David A. Harris, Ph.D. is a technical advisor in the firm’s Chemical Patent Prosecution group, focusing on the preparation and prosecution of patent applications for a variety of domestic and international clients.  His practice covers a wide range of technical areas, including pharmaceuticals (small molecules and biologics), organic synthesis, chemical products, chemical processes, catalysis, biotechnology, medical devices, medical diagnostics, material technologies (polymers and nanomaterials) and energy technologies.

Prior to joining the firm, Dr. Harris held positions as a synthetic organic medicinal chemist and process development chemist in global contract research and manufacturing organizations.  In these roles he delivered several client-based services including, custom library synthesis, hit to lead optimization, structure-activity relationship studies, computer-aided drug design and high-throughput screening. He also devised and optimized routes to yield diverse specialty organic chemicals including, pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals and petrochemicals on a production scale.  He has overseen the scientific, technical, environmental, economic, safety and quality concerns from project inception through manufacturing for a number of clients.

Dr. Harris completed his doctoral studies in chemistry at The Scripps Research Institute.  There, his interdisciplinary research focused on pioneering novel broad spectrum antibiotics.  He developed novel synthetic routes to the heterocyclic 5S-penem and arylomycin natural product scaffolds as potent inhibitors of an essential bacterial protease.  He further conceived and generated the first libraries of synthetic derivatives of these compounds, as well as the biochemical tools and assays to evaluate them.  He delivered candidate molecules with improved biological and pharmacological activity against a previously overlooked antibacterial target.

As an undergraduate at Cornell University Dr. Harris earned degrees in both chemistry and economics while conducting research utilizing organometallic reagents to develop synthetic methodology towards multi-component reactions.  In addition, he interned twice at Pfizer Global Research and Development as a drug discovery chemist designing and synthesizing small molecules aimed at central nervous system, inflammation and oncology targets.

Dr. Harris possesses a deep understanding of the science behind clients’ innovations.  He has transferred his significant experience and technical expertise to comprehending and communicating complex and challenging scientific concepts on their behalf.


  • The Scripps Reseach Institute (Ph.D.)
    • Chemistry
  • Cornell University (A.B., with distinction)
    • Economics
  • Cornell University (A.B., magna cum laude)
    • Chemistry


Professional Affiliations

  • American Chemical Society- Medicinal Chemistry Division
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
  • American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA)


  • Eli Lilly and Company Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (2008)
  • Robert H. Bluestein Undergraduate Scholarship (2000)


  • Spanish



  • “Novel Antibacterial Agents via the Inhibition of Signal Peptidases.” 14th Biennial Lilly Grantee Symposium, March 1, 2010, Indianapolis, IN.
  • “Latent Antibiotics and the Potential of the Arylomycin Natural Products for Broad-Spectrum Antibiotic Activity.” TSRI Annual Graduate Student and Faculty Retreat, September 2009, San Diego, CA.
  • “Synthesis and Characterization of Small Molecule Bacterial Signal Peptidase Inhibitors.” TSRI Annual Graduate Student and Faculty Retreat, September 2006, San Diego, CA.
  • “Design and Synthesis of Indole Derivatives as Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors.” Pfizer Global Research & Development, Discovery Chemistry Summer Undergraduate Research Internship Program, August 2004, Ann Arbor, MI.
  • “Multiple Component Mannich and Fischer Indole Reactions.” Cornell University Department of Chemistry Honors Seminar, May 2004, Ithaca, NY.
  • “Preparation of Pyridopyrimidines as Selective PI3 Kinsase Inhibitors.” Pfizer Global Research & Development, Discovery Chemistry Summer Undergraduate Research Internship Program, August 2003, Ann Arbor, MI.


  • “SpsB Signal Peptidases – Chapter 776”. Handbook of Proteolytic Enzymzes (Third Edition). (2013) Volume 3: 3501-3508.
  • “Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Penem Inhibitors of Bacterial Signal Peptidase.” Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. (2009) 19: 3787-3790.
  • Acknowledged for performing preliminary studies in:
  • “Multiple Component Fischer Indole Reactions”. Tetrahedron, (2005) 61: 11374-11379.