Group Members

We are looking for new PhD students, Postdocs, and Master students to join the team (see openings) !

Jump to PI, postdocs, students, or former members.

Principal Investigator

Mahmoud Moradi

moradi@uark.edu
Associate professor
Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry (CHBC)
Dept. of Cell and Molecular Biology

  • Postdoctoral Associate, 2011-2015, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Ph.D., Physics, 2011, North Carolina State University
  • M.Sc., Physics, 2005, Sharif University of Technology
  • B.Sc., Physics, 2002, Sharif University of Technology

Postdoctoral Researchers

Mortaza Derakhshani

mderakhs@uark.edu
Postdoc, started Nov 2020

Mortaza received his Ph.D. in physical chemistry with a focus on computational chemistry from Colorado state university. His Ph.D. research focused on using computational methods to understand the role of resins in the aggregation of asphaltenes. He is a huge fan of nature and outdoor activities such as hiking, running, skiing. He also enjoys reading, and baking exotic breads.

Research Interests:

  • Activation dynamics of mutated corona virus variants

Graduate Students

Adithya Polasa

apolasa@uark.edu
Ph.D student, Cell and Molecular Biology

Adithya Polasa is Fifth year Ph.D. student at University of Arkansas. His doctoral research investigates structure, function, and the mechanism of proteins, as well as molecular dynamics simulation of interactions between metal ions and protein/nucleic acid, and computer aided drug-protein interaction study. His simple pleasures in life include hiking, camping or a run.

Research Interests:

  • Conformational dynamics of Membrane Insertases, Mechanosenstive channel protein, and G-protein coupled receptors
  • Developing a rational approach to designing recombinant proteins for peptide-directed nanoparticle synthesis and computatioanl estimation of hydrophobicity of lipids
  • Ugochi Isu

    uhisu@uark.edu
    Ph.D student, Chemistry and Biochemistry

    Ugochi Isu obtained her Bsc in biochemistry from Federal university of technology, Owerri, Nigeria. She enjoys spending time with her family, baking and watching movies.

    Research Interests:

    • Chemo-mechanical couplings in the activation process of selected G-protein coupled receptors using molecular dynamics simulation
    •  Localization and effect of cholesterol binding changes in different ratios of cholesterol to POPC lipids in Metabotropic glutamate receptor 1 (mGluR1)

    Matthew Brownd

    mgbrownd@uark.edu
    Ph.D student, Chemistry and Biochemistry

    Matthew Brownd is currently a second-year graduate student. He recieved his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from John Brown University in 2019, and has an interest in studying drug binding activities, specifically as it relates to anxiolytics or antidepressants. Outside of work, he is fascinated by the realms of science fiction and technology, which he enjoys exploring through games, movies, books, or tinkering with the latest gadgets.

    Research Interests:

    Shadi A Badiee

    sasadian@uark.edu
    Ph.D student, Cell and Molecular Biology

    Shadi A Badiee is a second year PhD student in Cell and Molecular Biology. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology - Genetics from University of Yazd, Iran (Class of 2015), and her Master's degree in Molecular Biotechnology and Bioinformatics from University of Milan, Italy (Class of 2020). Shadi’s Master’s thesis was “Improving the Efficiency of Metadynamic Metainference Simulations”. She enjoys traveling, playing basketball and spending time with her family.

    Research Interests:

    Ehsaneh Kodadadi

    ekhodada@uark.edu
    Ph.D Student

    Ehsaneh received a B.Sc. and M.Sc. degree in Plant Breeding from the University of Tabriz, Iran, as well as a Ph.D. degree in Biotechnology. Also, she conducted a research period in the Field Omics Research Unit at the National Institute of Crop Science, NARO, in Japan, to work on proteomic analysis of abiotic sensitive and tolerant plants. Prior to joining Prof. Moradi's group to pursue a Ph.D. degree, she gained three years of experience in proteome changes in the bacterial response to antibiotics at the Drug Applied Research Center in Tabriz, Iran. Ehsaneh enjoys reading, jogging, and spending time with her friends/family

    Research Interests:

    Stephanie Sauve

    ssauve@uark.edu
    Ph.D Student

    Steph is a current first year Ph.D. student in Cell and Molecular Biology at the University of Arkansas. She received her B.S. in biochemistry from St. Lawrence University (Class of 2022). Steph enjoys working out, cooking, and spending time outdoors.

    Research Interests:

    Joseph Williamson

    jgw004@uark.edu
    Ph.D Student

    Joseph Williamson is a second-year graduate student pursuing a PhD in cell and molecular biology at the University of Arkansas where he previously received his BS degree in chemistry. He is ambitious and always open to learning new skills for enhancing his abilities as a computational scientist. His current focus is in improving the understanding of the structure and function of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein using molecular dynamics (MD) based sampling techniques with comparative single molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (smFRET) data.

    Research Interests:

    Dylan Ogden

    dsogden@uark.edu
    Ph.D student, Cell and Molecular Biology

    Dylan Ogden, current third year graduate student, received his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry (emphasis in Biochemistry) from the University of Arkansas in Spring of 2017. He enjoys spending time with friends and family and refining his grilling/bbq skills.

    Research Interests:

    • Lipid Modulation of Membrane Protein Function
    • ABC Transporters

    Curtis Goolsby

    cgoolsby@uark.edu
    Ph.D student, Chemistry and Biochemstry

    Curtis is an avid reader and explorer. His interests are wide and varied but his work in computational chemistry has ranged from developing new force fields for water to simulating large protein systems. Currently he is finishing a PhD focusing on theoretical utilization of Markov Models while working as a DevOps engineer at a major tech company.

    Research Interests:

    • Protein Conformational Landscapes
    • Deep Learning

    Undergraduate Students

    William Strickland

    wdstrick@uark.edu
    B.Sc. student, Biology

    Will is an undergraduate at the University of Arkansas, pursuing a B.S. degree with a major in Biology while also minoring in Psychology and Medical Humanities. For the past two summers, Will has worked as a pharmacy technician in Little Rock, Arkansas. He loves attending Razorback sports events, and enjoys playing basketball in his free time

    Research Interests:

    Former Members

    James Losey


    Role: Postdoc, started Nov 2019

    Vivek Govind Kumar


    Role: Postdoc, started Dec 2021

    Kalyan Immadisetty

    Postdoctoral Researcher, 2016 - 2018
    Role: Currently a Researcher at Loyola University, Chicago

    Jeevapani Hettige

    Postdoctoral Researcher, 2016 - 2017
    Role: Currently a Researcher at Los Alamos National Lab

    S.Hamid Tabari

    Masters Student, 2017 - 2019
    Role:

    Mitchell Benton

    Honors Student, 2016 - 2018
    Role: Joined the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences as Medical Student

    Thomas Harkey

    Honors Student, 2016 - 2018
    Role: Joined the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences as Medical Student

    Reid Shelton

    Undergraduate Researcher, 2016
    Role: Joined the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences as Medical Student

    Elwnay Yehaulashet

    Honors Student, 2018 - 2019
    Role:

    Muhammad Almahayni

    Honors Student, 2017 - 2018
    Role:

    Hayden Hairston

    Undergraduate Researcher, 2017
    Role: