The Team!

Diwakar Shukla

Diwakar Shukla

Principal Investigator

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Undergraduate Student

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Balaji Selvam

Balaji Selvam

Postdoctoral Fellow

Chuankai Zhao

Chuankai Zhao

Graduate Student

Shriyaa Mittal

Shriyaa Mittal

Graduate Student

Jiangyan Feng

Jiangyan Feng

Graduate Student

Xuenan Mi

Xuenan Mi

Graduate Student

Zhengyuan Xue

Zhengyuan Xue

Graduate Student

Soumajit Dutta

Soumajit Dutta

Graduate Student

Prateek Bansal

Prateek Bansal

Graduate Student

Jiming Chen

Jiming Chen

Graduate Student

Matthew C. Chan

Matthew C. Chan

Graduate Student

Austin Weigle

Austin Weigle

Graduate Student

Pouyan Khakbaz

Pouyan Khakbaz

Postdoctoral Fellow

Amisha Patel

Amisha Patel

Undergraduate Student

Yazeed Alfawaz

Yazeed Alfawaz

Undergraduate Student

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Graduate Student

Fall 2018
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Postdoctoral Fellow

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  • Yazeed Alfawaz

    Undergraduate Student, ChBE '21

    Yazeed is working on molecular simulations of membrane transporters in plants that play a role in photosynthesis.

  • Matthew Chan

    Graduate Student, ChBE, 2017-

    Matthew Chan received Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering and Scientific Computation from University of Alabama, Birmingham in 2017. His current research is focused on investigating the substrate transport mechanisms in neurotransmitter transporters. You can reach him at mc26[at]illinois[dot]edu

  • Soumajit Dutta

    Graduate Student, ChBE, 2018-

    Soumajit Dutta received Bachelors and Masters degree in Chemical Engineering  from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur in 2018. His current research is focused on investigating the ligand selectivity mechanisms in Cannabinoid receptors.

  • Dr. Pouyan Khakbaz

    Postdoctoral Fellow, ChBE, 2018-

    Pouyan received PhD degree in Chemical Engineering from University of Maryland, College Park in 2018. He received undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from Sharif University, Iran. His current research is focused on investigating the inhibition of Rubisco activase in plants.

  • Shriyaa Mittal

    Graduate Student, Biophysics, 2015-

    Shriyaa received B. Tech and M. S. degrees from IIIT, Hyderabad in 2015. She is currently working on developing computational methods for the optimal design of experiments to validate Markov State Models of protein dynamics. She is the recipient of the Computational Science & Engineering Fellowship from CSE program and the Graduate Dissertation completion fellowship from the Graduate College.

  • Dr. Balaji Selvam

    Postdoctoral Fellow, ChBE, 2015-

    Balaji received PhD degree in Biochemistry from Queens University, UK in 2014. His current research is focused on investigating the substrate transport mechanisms in MFS family transporters, activation mechanisms of GPCRs and developing methods to understand ligand selectivity in proteins.

  • Brianna Sobecks

    Undergraduate student, ChBE '22

    Brianna is currently working on understanding activation of plant hormone receptors.

  • Zhengyuan Xue

    Graduate Student, Biophysics, 2019-

    Zhengyuan received B.S degree in Biology from Wuhan University in 2019. He is currently working on using machine learning methods for chemical design.

  • Prateek D. Bansal

    Graduate Student, ChBE, 2019-

    Prateek received his undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from the Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai in 2019. He is currently working on molecular mechanisms of GPCR activation with particular focus on Class B and F receptors.

  • Jiming Chen

    Graduate Student, ChBE, 2017-

    Jiming received her undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from the Rice University in 2017. She is currently working on investigating Strigolactone receptors in plants and applying AI-based force field in molecular dynamics.

  • Jiangyan Feng

    Graduate Student, ChBE, 2016-

    Jiangyan received her undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from the Tianjin University in 2016. She is currently working on investigating nitrate transporter mechanisms in plants. She is the recipient of the Drickamer fellowship (2019) and Chia Chen-Chu fellowship (2019, 2018) from the University of Illinois.

  • Xuenan Mi

    Graduate Student, Biophysics, 2019-

    Xuenan received her Masters degree in Biostatistics from the Tulane University in 2019. She is currently working on using machine learning methods to improve the performance of molecular simulations and apply these methods for protein design problems.

  • Amisha Patel

    Undergraduate Student, ChBE '21

    Amisha is currently working on molecular simulations of nitrogen transport via membrane transporters.

  • Prof. Diwakar Shukla

    Blue Waters Assistant Professor

    Learn more about Diwakar here.

  • Austin Weigle

    Graduate Student, Chemistry, 2017-

    Austin received undergraduate degrees in Plant Biology and Chemistry from Southern Illinois University in 2017. He is currently working on substrate selectivity mechanisms in plant transporters.

  • Chuankai Zhao

    Graduate Student, ChBE, 2015-

    Chuankai received Bachelors degree in Materials Science & Engineering from the Shanghai Jiao Tong University in 2015. He is currently working on understanding molecular mechanisms of drought resistance in plants.

Group Alumni

  • Zahra Shamsi

    Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, 2019; Next Position: Google, CA.

  • Faisal Aldukhi

    B.S.. Chemical Engineering, 2019; Next Position: Graduate Student, KAUST, Saudi Arabia.

  • Qihua Chen

    B.S. Materials Science & Engineering, 2018; Next Position: Graduate Student, Northwestern University.

  • Zeynep Ali

    B.S. Chemical Engineering, 2016; Next Position: Graduate Student, UC Berkeley & UCSF joint Bioengineering program.

  • Alexander S. Moffett

    Ph.D. Biophysics, 2019; Next Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, York University, Canada.

  • Aik Rui Tan

    B.S., Material Science & Engineering, 2019; Next Position: Graduate Student, MIT.

  • Moeen Meigooni

    B.S., Chemical Engineering, 2017; Next Position: Graduate Student, UIUC Biophysics Program.