materials science and managed an analysis laboratory (NMR, MALDI-MS, TGA-MS) at the Intelligent Polymer Research Institute - part of an ARC Centre of Excellence under the direction of Gordon Wallace.  While at IPRI I prepared a number of water-dispersable conducting polymers, including some made from biomolecules.  Along the way I trained as a high school science teacher. 

In January 2013 I started at UWS in the roles of Lecturer and Manager of the Mass Spectrometry Facility.

In December 2015 I commenced in the role of Lecturer in the School of Medicine.

This information has been contributed by Doctor Harman.


  • PhD Australian National University
  • GDED University of Canberra
  • BSc University of New England

Professional Memberships

  • MRACI, CChem (2004)
  • ANZSMS (2004)


  • electrically conducting polymers
  • free radicals and reactive intermediates
  • mass spectrometry
  • nanotechnology
  • physical organic chemistry
  • synthesis

Organisational Unit (School / Division)

  • Physical Sciences


  • Australian and New Zealand Society for Mass Spectrometry
  • School of Science Work Plan Committee
  • Laboratory User Group, School of Medicine
  • Emergency Warden, School of Medicine


Phone: (02) 4620 3212
(02) 4620 3212
Location: 30.2.34

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Current Teaching Areas

  • 300832 Analytical Chemistry
  • CHEM1008 Introductory Chemistry
  • CHEM1012 Essential Chemistry
  • NATS3043 Advanced Science Research Project C

Previous Teaching Areas

  • 300803 Essential Chemistry 2, 2020
  • 300803 Essential Chemistry 2, 2021
  • 300803 Essential Chemistry 2, 2022
  • 300808 Introductory Chemistry, 2020
  • 300808 Introductory Chemistry, 2021
  • 300808 Introductory Chemistry, 2022
  • 300811 Scientific Literacy, 2020
  • 300832 Analytical Chemistry, 2021
  • 300832 Analytical Chemistry, 2022
  • 300892 Medical Science Project, 2015
  • 300892 Medical Science Project, 2020
  • 300892 Medical Science Project, 2021
  • 300899 Inorganic Chemistry, 2021
  • 300910 Advanced Science Project C, 2015
  • 300910 Advanced Science Project C, 2017
  • 300910 Advanced Science Project C, 2019
  • 300910 Advanced Science Project C, 2020
  • 300924 Science Research Project, 2017
  • 300924 Science Research Project, 2019
  • 300937 Advanced Science Project A, 2022
  • 400861 Foundations of Medicine 1, 2017
  • 400861 Foundations of Medicine 1, 2018
  • 400861 Foundations of Medicine 1, 2019
  • 400862 Foundations of Medicine 2, 2018
  • 400862 Foundations of Medicine 2, 2019
  • 401172 Honours Project (Medicine), 2015
  • 401172 Honours Project (Medicine), 2016
  • 401172 Honours Project (Medicine), 2018
  • 401266 Experimental Design and Analysis PG A, 2021
  • 401267 Experimental Design and Analysis PG B, 2021
  • 800176 Internship and Community Engagement (PG), 2017
  • NATS3039 Science Research Project, 2022
  • NATS7011 Experimental Design and Analysis PG A, 2022


Journal Articles

  • Nikolic, P., Mudgil, P., Harman, D. and Whitehall, J. (2023), 'Untargeted proteomic differences between clinical strains of methicillin-sensitive and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus', Microbial Pathogenesis, vol 179 .
  • Kamran, F., Phillips, M., Harman, D. and Reddy, N. (2023), 'Antioxidant activities of lupin (Lupinus angustifolius) protein hydrolysates and their potential for nutraceutical and functional foods', Food Chemistry Advances, vol 2 .
  • Nikolic, P., Mudgil, P., Harman, D. and Whitehall, J. (2022), 'Untargeted lipidomic differences between clinical strains of methicillin-sensitive and methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus', Infectious Diseases, vol 54, no 7 , pp 497 - 507.
  • Khan, T., Lock, J., Ma, Y., Harman, D., Souza, P., Chua, W., Balakrishnar, B., Scott, K. and Becker, T. (2022), 'Choice of antibody is critical for specific and sensitive detection of androgen receptor splice variant-7 in circulating tumor cells', Scientific Reports, vol 12, no 1 .
  • Umala Dewi, C., Mason, M., Cohen-Hyams, T., Killingsworth, M., Harman, D., Gnanasambandapillai, V., Liyanage, L. and O'Connor, M. (2021), 'A simplified method for producing human lens epithelial cells and light-focusing micro-lenses from pluripotent stem cells', Experimental Eye Research, vol 202 .
  • Scott, K., Mann, T., Fatima, S., Sajinovic, M., Razdan, A., Kim, R., Cooper, A., Roohullah, A., Bryant, K., Kanapaddala Gamage, K., Harman, D., Vafaee, F., Graham, G., Church, W., Russell, P., Dong, Q. and Souza, P. (2021), 'Human Group IIA Phospholipase A2 : three decades on from its discovery', Molecules, vol 26, no 23 .
  • Ang, D., Kelso, C., Beck, J., Ralph, S., Harman, D. and Aldrich-Wright, J. (2020), 'A study of Pt(II)-phenanthroline complex interactions with double-stranded and G-quadruplex DNA by ESI-MS, circular dichroism, and computational docking', Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry, vol 25 , pp 429 - 440.
  • Dankers, C., Tadros, J., Harman, D., Aldrich-Wright, J., Nguyen, T. and Gordon, C. (2020), 'Immobilized carbodiimide assisted flow combinatorial protocol to facilitate amide coupling and lactamization', ACS Combinatorial Science, vol 22, no 5 , pp 255 - 267.
  • Zhou, J., Shrestha, P., Qiu, Z., Harman, D., Teoh, W., Al-Sohaily, S., Liem, H., Turner, I. and Ho, V. (2020), 'Distinct microbiota dysbiosis in patients with non-erosive reflux disease and esophageal adenocarcinoma', Journal of Clinical Medicine, vol 9, no 7 .
  • Zhang, Y., Harman, D., Avdeev, M. and Karatchevtseva, I. (2019), 'Cu(II) ion directed self-assembly of a Y8/Cu6 heterometallic coordination cage via an Y(III) metalloligand', Inorganica Chimica Acta, vol 484 , pp 521 - 526.
  • Dhananjayan, K., Irrgang, F., Raju, R., Harman, D., Moran, C., Srikanth, V. and Muench, G. (2019), 'Determination of glyoxal and methylglyoxal in serum by UHPLC coupled with fluoresecence detection', Analytical Biochemistry, vol 573 , pp 51 - 66.
  • Spare, L., Menti, M., Harman, D., Aldrich-Wright, J. and Gordon, C. (2019), 'A continuous flow protocol to generate, regenerate, load, and recycle chlorotrityl functionalised resins', Reaction Chemistry and Engineering, vol 4, no 7 , pp 1309 - 1317.
  • Tayebi, M., El-Hage, C., Pinczowski, P., Whiteley, P., David, M., David, M., Li, Q., Varghese, S., Mikhael, M., Habiba, U., Harman, D., Tatarczuch, L., Bogeski, M., Birchall, I., Ferguson, K., Walker, L., Masters, C. and Summers, B. (2019), 'Plant poisoning leads to alpha-synucleinopathy and neuromelanopathy in kangaroos', Scientific Reports, vol 9, no 1 .
  • Murphy, P., Kabir, M., Srivastava, T., Mason, M., Umala Dewi, C., Lim, S., Yang, A., Djordjevic, D., Killingsworth, M., Ho, J., Harman, D. and O'Connor, M. (2018), 'Light-focusing human micro-lenses generated from pluripotent stem cells model lens development and drug-induced cataract in vitro', Development (Cambridge), vol 145, no 1 .
  • Spare, L., Harman, D., Aldrich-Wright, J., Nguyen, T. and Gordon, C. (2018), 'Chemoselective flow hydrogenation approaches to diversify the cytotoxic tetrahydroepoxyisoindole carboxamide scaffold', Advanced Synthesis and Catalysis, vol 360, no 6 , pp 1209 - 1217.
  • Spare, L., Laude, V., Harman, D., Aldrich-Wright, J. and Gordon, C. (2018), 'An optimised approach for continuous-flow solid-phase peptide synthesis utilising a rudimentary flow reactor', Reaction Chemistry and Engineering, vol 3, no 6 , pp 875 - 882.
  • Spare, L., Falsetta, P., Gilbert, J., Harman, D., Baker, M., Li, F., McCluskey, A., Clegg, J., Sakoff, J., Aldrich-Wright, J. and Gordon, C. (2017), 'Cytotoxicity of a series of norcantharidin-inspired tetrahydroepoxyisoindole carboxamides', ChemMedChem, vol 12, no 2 , pp 130 - 145.
  • Perez Fernandez, V., Harman, D., Morley, J. and Cameron, M. (2017), 'Optimized method to quantify dopamine turnover in the mammalian retina', Analytical Chemistry, vol 89, no 22 , pp 12276 - 12283.
  • Li, L., Zhang, Y., Avdeev, M., Lindoy, L., Harman, D., Zheng, R., Cheng, Z., Aldrich-Wright, J. and Li, F. (2016), 'Self-assembly of a unique 3d/4f heterometallic square prismatic box-like coordination cage', Dalton Transactions, vol 45, no 23 , pp 9407 - 9411.
  • Harman, D., Gorkin, R., Gorkin, R., Stevens, L., Thompson, B., Wagner, K., Weng, B., Chung, J., in het Panhuis, M. and Wallace, G. (2015), 'Poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):dextran sulfate (PEDOT:DS) : a highly processable conductive organic biopolymer', Acta Biomaterialia, vol 14, no 1 , pp 33 - 42.
  • Gunawardena, D., Karunaweera, N., Lee, S., van der Kooy, F., Harman, D., Raju, R., Bennett, L., Gyengesi, E., Sucher, N. and Muench, G. (2015), 'Anti-inflammatory activity of cinnamon (C. zeylanicum and C. cassia) extracts - identification of e-cinnamaldehyde and o-methoxy cinnamaldehyde as the most potent bioactive compounds', Food and Function, vol 6, no 3 , pp 910 - 919.
  • Fanna, D., Smith, A., Zhang, Y., Li, L., Shepherd, N., Harman, D. and Li, F. (2015), 'Synthesis and characterisation of two new tripodal metalloligands incorporating zinc(II)', Journal of Inclusion Phenomena and Macrocyclic Chemistry, vol 82, no 1-2 , pp 173 - 178.
  • Li, L., Saigo, N., Zhang, Y., Fanna, D., Shepherd, N., Clegg, J., Zheng, R., Hayami, S., Lindoy, L., Aldrich-Wright, J., Li, C., Reynolds, J., Harman, D. and Li, F. (2015), 'A large spin-crossover [Fe4L4]8+ tetrahedral cage', Journal of Materials Chemistry C, vol 3, no 30 , pp 7878 - 7882.
  • Yao, M., Xie, C., Kiang, M., Teng, Y., Harman, D., Tiffen, J., Wang, Q., Sved, P., Bao, S., Witting, P., Holst, J. and Dong, Q. (2015), 'Targeting of cytosolic phospholipase A2a impedes cell cycle re-entry of quiescent prostate cancer cells', Oncotarget, vol 6, no 33 , pp 34458 - 34474.
  • Trinh, T., Hizartzidis, L., Lin, A., Harman, D., McCluskey, A. and Gordon, C. (2014), 'An efficient continuous flow approach to furnish furan-based biaryls', Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry, vol 12, no 47 , pp 9562 - 9571.
  • Wagner, M., O'Connell, C., Harman, D., Sullivan, R., Ivaska, A., Higgins, M. and Wallace, G. (2013), 'Synthesis and optimization of PEDOT:PSS based ink for printing nanoarrays using Dip-Pen Nanolithography', Synthetic Metals, vol 181 , pp 64 - 71.
  • Kirk, B., Harman, D., Kenttamaa, H., Trevitt, A. and Blanksby, S. (2012), 'Isolation and characterization of charge-tagged phenylperoxyl radicals in the gas phase : direct evidence for products and pathways in low temperature benzene oxidation', Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, vol 14, no 48 , pp 16719 - 16730.
  • Kirk, B., Harman, D. and Blanksby, S. (2010), 'Direct observation of the gas phase reaction of cyclohexyl radical with dioxygen using a distonic radical ion approach', Journal of Physical Chemistry A, vol 114, no 3 , pp 1446 - 1456.
  • Talib, J., Harman, D., Dillon, C., Aldrich-Wright, J., Beck, J. and Ralph, S. (2009), 'Does the metal influence non-covalent binding of complexes to DNA', Dalton Transactions, vol 38, no 3 , pp 504 - 513.
  • Thomas, M., Mitchell, T., Harman, D., Deeley, J., Nealon, J. and Blanksby, S. (2008), 'Ozone induced dissociation : elucidation of double bond position within mass-selected lipid ions', Analytical Chemistry, vol 80, no 1 , pp 303 - 311.
  • Harman, D. and Blanksby, S. (2007), 'Investigation of the gas phase reactivity of the 1-adamantyl radical using a distonic radical anion approach', Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry, vol 5, no 21 , pp 3495 - 3503.
  • Thomas, M., Mitchell, T., Harman, D., Deeley, J., Murphy, R. and Blanksby, S. (2007), 'Elucidation of double bond position in unsaturated lipids by ozone electrospray ionization mass spectrometry', Analytical Chemistry, vol 79, no 13 , pp 5013 - 5022.
  • Harman, D. and Blanksby, S. (2006), 'Trapping of a tert-adamantyl peroxyl radical in the gas phase', Chemical Communications, , no 8 , pp 859 - 861.
  • Harman, D., Ramachandran, A., Gracanin, M. and Blanksby, S. (2006), 'The loss of carbon dioxide from activated perbenzoate anions in the gas phase : unimolecular rearrangement via epoxidation of the benzene ring', Journal of Organic Chemistry, vol 71, no 21 , pp 7996 - 8005.

