Masad J. Damha, PhD


I teach Chemistry at McGill, and I work with MSc, PhD and postdoctoral students pursuing studies in Nucleic Acid Chemistry & Biology. With them, I have been developing chemically modified oligonucleotides and methods for their synthesis. Through our work, we have discovered many of them have properties that render them adaptable for numerous biological applications. In some cases, these studies have been essential in deciphering structure-function relationships between our oligomers and enzymatic machinery associated with the antisense, RNAi, and CRISPR-Cas9 pathways. We start with chemistry to design and construct molecules, test them biochemically/biophysically in vitro and then, through collaborative work, we apply them in live-cells and animal disease models (Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, Brain Cancer, etc.). For more information about our work, students, and scientific publications, please visit our website:

  • Academies, Societies & Foundations:
    • International Society of Nucleosides, Nucleotides & Nucleic Acids (IS3NA)
      (Board Member, Immediate Past President).
    • Foundation for the Advancement of Science, Technology and Education of Nicaragua (FASTEN)
    • National Academy of Science of Nicaragua (ACN)
      (Corresponding Member)
    • Nucleic Acids Therapeutics (Journal)
      (Member, Editorial Board)
    • Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Society (OTS)
      (Member, Scientific Advisory Council)
  • Scientific Advisory Boards:
    • Aro Biopharmaceuticals
    • AUM Life Tech
    • Deep Genomics
    • ONO Pharma Foundation