Leonora Abdullahu

Leonora Abdullahu, PhD Candidate


Leonora is an Advisor on the Lilly Genetic Medicine team at Eli Lilly, involved in platform development projects to expand the landscape of oligonucleotide therapeutics. Her current role builds upon her PhD training which she received in the lab of Prof. Masad Damha at McGill University. There, she was involved in projects at the interface of organic synthesis and chemical biology of nucleic acids, synthesizing novel oligonucleotides to study enzymes implicated in splicing (tRNA 2′-phosphotransferase) and gene editing (CRISPR Cas9 and Cas12a). The application-based design of Leonora’s research has allowed her to follow projects through from novel monomer synthesis, to incorporation of novel monomers into oligonucleotide synthesis, to studying in vivo applications of modified oligonucleotides.

Prior to her doctorate studies, Leonora obtained her B.Sc. from McMaster University, where she developed a keen interest in polymers and stimuli-responsive materials.

She was born in Kosovo and her family emigrated to Canada as refugees of war in 1999.