Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

You are here: Home » Chemistry » Faculty » Harding » Wayne W. Harding, Ph.D.
Document Actions

Wayne W. Harding, Ph.D.

Associate Professor - Medicinal Chemistry

Contact Information

office 1307A HN (tel 212-772-5359), lab 1405/1406 HN, dept fax 212-772-5332, email


BSc. University of the West Indies (Mona), Ph.D. University of the West Indies (Mona), Postdoc University of Iowa 

Research Summary

Design, Synthesis and Evaluation of Central Nervous System (CNS) Receptor Ligands:   Selective ligands are needed to function as chemical probes in order to obtain a clearer picture of the role that various CNS receptors play in neuropsychiatric disorders and drug abuse. Furthermore, given the complex etiology of CNS disorders, compounds that target more than one receptor are useful leads for therapeutic development.  Our group is actively engaged in projects aimed at identifying and developing novel molecules as useful CNS receptor ligands and their evaluation as potential therapeutics.  We employ a range of techniques including in silico design strategies, organic synthesis and structure-activity relationship studies for iterative ligand optimization.     

Psychoactive Natural Products: We are investigating plants or plant products that are reputed to possess psychoactive (eg. sedative, anxiolytic, stimulant) properties.  Through traditional natural products isolation and spectroscopic identification techniques as well as in vitro and in vivo biological evaluations, our goal is to chemically and pharmacologically characterize novel psychoactive natural products.  Such molecules and their semi-synthetic derivatives will be useful as receptor-selective pharmacological probes or as potential lead compounds for future drug development.

Selected Publications

Aporphinoid Antagonists of 5-HT2A Receptors: Further Evaluation of Ring A Substituents and the Size of Ring C.  S. Ponnala, N. Kapadia, H. A. Navarro, W. W. Harding.  Chem Biol Drug Des. 2014,  Apr 25. doi: 10.1111/cbdd.12345.

 Evaluation of structural effects on 5-HT(2A) receptor antagonism by aporphines: identification of a new aporphine with 5-HT(2A) antagonist activity.  S. Ponnala, J. Gonzales, N. Kapadia, H. A. Navarro, W. W. Harding.  Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 2014, 24, 1664-7. 

Facile synthesis of 4,5,6a,7-tetrahydrodibenzo[de,g]chromene heterocycles and their transformation to phenanthrene alkaloids.  N. Kapadia, W. W. Harding   Tetrahedron 2013, 69, 8914-8920

A New Route to Azafluoranthene Natural Products via Direct Arylation.  S. Ponnala, W. W. Harding   European J Org Chem. 2013, 3013, 1107-1115

Leonurenones A-C: Labdane diterpenes from Leonotis leonurus F. He, C. Lindqvist, W. W. Harding Phytochemistry. 2012, 83, 168-72

New aporphinoid 5-HT2A and α1A antagonists via structural manipulations of nantenine S. Chaudhary, S. Ponnala, O. Legendre, J. A. Gonzales, H. A. Navarro, W. W. Harding Bioorg Med Chem. 2011, 19, 5861-8

Cytotoxicity of aporphines in human colon cancer cell lines HCT-116 and Caco-2: an SAR study S. Ponnala, S, Chaudhary, A. González-Sarrias, N. P. Seeram, W. W. Harding Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2011, 21, 4462-4.

Synthesis of C-Homoaporphines via Microwave-Assisted Direct Arylation S. Chaudhary, W. W. Harding Tetrahedron 2011, 67, 569-575.

Nantenine as an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor: SAR, enzyme kinetics and molecular modeling investigations S. Pecic, M. A. McAnuff, W. W. Harding J Enzyme Inhib Med Chem. 2011, 26, 46-55. 

Affinity of aporphines for the human 5-HT2A receptor: insights from homology modeling and molecular docking studies S. Pecic, P. Makkar, S. Chaudhary, B. V. Reddy, H. A. Navarro, W. W. Harding Bioorg Med Chem. 2010, 18, 5562-75

Microwave-assisted direct biaryl coupling: first application to the synthesis of aporphines. S. Chaudhary, O. LeGendre, S. Pecic and W.W. Harding Tetrahedron Letters 2009, 50, 2437-2439.

( ±)-Nantenine analogs as antagonists at human 5-HT2A receptors: C1 and flexible congeners. S. Chaudhary, O. LeGendre, S. Pecic and W.W. Harding. Biorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters 2009, 19, 2530-2532

 Synthetic studies of neoclerodane diterpenes from Salvia divinorum: selective modification of the furan ring. W.W. Harding, M. Schmidt, K. Tidgewell, P. Kannan, K. G. Holden, C. M. Dersch, R. B. Rothman, T. E. Prisinzano. Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters 2006, 16, 3170-3174.

Enantioselective synthesis of (2R,3R) and (2S,3S)-2-[(3-chloro-phenyl)-(2-methoxy-phenoxy)-methyl]-morpholine. W.W. Harding, M. Hodge, D. Parrish, J. R. Deschamps, W. Woolverton and T. E. Prisinzano Tetrahedron:Asymmetry 2005, 16, 2249-2256.

Neoclerodane Diterpenes as a novel Scaffold for µ opioid receptor ligands. W.W. Harding, K. Tidgewell, N. Byrd, H. Cobb, C. M. Dersch, E. R. Butelman, R. B. Rothman and T. E. Prisinzano. J. Med. Chem. 2005. 48, 4765-4771.

Salvinicins A and B, new neoclerodane diterpenes from Salvia divinorum. W.W. Harding, K. Tidgewell, M. Schmidt, K. Shah, D. Parrish, J. R. Deschamps, J. Snyder, C. Dersch, R. B. Rothman and T. E. Prisinzano. Organic Letters, 2005, 7, 3017-3020.

Pharmacokinetics of the plant-derived hallucinogen salvinorin A in non-human primates. T.E. Prisinzano, E. R. Butelman, M. S.. Schmidt, W. W. Harding, K. Tidgewell, M. J. Kreek, D. J. Murry Synapse 2005, 58, 208-210.

Determination of Salvinorin A in body fluids by high performance liquid-chromatography-atmospheric pressure chemical ionization. M. S. Schimdt, T. E. Prisinzano, K. Tidgewell, W. Harding, E. R. Butelman, M. J. Kreek and D. J. Murry. Journal of Chromatography B 2005, 818, 221-225.

A facile method for the preparation of deuterium labeled salvinorin A: synthesis of [2,2,2-2H3]-salvinorin A. K. Tidgwell, W. W. Harding, M. Schmidt, K. G. Holden, D.J. Murry and T. E. Prisinzano. Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters 2004, 5099-5102.