1. Could you tell us about your background i.e. department, research interests, hometown, hobbies?

I am an international undergraduate student from Shanghai, China. I was originally an undeclared major when I enter the university, and I finally switched to Material Science during the summer of my sophomore year. I always have an interest in both biology and engineering. Therefore, I would like to pursue my interest from an engineering angle to understand biological processes. My hobbies are reading science fictions and movies. I also work with the Illinois Biodiesel initiative to make soaps using the the waste oil from local CU restaurants.

2. What project you are working on this summer?

During this summer, I serve as a Blue Waters student intern, and I am conducting my computational research based on the resource that the supercomputer provides. I am mainly working with one of my graduate student mentors, Shriyaa Mittal, on a project called Molecular Modeling of Plant Hormone Receptors. Strigolactone is a plant hormone which induces growth of parasitic plants on hosts (basically crops), but it also helps the host plants to allow functions such as branch regulation with a lower affinity to the host than that of parasite. Since both the host and parasitic plants use strigolactone for some functions, it is vital to learn what causes the big difference in its molecular affinity and what is happening during the hormone-receptor interactions. Hence, we are trying to understand the mechanism of strigolactone receptor and its conformational change when sensing the ligand using Molecular dynamics, so that we can better clarify the how the infestations happen.

3. What is your favorite place or activity on campus or CU?

Though Champaign-Urbana district is quiet and peaceful, I like crowded places like Green Street and Downtown Champaign. I can easily discover different kinds of food among those areas, and trying various delicious food makes me happy. Also, parks like Kickapoo are good choices for outdoor activities.

4. Advice for students who want to pursue undergraduate research.

I would suggest students decide and focus on their interest in field of study as early as possible, so that they have enough time for undergraduate research. For me, I somehow wasted some time to catch up with the courses in Material Science major, and I actually hope I can have more time with my research.


1 2
January 24th, 2019

How do plants perceive hormones to activate drought resistance ?

Drought is one of the major environment factors that threatens future food security. In plants, stomatal pores expel 200 molecules […]

June 18th, 2018

Meet our new group member, Matthew Chan, Graduate student, ChBE, 2017.

December 27th, 2017

Meet Jiangyan Feng, ChBE Graduate student, Fall 2016.

July 20th, 2017

2017 Summer Undergraduate Research Experiences in Shukla Group.

July 13th, 2017

Meet our group members: Moeen Meigooni, ChBE ’17

July 12th, 2017

Visiting student: Jiming Chen, BS, ChBE, Rice University, 2017

July 12th, 2017

Meet our group members: Faisal Aldukhi, ChBE ’19

July 12th, 2017

Meet our group members: Qihua Chen, MatSE’18, Blue Waters Intern 2017-18

June 28th, 2017

Shriyaa Mittal’s 2017 CSE Fellow.

June 28th, 2017

Balaji Selvam’s talk at the 2017 Blue Waters Symposium.

December 7th, 2016

Group Picture time in our lab!
September 25th, 2016

Summer Intern Nikhil Sethia’s (IIT Delhi) Post on his experiences in Shukla Group.

September 25th, 2016

Prof. Shukla’s talk on “Molecular Models of Nitrate Transport in Plants” at Plants in silico Symposium, 2016.

September 25th, 2016

Talk by Graduate Student Alex Moffett at 2016 Blue Waters Symposium at Sunriver Resort, Oregon.

December 21st, 2015

Research Talk by Prof. Shukla (CSE Seminar Series, Fall 2015)

October 22nd, 2015

Teaching kids about protein structure and function at Booker T. Washington STEM Academy

July 20th, 2015

Research talk by Diwakar (Blue Waters Symposium, Jun 2015)

#metaslider_1595.flexslider .slides li {margin-right: 5px !important;} .metaslider-1595 .flexslider, .metaslider-1595 .flexslider img { border-radius: 2px; -webkit-border-radius: 2px; -moz-border-radius: 2px; } .metaslider-1595 [...]
July 17th, 2015

Plants in silico: a multi-scale modeling platform

July 13th, 2015

Girls’ Adventures in Mathematics, Engineering & Sciences (GAMES) camp, 2015.

May 30th, 2014

Central themes of our research group