Moira Flanagan

Laboratory Instructor in Chemistry

Moira Flanagan

Contact & Office Hours

Ford Hall 205C


Ph.D., University of Chicago

B.S., Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art


Moira Flanagan received her doctorate in biophysical sciences in 2016 from the University of Chicago. Her doctoral thesis, From Energy Transfer to Isomerization: Local Protein Structure Dictates Outcome of Photobiological Excited State Dynamics, was supervised by Professor Greg Engel. She received her bachelor of science in engineering (magna cum laude) in 2008 from Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York.

Flanagan's research is driven by how chemistry informs biology. During her graduate work, she explored how the relaxation dynamics of pigment-protein complexes determine biological function using ultrafast 2D electronic spectroscopy. Her postdoctoral research at Smith College combines molecular biology and organic chemistry to explore site-selective catalysts and reagents. With Professor David Gorin and students in his lab, she is working to develop DNA-based synthetic enzyme mimics to chemically label and perturb complex systems in a controlled, site-selective manner.

Selected Publications

Wang C, Flanagan ML, McGillicuddy R, Ginzburg R, Yang X, Moffat K, Engel GS. Bacteriophytochrome Photoisomerization Proceeds Homogeneously Despite Heterogeneity in Ground State. Biophysical Journal 2016 111(10), 2125-2134.

Flanagan ML, Long PD, Dahlberg PD, Rolczynski BS, Massey SC, Engel GS. Mutations to R. sphaeroides Reaction Center Perturb Energy Levels and Vibronic Coupling but Not Observed Energy Transfer Rates. J. Phys. Chem. A. 2015 120 (9), 1479-1487.