Michael O’Hagan received his master’s degree in chemistry from the University of Oxford in the UK, working with Professor Timothy J. Donohoe on the total synthesis of the antitumour natural product streptonigrin. In 2015, he began PhD studies at the University of Bristol Chemical Synthesis Centre for Doctoral Training, joining the group of Professor M. Carmen Galan to work on the synthesis of new light-responsive molecules to allow control of DNA structure for therapeutic and nanotechnological applications. During this time, he undertook a research stay in the laboratory of Dr Juan Carlos Morales at the Institute of Parasitology and Biomedicine (CSIC) in Granada, Spain, to investigate the potential of G-quadruplex DNA binding molecules as antiparasitic agents.
Michael will undertake his postdoctoral research in the laboratory of Professor Itamar Willner at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he will focus on developing the group’s pioneering work in the design of DNA-based constitutional dynamic networks. In particular, he will address the challenge of integrating these systems into membrane-like containments in order to develop artificial cells. These new models will be applied to studying complex network-driven biological processes relevant to health and disease, such as cellular intercommunication and gene expression.