Darren Derksen

Assistant Professor

Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science


Contact information


Office: 403-220-2610

Web presence

Derksen Research Group

Research and teaching

Research areas

  • Medicinal and Synthetic Chemistry Based on Natural Products

Summary of Research

Natural products are a diverse group of compounds that provide valuable lead structures for therapeutic development. Often present in only trace amounts from natural sources, synthetic chemistry provides a practical way of generating useful quantities of these materials to allow rigorous examination of their biological activities and furthering the understanding of the molecular interactions involved in eliciting the desired response. Frequently, systematic study of a natural product reveals that only a specific portion is required to produce the desired effect and synthetic chemistry provides a means of preparing these truncated or modified natural product analogs. 

The Derksen research group is focused on the study of natural products that are relevant to cancer, particularly those occurring in the brain. Our research team is highly multidisciplinary, but with a strong emphasis on organic chemistry. We aim to identify natural product analogs that can be synthesized in a practical, environmentally friendly, and scalable manner while demonstrating high selectivity for their target receptors.


Dr. Darren Derksen is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science.