Where are you from? What was your undergraduate degree and from which university?

I am from Madison, Alabama. I received my undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering and Applied Mathematics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).

Why did you choose the University of Illinois and the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department?

I wanted to take the opportunity of graduate school to explored a new field of research in a part of the country I have not been before. When I first arrived on visit weekend, I enjoyed the interactions I had with the faculty and other grad students which gave me an overall great experience. Ultimately, it came down to choosing a research program that I had the ambition in pursuing.

Tell us about your research interest. What lab do you work in and what is your role in the lab?

My first experience as a researcher was in biochemistry and structural biology with the Department of Chemistry at UAB. I wanted to continue to research in the protein chemistry and incorporate it with biomedical applications. Currently, I am working on understanding the mechanism of how neurotransmitters are transported by membrane transporters and how mutations affect the transport activity. With this, we can hope gain some insight from a molecular perspective on how these mutations are related to psychological disorders.

What are your plans after you receive your Ph.D.?

I would like to continue pursuing research in the biomolecular/biomedical field, whether in academia or industry. Biomedical research has exponentially evolved other the past few decades and it shows no signs of slowing down. It would be exciting to take part and contribute to the growing field.

What do you do outside of the lab?

Outside of the lab, I enjoy watching series on Netflix. Some Netflix shows I would recommend in no particular order are: Chef’s Table, The Crown, La Casa de Papel, Master of None, and The End of the F***ing World. I am also an avid cook and foodie. Champaign-Urbana has many unique food cuisines to explore and try. Basically, I enjoy breathing and eating, living out of my existence as a human. And the occasional Netflix.


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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)

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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