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Daniel O’Reilly Ph.D. is currently a Post-Doctoral Associate at Khvorova Lab, RNA Therapeutics Institute,University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA. Previously a Ph.D. student in Prof. Masad Damha’s lab at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Dan earned his MSc in Chemistry from the University of Southampton, UK. It was there that he was first introduced to Nucleic Acid Chemistry in the laboratory of Prof. Jon Watts, working on the synthesis of peptide nucleic acid (PNA) monomers. Currently, his Ph.D. research focuses on utilizing chemical modifications to enhance the therapeutic effects of oligonucleotides by understanding nucleic acid structure. A research highlight has been probing the structural and chemical requirements for modification of the crRNA, in the CRISPR-Cas9 system. Creating a set of guidelines for chemical modification can lead to the development of novel highly modified crRNA for many applications.