Derek O'Flaherty

Derek O'Flaherty Headshot
Assistant Professor
Department of Chemistry
MACN 127
MACN 128
Available positions for grads/undergrads/postdoctoral fellows: 
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Education and Employment Background

Dr. Derek O’Flaherty received his PhD in Chemistry from Concordia University in 2016. Between 2016 and 2019, he held a position as a postdoctoral fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital / Harvard University in the United States. O’Flaherty joined the RNAi Discovery group at Alnylam Pharmaceutical Inc. as a Scientist (2019-2020). He then became an Assistant Professor in Department of Chemistry at the University of Guelph in 2020.

Research Themes

O’Flaherty’s research lies at the interface of chemistry and biology and focuses on nucleic acid chemistry. Group members are exposed to an interdisciplinary portfolio of techniques in organic chemistry, chemical biology, biochemistry and biophysics. Key areas of research include:

  1. Nucleic acid biotechnology.
  2. Artificial cell assembly.


  • NSERC Discovery Grant, 2020
  • Canadian Institute of Health Research Fellowship, Postdoctoral research award, 2018
  • Fonds de recherche du Quebec, Nature et technologies, 2016
  • Valedictorian, Concordia University, 2016
  • Governor General’s Gold Medal, Concordia University, 2016

Media Coverage

Building Blocks of Life on Earth