Erin M. McConnell


Postdoctoral Fellow

Ph.D. Chemistry, Carleton University, 2016

B.Sc. Neuroscience (Honours), Minor in Chemistry, Carleton University, 2009

Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences
McMaster University
Health Science Centre, Room 4H32
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton, Ontario, L8S 4K1

icon_phone 905.525.9140 ext.28813
icon_fax 905.522.9033


Brief Biography:

From 2008-2017 Erin worked in Dr. Maria DeRosa’s lab at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario. During that time, her research focused on the selection, characterization and applications of DNA aptamers for small molecule and protein targets. Erin joined the Li lab in the fall of 2017, where her research focus includes developing functional nucleic acid-based sensors for the detection of a variety of target molecules.

Research Interests:

Functional nucleic acids (aptamers, DNAzymes), biosensor development, nanotechnology


Ruscito, R.*, McConnell, E.M.*, Koudrina, A., Velu, R., Mattice, C., Hunt, V., McKeague, M., and DeRosa, M.C. (2017) In Vitro Selection and Characterization of DNA Aptamers to a Small Molecule Target. Current Protocols. In Press *Co-first authorship

Goudreau, D.N.*, Smith, M.*, McConnell, E.M., Ruscito, A., Velu, R., Callahan, J., and DeRosa, M.C. (2017) Aptamer-based Sensing Techniques for Food Safety and Quality. * Co-first authorship. Published in “Sensing techniques for Food Safety and Quality Control” by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RCS). (DOI:

McKeague, M.*, McConnell, E.M.*, Cruz-Toledo, J., Bernard, E., Foster, A., Mastronardi, E., Zhang, X., Beking, M., Francis, T., Giamberardino, A., Cabecinha, A., Ruscito, A., Aranda-Rodriguez, R., Dumontier, M., and DeRosa, M.C. (2015) Analysis of In Vitro Aptamer Selection Parameters. Journal of Molecular Evolution. 81 (5):150-161 *Co-first authorship. (DOI: 10.1007/s00239-015-9708-6)

McConnell, E.M., Bolzon, R., Mezin, P., Frahm, G., Johnston, M., and DeRosa, M.C. (2016) pHAST (pH-Driven Aptamer Switch for Thrombin) Catch-and-Release of Target Protein. Bioconjugate Chemistry, 27 (6):1493-1499. (DOI: 10.1021/acs.bioconjchem.6b00124)

McKeague, M., De Girolamo, A., Valenzano, S., Pascale, M., Ruscito, A., Velu, R., Frost, N.R., Hill, K., Smith, M., McConnell, E.M., and DeRosa, M.C. (2015) Comprehensive Analytical Comparison of Strategies Used for Small Molecule Aptamer Evaluation. Analytical Chemistry, 87 (17):8608-8612. (DOI: 10.1021/acs.analchem.5b02102)

Griffin, R.H., McConnell, E.M., DeRosa, and M.C., Tarr, G. (2015) MOS testbed for the characterization of targeted alpha therapy pharmaceuticals. IEEE Sensors Journal, 15(3):1690-1696. (DOI: 10.1109/JSEN.2014.2365412.)

McConnell, E.M., Holahan, M.R., and DeRosa, M.C. (2014) Aptamers as promising molecular recognition elements for diagnostics and therapeutics in the central nervous system. Nucleic Acid Therapeutics, 24(6):388-404. (DOI: 10.1089/nat.2014.0492)

Cruz-Toledo, J., McKeague, M., Zhang, X., Giamberardino, A., McConnell, E.M., Francis, T., DeRosa, M.C., and M. Dumontier (2012) Aptamer Base: A collaborative knowledge base to describe aptamers and SELEX experiments. Database – Article ID bas006. (DOI: 10.1093/database/bas006)

Holahan, M.R., Madularu, D., McConnell, E.M., Walsh, R., and DeRosa, M.C., (2011) Intra-Accumbens Injection of a Dopamine Aptamer Abates MK-801-Induced Cognitive Dysfunction in a Model of Schizophrenia. PLoS ONE, 6(7)e22239. (DOI: