Prof. Margaret Harding

Margaret M. Harding


Margaret M. Harding

B.Sc., Ph.D., D.Sc., USyd; CChem, FRACI
Visiting Professorial Fellow UNSW
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) ANU


Ph.D. 1987 University of Sydney; D.Sc. 2002 University of Sydney; Postdoctoral Fellow, Université Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, France 1986-1988; Ramsay Memorial Fellow, Cambridge University, UK, 1989-1989; Lecturer (1990), Senior Lecturer (1994) Associate Professor (1999) Professor (2005) University of Sydney; DNA Programme Leader, CRC for Molecular Engineering, 1992-1998; RACI Rennie Medal, 1993; RACI Biota Medal for Medicinal Chemistry, 1995; RACI Nyholm Youth Lecturer, 1999; Vice-Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Postgraduate Supervision, 2002; Deputy Head, School of Chemistry, 2000-2005; Associate Dean for Postgraduate Research, Faculty of Science, University of Sydney, 2000-2004; Member of ARC College of Experts, 2004-2006. Dean of Graduate Research & Professor of Chemistry, UNSW, 2005-2008; Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Strategy) & Dean of Graduate Research, UNSW April 2008 - 2009; Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) 2010-2012; Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at ANU since June 2012; Visiting Professorial Fellow UNSW 2012-2015.


Research in the Harding group centres on understanding, at the molecular level, the highly specific intermolecular interactions that occur in almost all biological systems. Major current programmes involve the study of the interactions of small molecules with DNA, and the properties and the mechanism of ice growth inhibition by fish antifreeze proteins.

Current research projects:

  • Biological and Medicinal Chemistry
  • New Synthetic DNA-Binding Compounds
  • Antifreeze Proteins and Glycoproteins


  • J. B. Waern, C. T. Dillon and M. M. Harding, Organometallic Anticancer Agents: Cellular Uptake and Cytotoxicity Studies on Thiol Derivatives of the Antitumor Agent Molybdocene Dichloride, J. Med. Chem., 2005, 48, 2093-2099.
  • A. Kwan, K. Fairley, P. I. Anderberg, C. W. Liew, M. M. Harding and J. P. Mackay, Solution structure of a recombinant type I sculpin antifreeze protein: the effects of supercooling and acetylation, Biochemistry 2005, 44, 1980-1988.
  • J. B. Waern, P. Turner and M. M. Harding, Synthesis and Hydrolysis of Thiol Derivatives of Molybdocene Dichloride Incorporating Electron Withdrawing Substituents, Organometallics 2006, 25, 3417-3421.
  • J. Garner and M. M. Harding, Synthetic Mimics of α-Helical Peptides, Org. Biomol. Chem. 2007, 5, 3577 - 3585.
  • D. P. Buck, P. M. Abeysinghe, C. Cuneene, A. J. Day, J. G. Collins and M. M. Harding, Inclusion Complexes of the Antitumour Metallocenes Cp2MCl2 (M=Mo, Ti) with Curcurbit[n]urils, Dalton Trans. 2008, 2328 - 2334
  • J. Garner, S. R. Inglis, J. Hook, F. Separovic and M. M. Harding, A solid-state NMR study of the interaction of fish antifreeze proteins with phospholipid membranes, Eur. J. Biophys., 2008, 37, 1031-1038.
  • P. M. Abeysinghe, Y. Han and M. M .Harding, Oxidation of Threonine residues in Peptides with Hypervalent Iodine Reagents, Tetrahedron Letters., 2009, 50, 2601-2604.
  • J. Garner, K. A. Jolliffe, M. M. Harding and R. J. Payne, Synthesis of homogeneous antifreeze glycopeptides via a ligation-desulfurisation strategy, Chem. Commun., 2009, 6925-6927.
  • L. Hunter, G. Condie and M. M. Harding, Reversible Aqueous Metathesis Chemistry for potential applications in dynamic combinatorial chemistry, Tetrahedron Lett., 2010, 51, 5064-5067.
  • J. Garner and M. M. Harding, Design and Synthesis of Antifreeze Glyoproteins and Mimics, ChemBioChem. 2010, 11, 2489-2498.
  • C. Sherman Durai and M. M. Harding, Targeting Nucleic Acids Using Dynamic Combinatorial Chemistry, Aust. J. Chem. 2011, 64, 671-680.