top of page

Darren Derksen, PhD

Professor of Chemistry

Department of Chemistry | University of Calgary

Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute

Charbonneau Cancer Institute

Hotchkiss Brain Institute

Download full CV

Dr. Derksen is originally from northern Alberta (slightly over 1000 km north of Calgary). He completed his undergraduate Honours Chemistry degree in 2003 at the University of Alberta (Edmonton, AB). He then completed his PhD in the lab of Professor John C. Vederas at the same institution in 2008 working on the synthesis and evaluation of antimicrobial peptides and new synthetic methods. Darren then completed an Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (AHFMR) postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Cambridge in the lab of Professor Ian Paterson working on the total synthesis of peloruside A. Darren began his independent career at one of Canada's top primarily undergraduate institutions, St. Francis Xavier University on the east Coast of Canada (Antigonish, NS) in 2010 and then moved to the University of Calgary in 2014 to take up the Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation Junior Chair in Medicinal Chemistry. Dr. Derksen was promoted to Associate Professor (with tenure) in 2018 and then to Full Professor in 2023. The Derksen research lab has been been supported with funding from the NSERC Discovery and NSERC Collaborative Research and Development grants, the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation, and collaborative grants from CIHR, and the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. The Derksen lab is integrated into multidisciplinary research institutes at the University of Calgary including the Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute, the Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute, and the Hotchkiss Brain Institute.


 Post-doctoral Research Fellow

                University of Cambridge, Cambridge UK - March                          2008 - May 2010

                Research Supervisor :Prof. Ian Paterson    


Ph.D. Chemistry

                University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada - 2008

                Research Supervisor: Prof. John C. Vederas


B.Sc. Honors Chemistry (First Class Honors)

                University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada - 2003

Honors and Awards

Selected External Awards (Independent Career) 


Parex Innovation Fellowship - 2022

Graduate Students' Association Excellence in Supervision Award

         (University of Calgary) - 2020


Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute Junior Investigator Travel Grant - 2016


Careers in Cancer Research Development Program               (Supported by CIHR-ICR and CCSRI) - 2015


Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation Award                       (Collaboration with Dr. Nizar Bahlis) - 2015 


Canada Foundation for Innovation

          (John R. Evans Leaders Fund) - 2015


Thieme Chemistry Journal Award - 2014


Awards Prior to Independent Career

Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research                  (AHFMR) Post-doctoral Fellowship 

          (University of Cambridge)


Boehringer Ingelheim Prize (University of Alberta)


Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council              (NSERC) Postgraduate Studentship

          (University of Alberta)


Walter H. Johns Graduate Fellowship

         (University of Alberta)


Alberta Ingenuity Graduate Studentship

         (University of Alberta)


Advanced Food and Materials Network

          (AFMNet) Studentship (University of Alberta)

bottom of page