Center for Biophysics and Quantitative Biology

Alumna Spotlight: Shriyaa Mittal

Shriyaa Mittal

Shriyaa Mittal received a bachelor’s degree in computer science and a master’s degree in computational natural science from the International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Hyderabad, India. She obtained her doctoral degree in biophysics and quantitative biology from the Center for Biophysics and Quantitative Biology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) in Summer 2020.

Shriyaa is currently serving as a postdoctoral researcher in the laboratory of Professor Jack W. Szostak at Harvard Medical School’s Massachusetts General Hospital. Her research focuses on investigating the molecular mechanisms of RNA to understand their role in the origin of life.

“My undergraduate training and research experience set me on a path for computational biophysics research,” says Shriyaa.

“I joined Professor Diwakar Shukla's lab at UIUC because of its focus on computer modeling, simulations, and their analysis using Markov state models, and I am now excited about using modeling to answer questions related to fundamental sciences.”

During her PhD studies, Shriyaa worked on combining biophysical experiments and molecular dynamics simulations to achieve better validation and to guide the design of new experiments. She assisted in the development of a framework that uses long-timescale atomistic simulations to predict pairwise distances to probe that would allow us to further our understanding of proteins dynamics and function.

“I also worked on a collaborative project with Professor Martin Gruebele’s research group,” says Shriyaa. “Although none of the wet lab experiments I performed as part of this project made it into my final paper, some interesting observations led us to examine the mechanism of protein denaturation by a fungicide dodine using simulations and experiments.”

Aside from her research studies and the long hours spent at the lab at Ilinois, Shriyaa enjoyed working with her fellow students on organizing networking symposiums and other social events as part of the biophysics program’s graduate student body, Illinois Biophysics. In her free time, she continues to read books, paint, and solve crossword puzzles.

Published May 20, 2021 15:14