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CBE Seminar Series: Diwakar Shukla, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Monday, March 22, 2021 at 9:00am to 10:00am

Virtual Event


Computational Structural Biology of Plants

Abstract: Virtually all processes in living organisms, from nutrient transport to the regulation of growth, are mediated by proteins. Gaining a detailed view of the biological processes requires understanding of the structure and function of the proteins involved in these processes. Sequence information is widely available for proteins across organisms, but structural information is still lacking, especially for plant proteins. Structural biology has provided valuable insights and high-resolution views of the biophysical processes in plants, such as photosynthesis, hormone signaling and nutrient transport. However, structural biology only provides a few “snapshots” of protein structure, whereas in vivo, protein function involves complex dynamical processes such as ligand binding and conformational changes that structures alone are unable to capture in full detail. In this talk, we present methods that allow all-atom molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to be leveraged as a “computational microscope” providing detailed structural and dynamical information about the molecular machinery in plants and gain high-resolution insights into function of plant hormone receptors and transporters.

Biography: Diwakar Shukla is a Blue Waters assistant professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is also an affiliate faculty in the Center for Biophysics & Quantitative biology and Plant Biology. His research work is focused on understanding the complex biological processes using physics-based models and techniques. In particular, his research group at Illinois is focusing on structural and dynamic understanding of plant proteins. He started his research career at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, India, where he received B. Tech and M. Tech. degrees in chemical engineering. He then joined Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he received M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in chemical engineering. Before joining Illinois, he worked with Prof. Vijay Pande at Stanford University on developing distributed computing approaches for understanding protein dynamics. In his independent career, he has received several awards for his research and teaching including the NSF Early CAREER award, Sloan research fellowship in chemistry, New innovator award in food & agriculture research and Excellence in teaching award from University of Illinois.

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Meeting ID: 913 8309 1981

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Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering




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Contact Name

Brittney Snyder


Diwakar Shukla

Speaker Affiliation

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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