Finbarr O’Harte completed his BSc Hons. degree in Biochemistry in 1986 and his PhD in Clinical Biochemistry (Veterinary Sciences Department), at Queen’s University Belfast in 1989. He worked in regulatory peptide research at Creighton University Medical School in Omaha, Nebraska, USA (1989-91), followed by a post-doctoral position in Biochemistry at University College Cork (1992-93). He has been involved in diabetes research since moving to the Ulster University at Coleraine in 1993 as a Post-Doctoral fellow. He took up an academic appointment at Ulster University in 1995. He was promoted to Reader in 2000 and to a Professor in 2005. He is currently a Professor of Endocrinology & Metabolism within the school of Biomedical Sciences at the Coleraine campus. He has supervised numerous MSc and MRes level students and 20 PhD students.
His research interests have focused on drug discovery and development of stable peptide analogues for therapy of Type 2 diabetes and obesity. He has attracted significant research funding and has worked with numerous peptides including GIP, GLP-1, glucagon antagonists, CCK and apelin-13. He has designed stable bioactive peptide analogues, which have been tested in cultured cells and in vivo in acute and chronic small animal studies. This work produced to a number of research discoveries, leading to development of a strong intellectual property and patent portfolio. He is an academic co-founder of Diabetica Limited, an Ulster University start-up company focused on innovative diabetes peptide therapeutics.
He has over 130 full peer-reviewed publications (h-index 37) with many presentations at national and international conferences and was recipient of the Nordisk Medal of the Irish Endocrine Society (2005). He has recently held the position of the President of the Irish Endocrine Society 2015-2018.