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Venkata R Chirasani wearing a Carolina shirt in alab  Dr. Venkata R Chirasani, R.L. Juliano Structural Bioinformatics core director

Dr. Venkata R Chirasani will be joining as the director of R.L. Juliano Structural Bioinformatics core facility at UNC-Chapel Hill on May 1st, 2023. Dr. Chirasani is an expert in molecular modeling and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of proteins and protein-ligand complexes, and he utilizes computational approaches to study the etiologies of complex human diseases as well as molecular mechanisms underlying various biological processes.

Dr. Chirasani earned his Ph.D. in computational biophysics from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, INDIA, where he worked under the guidance of Dr. Sanjib Senapati. After completing his Ph.D., he joined Dr. Nikolay Dokholyan’s lab as a postdoctoral fellow, where he used computational modeling, molecular dynamics simulations, and other biophysical techniques to gain insights into the structural and functional properties of biomolecules. In 2020, Dr. Chirasani became a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Meissner/Dr. Campbell labs, and most recently, he has been working as a research associate in Dr. Campbell’s lab to probe the spatial and temporal evolution of Ras GTPases.

Dr. Chirasani has received several honors and awards for his outstanding work, including the Best Research Scholar award in 2017 from Indian Institute of Technology Madras, INDIA for his exceptional thesis work. He also qualified for the Bioinformatics National Certification Exam (BINC) – 2011 conducted by the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, INDIA.

As the new core director of R.L. Juliano Structural Bioinformatics, Dr. Chirasani aims to focus on developing improved methods for protein structure prediction, new techniques for protein structure validation, protein-protein interactions, and analyzing large-scale structural data. Additionally, he plans to utilize machine learning and deep learning approaches to study disease-causing mutations and for molecular docking.