Our Group

  • Yamuna Krishnan
  • 2014 - Professor, University of Chicago
    2014: Assoc Professor, National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS)
    2009-13: Reader, NCBS, Bangalore
    2005-9: Fellow, NCBS, Bangalore
    2001-05: 1851 Research Fellowship, University of Cambridge, UK
    2002: Ph. D., Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore,
    1997: M.S., IISc, Bangalore,
    1993: B. Sc. Madras University

  • yamuna[at]uchicago.edu

Partial List of National & International Awards won by PhD students/Postdocs for work at YK lab


  • Aneesh T. Veetil
  • At the Krishnan lab, I am broadly interested in the biological applications of DNA-based synthetic probes. Currently, I am developing DNA-based tools for targeted sensing and quantification of signaling molecules.
  • atv[at]uchicago.edu
  • Krishna Dan
  • I have done my M.Sc (2006-2008) from Bengal Engineering and Science University, Shibpur, Howrah. I qualified NET-CSIR exam in 2008. I got my Ph.D (2009-2014) on Polymer Chemistry from Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science under the supervision of Dr Suhrit Ghosh. During my Ph.D, I worked on stimuli responsive amphiphilic polymer (mainly pH and temperature) and studied the effect of structure dependent self-assembly behavior, guest encapsulation ability, as well as disassembly of the polymer and release of the encapsulated guest molecule in water in presence of specific stimuli. I joined as a post-doctoral scholar in Yamuna's group from Jun 2014.
  • kdan19[at]gmail.com
  • Ka Ho Leung
  • Ka-Ho Leung completed his BSc and PhD degree in Chemistry at Hong Kong Baptist University under the supervision of Dr. Dik-Lung Ma and Dr. Chung-Hang Leung. He joined Prof. Yamuna krishnan's group as post-doctoral scholar since May 2016. His research interest lie in the field of DNA-nanotechnology and the application in multicellular living organism.
  • kaholeung[at]uchicago.edu
  • Nagarjun Narayanaswamy
  • I have completed my M.Sc chemistry (2008-2010) from University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad, Telangana. I qualified CSIR-NET exam in 2009 (All India 26th rank). I got my Ph.D (2010-2015) on bioorganic chemistry from JNCASR under the supervision of Prof. T. Govindaraju on development of a new small-molecular fluorescence probes for diagnosis and therapeutic applications. Present, I am interested in development of small-molecule conjugated DNA nanodevices to study ion homeostasis in cellular organelles. I like music, play cricket and badminton.
  • nagarjunn6[at]uchicago.edu

Graduate students:

  • Anand Saminathan
  • I have done my B.Tech. in Chemical Science & Technology, from Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati (2013). My Research interests are in developing Molecular Sensors. I like learning chemistry and use them to explore biology. Apart from love for Science, I love Playing Tennis, read random things, abstract photography and watch Arsenal play
  • anands1[at]uchicago.edu
  • Bhavyashree Suresh
  • I have done my Master of Science in Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology from Royal Melbourne Institute of technology (RMIT), Melbourne, Australia. After which I joined Dr. Ferhan Ayaydin's lab as ITC Fellow in Biological Research Sciences, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Szeged, Hungary where I learnt High content screening. I wanted to do my PhD in more challenging problem, hence quit BRC and joined NCBS to Prof. Yamuna Krishnan's lab where initially I spent some time to learn TEM. My favourite hobbies being learning languages, trying to understand as many cultures as possible, exploring new places.
  • bhavya[at]uchicago.edu
  • Junyi Zou
  • I got B.S in Chemical Biology in UC Berkeley and started in Krishnan group as a graduate student in year 2016. I would love to expand the field of DNA technology and develop next generation probes to tackle problems in living system. Outside of the lab I have broad interests including music, movies, video games and animes.
  • junyizou[at]uchicago.edu
  • Kasturi Chakraborty
  • The Krishnan lab has pioneered the use of synthetic DNA-based molecular devices that can be targeted to specific endocytic compartments in C. elegans and function as reporters of the local ionic microenvironment in real time. My research involves improving on a chloride sensor and deploying it in various tissues in vivo to obtain a quantitative readout of chloride concentrations and its role in a specific cellular compartment. When not poking worms, I like playing badminton or swimming or just make people laugh.
  • kasturi[at]uchicago.edu
  • Matthew Zajac
  • I received my Bachelors in Chemistry from The College of New Jersey in 2017 and joined the Krishnan group as a graduate student in 2018. I am broadly interested in the use of chemistry to interrogate biological systems, and look forward to applying novel nanotechnology to many unanswered questions. Outside of the lab, I love listening to and playing music, playing board games, and watching baseball (go Yankees!)
  • zajacm1[at]uchicago.edu
  • Maulik S. Jani
  • to.maulikjani[at]gmail.com
  • Shareefa Thekkan
  • I have done my Bachelors in Chemistry from Unity Women's College, University of Calicut (2009) and Masters in Applied Chemistry from Cochin University of Science and Technology (2011). I have qualified the CSIR-LS (June 2011). My work involves developing nucleic acid based sensors for physiologically relevant oxygen derived species. I am interested in drawing and gardening.
  • shareefat[at]uchicago.edu

