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


  • Anees Palapuravan
  • I have completed my Ph.D (2010-2016) in Chemistry from NIIST-CSIR, Trivandrum (AcSIR), under the supervision of Dr. A. Ajayaghosh. Subsequently, I worked as a post-doctoral fellow (2016-2018) at Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS), EMT Research Center, Varennes, Canada under the supervision of Prof. Marc Andrew Gauthier. I joined Prof. Yamuna krishnan's group as post-doctoral scholar from February 2019.
  • aneesp[at]uchicago.edu
  • Anees is a Suzuki Postdoctoral Fellow at The University of Chicago.
  • Koushambi Mitra
  • Koushambi Mitra obtained her integrated PhD degree from Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in the year 2016. Her doctoral thesis work involved development of visible light-activated platinum(II) complexes as photochemotherapeutic agents. In the same year, she joined Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) as a postdoctoral scholar where she synthesized and exploited far-red and near-infrared dyes for photouncaging of chemotherapeutic drugs. Thereafter, she continued her postdoctoral studies at The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD), where she investigated intercellular enzymatic processes with small molecule activity-based fluorescent sensors. Recently in 2020, she joined University of Chicago (UChicago) to develop organelle-targeted fluorescent probes for quantitative imaging and understanding of cellular signaling pathways. In her leisure time, Koushambi indulges herself in travelling, reading, writing and work-outs.
  • mitrak[at]uchicago.edu
  • Sourajit Mukherjee
  • I have completed my Ph.D. from Molecular Biophysics Unit, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore in 2021 under the supervision of Prof. Sujit K Sikdar. My doctoral thesis work involved exploring TREK-1 (a potassium ion channel) as a neuroprotective channel under ischemia-related conditions. I joined the Krishnan group in May 2021 to explore more about ion exchangers in lysosomes. Outside of the lab, I enjoy listening to music, cooking, explore different places and take interest to follow cricket and football.
  • sourajit[at]]uchicago.edu
  • Madhanagopal Barathraj
  • I completed my PhD on supramolecular assemblies of peptides and peptide nucleic acids (PNA) under the supervision of Prof. Krishna N Ganesh in Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Pune in 2018. After working as a postdoctoral research fellow in Prof. Ganesh’s lab in IISER Tirupati on branched PNAs and bimodal PNAs, I joined the Krishnan Lab in July 2021. In collaboration with the Becker lab at University of Chicago, I help design and construct DNA nanodevices to target macrophages.
  • madhang[at]]uchicago.edu
  • Pravin Hivare
  • I hail from a small village Dhagpimpari, India. I obtained my Bachelor's and Masters's degree in Biotechnology from Fergusson College, Pune. I have completed my Ph.D. (2016-2021) in Biological Engineering Discipline at the Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar (IITGN) under the supervision of Prof. Sharad Gupta. My doctoral thesis work involved studying the endocytic pathways of nanostructures (Tetrahedral DNA nanocage and Carbon nanoparticles) and pathogenic protein aggregates (Tau and α-Synuclein) in model neurons. I joined the Krishnan group in December 2021 as Postdoctoral Scholar to explore the role of organelles in neurodegeneration. In my leisure hours, I play football, watch movies, and listen to music. Adventure sports, traveling, photography, and trekking excite me a lot.
  • pravinhivare[at]]uchicago.edu
  • Sandip Chakraborty
  • I have completed my Ph.D. from Photosciences and Photonics Section in CSIR-NIIST, Trivandrum under the mentorship of Prof. A. Ajayaghosh (2017-2021), where I worked on developing new fluorescent pH sensors for imaging application. Here in Krishnan Lab, I am interested in developing advanced fluorescent sensors for cells and Zebrafish imaging. Outside lab, I play football, photograph everything and cook.
  • sandipc[at]]uchicago.edu
  • Priyanka Dutta Gupta
  • I hold a dual degree in Immunology & Microbiology and have always been inclined towards pathogens & diseases. As I entered my postdoctoral training, I was interested to delve deeper into the rules that regulate immunity at the cellular and biochemical level, which led me to my current position. My current projects are focused towards identifying the biochemical cues that drive cell-cell communication and immune cell function. My hope is that this knowledge will help define/create novel, therapeutic as well as diagnostic approaches to diseases. Apart from my lab work, I also enjoy any outdoor adventure that allows me to explore natural wonders.
  • pgupta6[at]]uchicago.edu

Graduate students:

  • 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
  • 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
  • JoAnn Tinker
  • I graduated from Oberlin College (B.A., 2020) before joining the Krishnan group as a graduate student in Chemistry. I am interested in using novel small molecule and DNA-based probes to quantify ion concentrations in organelles. When not at work, I can be found on my couch with my dog.

Research technicians

  • Daphne Oettinger
  • I received a B.A. in Molecular and Cell Neurobiology with a minor in Data Science from the University of California, Berkeley in 2021 and joined the Krishnan group as a lab technician. I have a great curiosity about diseases of the aging brain and the possibility of exploiting biophysiological processes to create potential therapeutics. Outside of the lab, I love camping, hiking/backpacking, running, and tending to my garden.
  • doettinger[at]]uchicago.edu
  • Vanity Spruill
  • As a graduate from Governors State University (not a very science-based school), I utilized my B.A in interdisciplinarian studies to land opportunities with University of Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory, and Lurie Children's Hospital where I received most of scientific training. Through these distinguished organizations, I have become increasingly skilled in utilizing zebrafish and mice as models for molecular and genetic studies. I joined the Krishnan Group in May of 2021, hoping to further my scientific development with both models along with others!
  • vspruill[at]]uchicago.edu

Masters/Rotation/Visiting Students

Undergraduate students

  • Jared Lenn
  • I'm a third year undergraduate in the College studying Biological Chemistry, and have been working at the Krishnan lab since Autumn 2021. I'm currently working on cloning plasmids which will enable localization of the lab's sensors to various subcellular compartments. I also study philosophy, political science, and Latin, and in my free time I like to bake, do hobby electronics projects and take pictures of the night sky.
  • jaredlenn[at]]uchicago.edu


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

In 2020

  • Anees: Suzuki Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • In 2018

  • Kasturi: Schmidt Science Fellow
  • 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)