Conference Papers

  • Harman, D., Kaur, R. and Mahns, D. (2023), 'The first accurate measurement of somatostatin concentration in human blood', Australian and New Zealand Society for Mass Spectrometry. Conference, University of Wollongong, N.S.W..
  • Harman, D., Fernando, M. and O'Loughlin, A. (2019), 'Development of a mass spectrometry based diagnostic test for atherosclerosis', Australian and New Zealand Society for Mass Spectrometry. Conference, Auckland, N. Z..
  • Fernando, M., O'Loughlin, A. and Harman, D. (2018), 'Development of an inexpensive and non-invasive mass spectrometry based diagnostic test for early stage atherosclerosis', ACT Mass Spectrometry Symposium, Australian National University.
  • Stevens, L., Harman, D., Gilmore, K., in het Panhius, M. and Wallace, G. (2015), 'A comparison of chemical and electrochemical synthesis of PEDOT : dextran sulphate for bio-applications', Materials Research Society. Fall Meeting, Boston, Mass..

My research is focussed in these areas:

Mass spectrometry

Anticancer drug mechanism of action

Medical diagnostics

Electrically conductive polymers

Free radicals

This information has been contributed by Doctor Harman.

Current Projects

Title: In vivo evaluation of 'Meriva' curcumin phospholipid as anti-inflammatory drug in a mouse model of chronic neuroinflammation
  • Indena
Western Researchers: Gerald Muench, Erika Gyengesi and David Harman
Years: 2016-03-31 - 2025-09-18
ID: P00023016


Doctor Harman is available to be a principal supervisor for doctoral projects

Current Supervision

Thesis Title: Use of functional genomics to define molecular mechanisms that contribute to human lens regeneration.
Field of Research:
Thesis Title: Encapsulated Curcumin in Nanoparticles - Determination of Curcumin and its Metabolites in Mice with Brain Infammation
Field of Research:
Thesis Title: Encapsulated curcumin in nanoparticles - determination of curcumin and its metabolites in mice with brain inflammation
Field of Research:
Thesis Title: Isoniazid
Field of Research:
Thesis Title: Treatment of neuroinflammation in Alzheimer's disease by anti-inflammatory compounds of Australian Native Plants from the tropical rainforest
Field of Research:
Thesis Title: MRES International coursework
Field of Research:

Previous Supervision

Thesis Title: A headache of measurement errors: the true concentration of Somatostatin in human blood
Field of Research:
Thesis Title: Development of Novel Vaccines for the Prevention of Neurodegenerative Diseases
Field of Research:
Thesis Title: <i>In vivo</i> Evaluation of "Meriva" Curcumin, and Apigenin as Anti-Inflammatory Drugs in a Mouse Model of Chronic Neuroinflammation
Field of Research: Medical Science
Thesis Title: Towards More Effective Treatments for Gliobastoma
Field of Research:
Thesis Title: Use of functional genomics to define molecular mechanisms that contribute to human lens regeneration.
Field of Research:
Thesis Title: <p>An Investigation into the Breakdown Products of Cuprizone and the Inflammatory role of RAW 264.7 Macrophages in an <em>in vitro</em> Culture System</p>
Field of Research:
Thesis Title: In vivo evaluation of ?Meriva? curcumin, and apigenin as anti-inflammatory drugs in a mouse model of chronic neuroinflammation
Field of Research: Medical Science; Other Natural And Physical Sciences
Thesis Title: The Effect of Permethrin Cream on Staphylococcal Infections and Studies on Methicillin Sensitive and Resistant Strains of Staphylococcus Aureus
Field of Research: Other Health


Title: The 12 Healthiest Teas on Grocery Store Shelves
Description: Links cinnamon tea product to our 2015 paper demonstrating antiinflammatory properties
Title: Induced Stem Cells direct readers to our 2018 microlenses paper
Description: Induced Stem Cells Facebook site description and link
Title: Recommendation of 2018 microlenses paper in Faculty Opinions
Description: American academic recommends article
Title: Ingestion of tryptamine-alkaloid-rich phalaris plants causes a disorder called Phalaris staggers
Description: Science of Parkinsons (5000 followers) tweets about 2019 Parkinson's article
Title: Pt(II) complex interactions with Q-DNA
Description: Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry tweeting about a 2020 publication
Title: 7 Reasons Why People Secretly Love Golden Milk Latte Amidst Corona Pandemic
Description: Newspaper article which links to 2015 paper on bioactive compounds in cinnamon
Title: Stem cells used to grow eye lenses could help treat young and old with cataracts
Description: Possibility that new human lenses can be grown from a person's own stem cells

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