“Biology is the new Chemistry”
Yamuna Krishnan, is a Professor and Brain Research Foundation Fellow of Chemistry and the Grossman Institute of Neuroscience at the University of Chicago. She received a PhD from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and pursued her postdoctoral studies as an 1851 Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge, UK. She set up her group at the NCBS, Bangalore, in 2005 that focuses on intelligent DNA-based molecular devices to interrogate cellular processes. She relocated to the University of Chicago in 2014.
Research in her laboratory spans supramolecular chemistry, nucleic acid biophysics, biochemistry, molecular biology, and cell biology. Her lab has pioneered the deployment of DNA nanodevices as quantitative fluorescent reporters of second messengers for in vivo imaging.
Given the powerful ability to engineer a range of designed functions into DNA, she is driven to realize quantitative fluorescent reporters for signaling cues that have proved challenging to visualize and thereby unplug decades-old bottlenecks to enable quantitative measurements for systems biology.
She is the youngest woman recipient of India’s highest scientific prize, the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award and most recently featured by the journal Cell on their 40 under 40 list of young scientists who are shaping current and future trends in biology. She has also received the Wellcome Trust Senior Fellowship, the AVRA Young Scientist Award, Associateship of the Indian Academy of Sciences, the Innovative Young Biotechnologist Award, the INSA Young Scientist Medal, and the YIM Boston Young Scientist Award and named the Chemical Sciences Emerging Investigator by the Royal Society of Chemistry for 2015.