Cherry Logan Emerson Center for Scientific Computation
Emory University, USA
Dr. Sivakumar Sekharan was born in Chennai, INDIA in 1979. He received a B.S. degree in Chemistry from the Madras Christian College (1997-2000), followed by M.S degree in Applied Chemistry from the Regional Engineering College, Trichy (2000-2002). During the completion of his Masters course, he was awarded a summer intern fellowship in Dr. Sowdhamini’s Bioinformatics laboratory at the National Center for Biological Sciences (NCBS), Bangalore where he got introduced to the many interesting facets of Biochemistry. He spent three and a half years as graduate student (2003-2006) at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany and obtained Ph.D. in Theoretical Chemistry under the guidance of Prof. Dr. Volker Buss. His graduate study was aimed at understanding the structure and spectral tuning mechanisms of mammalian rhodopsin using ab initio quantum chemistry methods. He then joined the Max-Planck Institute for Polymer Research, Mainz in 2007 and performed quantum chemical computer simulations in an emerging area of molecular electronics under the guidance of Dr. Daniel Sebastiani and Prof. Dr. Hans Wolfgang Spiess. He moved to the United States in 2008 and currently holds the position of Research Associate with Prof. Keiji Morokuma and Prof. Shozo Yokoyama at the Emory University. He works on the topic of adaptive evolution of vertebrate and invertebrate black/white and color vision at the DNA, protein and organismal levels. He was also a visiting Research Fellow at the Fukui Institute for Fundamental Chemistry in Kyoto, Japan, in 2010.
Computational studies of ligand-protein interaction in membrane proteins,
Structure function relationship of G-Protein Coupled Receptors, Quantum Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics Studies of Visual and Archaeal Rhodopsins, Evolutionary Elasticity of Visual Pigments, Role of Internal Water Molecules in Membrane Proteins, Exploitation of structural information in the areas of protein flexibility and/or complex electronic effects of ligands interacting in receptor binding sites