Faculty Profiles

faculty photo imageShivani Ahuja

Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Chemistry Department
Division of Mathematical and Natural Sciences

I am interested in studying how small molecules and ligands are ferried across our cell membrane with the aid of proteins known as transporters — a type of phenomena which mediates many critical biological processes in the human body. This field lies at the intersection of chemistry, biology and physics, with immense scope for interdisciplinary research. Prior to Reed, I obtained my PhD in Physics from Stony Brook University in 2009 where I used NMR spectroscopy to study how the proteins in our eyes respond to light photons and kick-start the signaling pathway to the brain that allows us to “see” in the dark. Thereafter, my postdoctoral stints at both University of Michigan and Oregon Health & Science University were focused on using biophysical techniques (like NMR and X-Ray Crystallography) to study various biologically critical membrane proteins. I have also spent time as a postdoctoral fellow at Genentech, where I got experience working in a setting where fundamental scientific research gets directly translated into a real-life improvement for the public, in this case, developing better drugs to treat various diseases & medical conditions. At Reed I teach a general chemistry course (Chem102) as well as Chem391 (Structural Biochemistry) and Chem315 (Physical Chemistry Laboratory). In my time away from the classroom and labs, I enjoy doing puzzles, legos, crafting, cooking, camping, and going for long bike rides with my husband and our seven-year-old daughter.

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