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Daniel Alexander
August 31, 2022



In this researcher spotlight, we get to know Owen S. Fenton, Ph.D., an assistant professor who recently joined the Division of Pharmacoengineering and Molecular Pharmaceutics at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. Fenton earned both his Ph.D. and M.Sc. in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his B.A. in chemistry from the College of the Holy Cross.  

 

Q: What is your hometown? 

A: Longmeadow, Massachusetts  

 

Q: When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? 

A:  Scientist – I was very fortunate to have many great teachers growing up who helped nurture my love of the field!
 

Q: Can you tell us about your research interests and how you hope to improve patients’ lives? 

A: My research group works in the field of genetic medicine with a particular focus on a class of medicines referred to as RNA therapeutics. More specifically, my group works on developing new strategies and materials to control the dose, location, and kinetic distribution of RNA therapeutics that we can administer into the body to treat disease.  

 

Q: Describe your research in 5 words. 

A:  Interdisciplinary. Team-based. Collaborative. Creative. Fun. 

 

Q: What are you looking forward to about your new role at UNC? 

A:  I have been here at UNC for approximately eight months. Thus far, I have really enjoyed working with students in the lab and integrating into the UNC pharmacy family. I genuinely look forward to coming into work every day to mentor students, design new experiments, and develop RNA based medicines for the treatment of human disease. 

 

Q: What do you love most about UNC so far? 

A:  The people within our community. There is a tangible and genuine interest in developing next generation medicines here at UNC which has been really inspiring. Also, the resources we have available to us here in ESOP are amazing and rapidly allow us to advance our research from the benchtop to the clinic.  

 

Q: What are your passions outside of research? 

A: Most sports – I really enjoy hockey but have not played in many years. These days I hike most weekends because there are so many great trails in North Carolina.  

 

Q: What is one thing you want us to know about you? 

A: I really enjoy meeting new people and getting to know more about their research interests. Feel free to reach out to me if you’d ever like to connect!

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