Daniel Barr, PhD

Current Position: Associate Professor of Chemistry, University of Mary, Bismarck, ND.

Brief Bio

Originally from Philadelphia, PA, Daniel grew up in the Harrisburg area before heading to Arizona State University for his B.S. degree in biochemistry and Ph.D. in computational biophysical chemistry. He is thrilled to be working on the problems that first drew him to a career in science, studying the molecular interactions that govern biological systems. His particular areas of interest are mutation studies of proteins and the mechanisms by which information about structural and binding changes is communicated among various parts of the protein. Daniel’s work spans computational, medicinal, physical, and bio-organic/inorganic chemistry. Passionate about integrating his faith with his work, Daniel is a Benedictine Oblate of Annunciation Monastery and a Catholic Studies Fellow.

In his free time, Daniel and his wife, Priscilla, enjoy spending time with their son, Gabriel, and daughter, Veronica, and volunteer with their therapy dog, Tanner, at local schools and hospitals - "sharing smiles and joy". Daniel also plays the piano, reads voraciously, and teaches faith formation classes at his parish.

Teaching Interests

CHE 109 - Fundamentals of Chemistry
CHE 110 - Introduction to Organic and Biochemistry
CHE 112 - General Inorganic Chemistry II
CHE 310 - Biochemistry I
CHE 312 - Biochemistry II
CHE 325 - Medicinal Chemistry
CHE 417 - Advanced Inorganic Chemistry
CHE 450 - Physical Chemistry
EME 341 - Thermodynamics

Research Interests

  • Development of methods for calculating and interpreting transfer entropy, an interesting and exciting statistical tool that examines the direction of information flow in complex systems. This project is in collaboration with Dr. Khalid Oweis in the SURVE program.
  • Transfer entropy analysis of proteins, especially kinases, to identify pathways of information flow that help us to understand allosteric communication and predict new binding sites that can inform drug design. This project is in collaboration with Dr. David Ronderos and Dr. James Peliska in the SURVE program.
  • Molecular dynamics study of the mechanisms by which sequence-specific DNA-binding proteins recognize and bind to their target DNA sequence.

Dr. Barr's full list of publications and awards can be found via his ORCID iD with this link https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4660-5649

(*indicates student co-author)

Dan Hu, MD, PhD; Dong Hu; Liwen Liu; Daniel Barr; Yang Liu; Norma Balderrabano-Saucedo; Bo Wang; Feng Zhu; Yumei Xue; Shulin Wu; BaoLiang Song; Heather McManus*; Katherine Murphy*; Katherine Loes*; Arnon Adler; Lorenzo Monserrat; Charles Antzelevitch; Michael H Gollob; Perry M Elliott; Hector Barajas-Martinez. Identification, Clinical Manifestation and Structural Mechanisms of Mutations in AMPK associated Cardiac Glycogen Storage Disease. EBioMedicine. 2020 54 102723.

Danielle McHarris* and Daniel Barr.  Truncated variants of the GCN4 protein recognize DNA using diverse binding mechanisms.  J. Chem. Inf. Model., 2014 54 (10), 2869-2875.

Yang Liu, Rong Bai, Lin Wang, Cuntai Zhang, Ruifu Zhao, Deli Wan, Xinshan Chen, Gabriel Caceres, Daniel Barr, Hector Barajas-Martinez, Charles Antzelevitch, Dan Hu. Identification of a novel de novo mutation associated with PRKAG2 cardiac syndrome and early onset of heart failure.  PLoS ONE, 2013 8 (5) e64603.

Daniel Barr, Arjan van der Vaart. The natural DNA bending angle in the lac repressor headpiece – O1 operator complex is determined by protein-DNA contacts and water release. PCCP, 2012 14 (6), 2070-2077.

Daniel Barr, Taiji Oashi, Kimberly Burkhard, Sarah Lucius*, Ramin Samadani, Jun Zhang, Paul Shapiro, Alexander D. MacKerell Jr., Arjan van der Vaart, Importance of domain closure for the auto-activation of ERK2. Biochemistry 2011 50 (37), 8038-8048.

(*indicates student co-author)

Benjamin Ahlbrecht*, Baylee Grinsteinner*, and Daniel Barr. “Information Transfer in Lac and Gal Protein-DNA Complexes.” 2019 INBRE Symposium, Grand Forks, ND. October, 2019

Raquel Crowe*, Mataya Skraba*, Elizabeth Saunders*, Manisha Sawhney, and Daniel A. Barr. “Analyzing psychological and biological indicators of depression.” 2019 INBRE Symposium, Grand Forks, ND (poster) October, 2019

Jessica K. Gagen*, Katherine R. Loes*, Gabriel Boehne*, David S. Ronderos, and Daniel A. Barr. “Molecular Dynamics Simulations of PRDX6 Mutants Provide Insight into Molecular Mechanisms of Regulation and Communication.” Undergraduate Research in Molecular Sciences 12, Moorhead, MN. (poster) October, 2017

Dan Hu, Daniel Barr, Heather McManus*, Norma Balderrabano-Saucedo, Ryan Pfeiffer, Hector Barajas and Dong Hu. "Identification Of Novel Mutations Associated With Cardiac Prkag2 Syndrome." Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 69 (11) 2017 March Supplement. DOI: 10.1016/S0735-1097(17)34316-4

Katherine M. Pearce*, Anna S. Piasecki*, Omer Hajder*, and Daniel Barr.  “A Novel Dihydrofolate Reductase Inhibitor Obtained Through Field-Based Computational Modeling and SAR.”  250th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Boston, MA. (poster)  August, 2015

Gabrielle Abbott* and Daniel Barr.  “Rational Drug Design Based on DNMT1.”  2015 Northeast Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Ithaca, NY. (poster) June, 2015 

Andrenna Sykes*, Kelsey Ross*, Tasha Davis*, and Daniel Barr.  “Novel Pharmacophore Analysis of Morphine Analogs.”  2015 Northeast Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Ithaca, NY. (poster) June, 2015 

Cassandra McNitt*, Phu Do*, Trieu Le*, and Daniel Barr.  “Pharmacophore Model and Drug Design Targeting MepA.”  2015 Northeast Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Ithaca, NY. (poster) June, 2015 

Tasha Davis*, Michelle Boucher, Curtis Pulliam, and Daniel Barr.  “Synthesis of a series of methyl-1-indanone derivatives for biomimetic studies.”  22nd Conference of the New York State Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program, Bolton Landing, NY. (poster) April, 2015

Dan Hu, Daniel Barr, Heather McManus*, Hector Barajas-Martinez, and Dong Hu.  Identification of a novel PRKAG2 mutation associated with cardiac hypertrophy and conduction system defect without ventricular preexcitation.  Heart Rhythm, 2014 11 (5S):S100.

Daniel Barr and Rae Lawrence.  “Computational medicinal chemistry experiments in the undergraduate biochemistry lab.”  23nd Biennial Conference on Chemical Education, Grand Valley State University, Allendale, MI. August, 2014

Heather McManus*, Hector Barajas-Martinez, Charles Antzelevitch, Dan Hu, and Daniel Barr.  “Computational modeling of AMPK mutants reveals a critical salt bridge between K485 and D248 that mediates ligand-dependent regulation of the kinase.”  2013 Northeast Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society, New Haven, CT. (poster) October, 2013