Involvement in the OTS Community
Categories: Past WebinarsPublished On: August 6th, 2021


Involvement in the OTS Community


Erin M. McConnell, Ph.D.,University of Ottawa

Annemieke Aartsma-Rus, PhD, OTS President,Leiden University Medical Center

Date: June 24, 2021

Time: 8am Pacific/11am Eastern/5pm Central European Time



Do you study how oligonucleotides can be used as therapeutics? Are you new to the OTS? Are you a trainee in academia or industry? Join us to learn how you can make the most of being a part of the OTS community. This webinar will feature a panel session with current Board of Directors members at multiple career stages who will share their experience and how being a part of the OTS has been invaluable for their careers. You will also learn how you can benefit from being a member of our society. Already a member? Please feel free to attend and share your experiences.

Recording of the Webinar: Click Play to View

Presenter Biography

Erin M. McConnell, Ph.D.
University of Ottawa

Erin M. McConnell’s research interests lie in the use of DNAzymes and aptamers for diverse applications in human health, such as the development of therapeutics, diagnostics and imaging probes, to environmental monitoring and water quality. Currently a postdoctoral fellow in Professor Vincent Tabard-Cossa’s applied single-molecule biophysics lab at the University of Ottawa, Erin is applying her knowledge of functional DNA and nanotechnology for the single-molecule detection of biological targets using solid-state nanopores. Previously Erin was a member of Professor Yingfu Li’s Functional Nucleic Acids Research Group at McMaster University, in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, where she led a team of interdisciplinary researchers in the development of DNAzyme-based biosensors for the detection of pathogenic bacteria in water. Erin obtained her Ph.D. in chemistry under the supervision of Professor Maria C. DeRosa at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, where her research focused on the development and use of aptamers for applications within the central nervous system. Erin is actively involved in science mentoring and is passionate about increasing science literacy through outreach. She was recently awarded the NSERC and L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science 2018 Supplement, which is awarded to a promising female scientist at the postdoctoral level, who has been involved in mentorship and science promotion.

Annemieke Aartsma-Rus PhD

Annemieke Aartsma-Rus, PhD, OTS President
Leiden University Medical Center

Prof. Dr. Annemieke Aartsma-Rus played an important role in the development of the antisense mediated exon skipping therapy for Duchenne muscular dystrophy during her PhD research (2000-2004) at the Leiden University Medical Center, Department of Human Genetics (the Netherlands). Since September 2004 she continued this research as a post doc. As of December 2007 she became leader of the “DMD exon skip group” first, as assistant professor and currently full professor at the Department of Human Genetics. Since 2013 she has a visiting professorship at the Institute of Genetic Medicine of Newcastle University (UK).

Her work currently focuses on developing antisense-mediated exon skipping as a therapy for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. This involves work in cell and animal models to improve delivery and efficiency of exon skipping compounds, studies in muscle regeneration and pathology, the identification of biomarkers, studying the basics of pre-mRNA splicing and transcript processing and the generation of mouse models. In addition, in collaborative efforts she aims to develop the exon skipping approach as a therapeutic option for other rare diseases and to bridge the gap between different stakeholders (patients, academics, regulators and industry) involved in drug development for rare diseases.

Full Bio