Undergraduate students

  • Elizabeth Zeichner
  • I am undergraduate student in the Class of 2018 majoring in biological chemistry and I joined the lab in January 2016. I have worked on projects involving the development of a DNA-based sensor for measurements in living systems. In my free time, I love running and spending time outside, cooking, and photography.
  • ezeichner[at]uchicago.edu


Partial List of National & International Awards won by PhD students/Postdocs for work at YK lab

In 2017

  • Sunaina: HFSP fellowship (2017)
  • Nagarjun: Eli Lilly Award for Best Thesis (2017)
  • Kasturi: Harper Dissertation Fellowship (2017)
  • Dhiraj Bhatia: Obaid Siddiqui Prize for the Best Paper in 2016 (2017)
  • In 2016

  • Sonali Saha: Obaid Siddiqui Prize for the Best Paper in 2015 (2016)
  • In 2015

  • Sunaina Surana: EMBO Short term fellowship (2015)
  • Sonali Saha: EMBO Long term Fellowship (2013)
  • Sunaina Surana: First Prize, Eli Lilly Asia Outstanding Thesis Award (2014)
  • Dr Krishna Dan: Chicago Biomedical Consortium Postdoctoral Research Grant Award (2015).
  • Sonali Saha: Zita Lobo Memorial Best Thesis Award (2015)
  • In 2014

  • Dhiraj Bhatia: Zita Lobo Memorial Best Thesis Award (2014)
  • Dhiraj Bhatia: HFSP Fellowship (2014)
  • Aneesh T Veetil: Wellcome Trust – DBT India Alliance Early Career Fellowship (declined)
  • Souvik Modi: Obaid Siddiqui Prize for the Best Paper in 2013 (2014)
  • Dhiraj Bhatia: First Prize, Eli Lilly Asia Outstanding Thesis Award (2013)
  • Dhiraj Bhatia: EMBO Long term Fellowship (2013) – declined.
  • Sunaina Surana: Malhotra-Weikfield Foundation Award for Nanoscience for outstanding research by PhD Scholars (2013)
  • Souvik Modi: Marie Curie Fellowship (Nov 2013)
  • In 2013

  • Sonali Saha: Best student talk at FNANO-13 (Apr 2013)
  • Dhiraj Bhatia: Charpak Fellowship (Sept 2012)
  • Souvik Modi: EMBO Long term Fellowship (Sept 2012),
  • Souvik Modi: First Prize, Eli Lilly Asia Outstanding Thesis Award (2012)
  • 2011 and earlier

  • Sunaina Surana: First Prize, Best Poster Award, Society of Biological Chemists (India) (2011)
  • Souvik Modi: International Travel Award, Biophysical Society (2009)
  • Justin Yeoman: Leverhulme Trust Study Abroad Studentship (2010)
  • Institute Awards:

  • Shabana Mehtab: First Prize, Best Poster Award, NCBS Annual Reviews (2014)
  • Sonali Saha: First Prize, Best Poster Award, NCBS Annual Reviews (2012)
  • Dhiraj Bhatia & Shabana Mehtab: First Prize, Best Poster Award, NCBS Annual Reviews (2010)