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Daniel O’Reilly, PhD

RNA Therapeutics Institute, UMass Chan Medical School


Dan earned his MChem in chemistry in 2014 from the University of Southampton, UK. It was there that he was first introduced to nucleic acid chemistry in the laboratory of Professor Jon Watts, working on the synthesis of peptide nucleic acid monomers. Dan’s fascination with the field started at an early age when a family member was diagnosed with Huntington’s Disease, and continued even more so when he himself discovered that he carried the disease gene. Dan completed his PhD in chemistry in 2019 under the supervision of Professor Masad Damha at McGill University, Montreal, Canada. Dan’s PhD research focused on utilizing chemical modifications to enhance the therapeutic effects of oligonucleotides by understanding nucleic acid structure. Since 2019 Dan has been on the board of directors of the Oligonucleotide Therapeutic Society as a trainee representative.  Dan’s work in the Khvorova Lab involves the synthesis of novel chemical modifications as well as studying the role of the minor isoform of Huntingtin on inclusion formation and disease progression.  Outside of work Dan enjoys football (soccer to the Americans), running, yoga, and spending evenings in pubs.