Lab Members

Principal Investigator

Dr. Chittaranjan Das, Ph.D.

Dr. Chittaranjan Das, Ph.D.
Department of Chemistry, Biological Division
Ph.D. - Indian Institute of Science 2001
Postdoctoral Fellow - Harvard Medical School/Brandeis University 2001-2006

Chitta Das is an Professor in the Department of Chemistry at Purdue University. He received his Ph.D. from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore (India). Following his PhD education, he became a post-doc in Dr. Greg Petsko's group at Harvard Medical School and Brandeis University. He uses X-ray crystallography to study structure-function relationship of bacterial effectors that regulate ubiquitin signaling.

During his sabbatical in early 2019, Chitta decided to study cryo-EM under the guidance of the late Michael Rossmann. He hopes that the synergy between X-ray crystallography and cryo-EM would broaden our scope of understanding the various aspects of the ubiquitin system.

Chitta enjoys spending time with his family and is a proud pet-parent of Clyde, their adopted dog.


Current Lab Members 

Post-Doc & Graduate Students


Dr. Shalini Iyer, Ph.D.
Ph.D. University of Bath

Shalini Iyer is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Das Lab. She received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Bath, UK. Her area of expertise is macromolecular crystallography as well as molecular and cell biology. She also has a strong background in biochemical, biophysical, and cell culture techniques. Since joining our lab in Jun 2018, she has been investigating the structure-function aspects of effector pairs with opposing activities from Legionella pneumophila.

Shalini uses a combination of molecular, biochemical and structural techniques to gain insights into how these bacterial effectors are able to trick the host ubiquitin signaling system and establish a safe, replicative intracellular environment for survival within the host.


Kristos Negrón-Terón
Graduate Student
B.S. University of Puerto Rico

Kristos Negrón Terón is a fourth year PhD student in the Das Lab. He did his B.S. in Biology in his hometown at the University of Puerto Rico at Aguadilla. He did some brief research on yogurt probiotics under the tutelage of Dr. José Carde.

He is currently working on utilizing disulfide chemistry for enzymatic and structural characterization of enzymes. He is also working on designing ubiquitin based probes for proteomics to see if they can pulldown new ubiquitin binding proteins from different types of organisms.


Sebastian Kenny
Graduate Student
B.S. Purdue University

Sebastian Kenny is a third-year PhD student in the Das Lab. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from Purdue University. Kenny received training in organic synthesis during his undergraduate research.

In his PhD education, Kenny has been trained in various biophysical techniques such as Biolayer Interferometry and Isothermal Titration Calorimetry - techniques which shed light on protein-protein interaction, allowing for better mechanistic understanding. His goal is to understand the mechanism of p53 ubiquitination by Human Papillomavirus (HPV).


Zhengrui Zhang
Graduate Student
B.S. Sun Yat-Sen University

Zhengrui Zhang is a third-year PhD student in the Das Lab. He got his bachelor degree in Chemical Biology at Sun Yat-sen University, China. His research focuses on the characterization of bacterial effectors using various techniques, including activity-based proteomics, biochemical assays and X-ray crystallography.

The overall goal of his research is to obtain a better scope regarding how pathogenic bacteria hijack host ubiquitin system. At present, he is working on identifying ubiquitin-interacting proteins in bacteria using activity-based ubiquitin probes. Besides, he has also been working on the crystallization of several uncharacterized bacterial effectors.


Rishi Patel
Graduate Student
B.S. Saint Louis University

Rishi Patel is a second-year graduate student in the Das Lab. He studied chemistry and mathematics at Saint Louis University where he investigated myoglobin’s capacity to act as a peroxidase and its potential roles in oxidative stress. His research interest lie in bioorganic chemistry and chemical biology.
Currently, Rishi works on utilizing chemically orthogonal means to reveal aspects of ubiquitin biology


Undergraduate Students


Laboratory Support

Lee.jpg Laura.jpeg Ben

Lee Chiang Hua
Administrative Assistant


Laura Mendoza



Benzene Curie (Ben)
Laboratory Support

Golden Retriever


Das Lab Alumni 

Post-Doc & Graduate Students

Tushar MyungIl David

Michelle Permaul (M.S.)

Current Position: Roche, Ltd.

Tushar Maiti (Post-Doc)

Current Position: Associate Professor, UNESCO Regional Center for Biotechnology

Myung-Il Kim (Post-Doc)

Current Position: Bioneer Corporation, South Korea

David Boudreaux (Ph.D.)

Initial Position: Post-Doc, USF

Current Position: Deputy Division Chief, U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory

Chris Judy Marie Joe

Christopher Davies (Ph.D.)

Initial Position: Post-Doc, UC Berkeley

Current Position: Senior Scientific Researcher, Genentech

Judith Ronau (Ph.D.)

Initial Position: Post-Doc, Yale

Current Position: Senior Scientist, AbbVie


Marie Morrow (Ph.D.)

Initial Position: Post-Doc, Johns Hopkins University

Current Position: Senior Scientist, Becton-Dickinson

Joseph Chaney (Ph.D.)

Initial Position: Post-Doc, LSU Health Sciences Center

Current Position: Assistant Professor, Xavier University of Louisiana





Amy Bueno (M.S.)

Initial Position: Tech Manager/R&D, Aginnovation

Aditya "Raj" Babar (M.S.)

Initial Position: MBA Student, Krannert-Purdue University

Cameron Wade (M.S.)

Initial Position: Technical Services, Epic

Michael Sheedlo (Ph.D.)

Initial Position: Post-Doc, Vanderbilt University

Current Position: Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota

Rashmi Kwame Kedar Aya

Rashmi Shrestha (Ph.D.)

Initial Position: Lecture Professor, College of Alameda

Current Position: Assistant Professor, Berea College

Kwame Brown (M.S.)

Initial Position: Protein Chemist 2, NextCure



Kedar Puvar (Ph.D.)

Initial Position: Post-Doc, Harvard Medical School

Current Position: Sr Scientist, AbbVie 

Aya Saleh (Ph.D.)

shared student with Dr. Tamara Kinzer-Ursem

Initial Position: Post-Doc, Abbott



Undergraduate & High School Students

trent AZ Rachel Isabella

Trent Arbough (B.S.)

Current Position: M.D. student, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine

Ashley Zeese (B.S.)

Current Position: D.O. student, Marian University

Rachel Hohe (B.S.)

Current Position: Ph.D. student, Case Western University

Isabella Prislusky (B.S.)

Current Position: Ph.D. student, The Ohio State University


Ashley H Hannah

Ashley Holahan (B.S.)

Current Position: Ph.D. student, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Hannah Rondon (B.S.)

Current Position: M.D/Ph.D. student, Indiana University School of Medicine