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Indiana University Bloomington


Welcome to our biochemistry student ambassador web page! We are a group of students at Indiana University who would like to assist you by answering any questions you have about the Interdisciplinary Biochemistry Graduate Program and about living in Bloomington, Indiana. We invite you to join us at Indiana University-Bloomington and become part of our exciting program.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Name Level Lab
Ryan Over PhD Michaels
Heidi Schindel PhD Bauer
Sundhar Subramanaian PhD Dann
Hui Peng PhD Giedroc
Ben Walker PhD Cochran
Allissa Haney PhD Kehoe

Ryan Over

Hello, my name is Ryan Over. I am in my fifth year in the Biochemistry Program. I earned my Bachelor's Degree from the University of Rochester in Biochemistry. Here at IU I have focused on the regulation of transcription in plants using the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana in the lab of Dr. Scott Michaels. In particular, I am investigating the molecular control of flowering time. When to flower is one of the most important decisions to make in the life cycle of plants, so it is unsurprising that the decision process would be very complex involving many different factors. IU has a broad range of labs to choose from and many good facilities to assist in research. I have utilized many of these facilities and their knowledgeable staff to try a variety of approaches. Bloomington has also been a nice place to live because of all the events that happen in town and the nearby parks to explore. There really is something for just about anybody, whether sports, hiking areas, concerts or shows! If you have questions about the program, life in Bloomington or as a graduate student, or other random questions, then feel free to email me at rover(at)

Heidi Schindel
Hello! I'm Heidi Schindel. I am a fifth year graduate student and a member of the Bauer lab. I went to IU for undergraduate school as well, during which I studied biology and sociology. My project is focused on the RegA/RegB two-component regulatory system in R. capsulatus. These proteins are responsible for recognizing changes in the environment (particularly oxygen concentration) and controlling the switch between aerobic and anaerobic (photosynthetic!) growth in this metabolically versatile bacterium. I am currently utilizing ChIP-Seq and RNA-Seq technologies to see the changes in gene expression that are controlled by the RegA transcription factor. I have lived in southern Indiana for my entire life and am very familiar with the area and all it has to offer. I enjoy traveling very much, and so far have backpacked throughout western and eastern Europe and studied German while in Austria. While Iím here planning more trips and studying biochemistry, the city of Bloomington continues to offer plenty of events and interesting activities to keep me thoroughly entertained. You can contact me at hsschind(at) if you have any questions!

Sundhar Hi, I am Sundharraman Subramanaian and I prefer to be called Sundhar. I am in my fifth year and I work in the Dann lab. I earned my B.Tech degree in Industrial Biotechnology from Sastra University, India. I worked as a project trainee in International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology before joining IU. I am working to understand the c-di-GMP signaling pathway in Bacillus subtilus. The main aim of my project is the biochemical characterization of the proteins involved in c-di-GMP metabolism. I will be using Isothermal Calorimetry and protein crystallization to study the proteins. The best thing about the program is that it satisfies every oneís need and has a lot of labs to choose from. The centralized facility gives access to a variety of high-end instruments, which is a huge advantage. Everyone in the department is ready to help whenever there is an issue. As an international student I find Bloomington to be a pleasant and calm town. There are lots of options in the campus and in the town to fulfill your needs. I like Bloomington very much because, it has a plenty of good restaurants in the town and they offer delicious food from different cuisines. If, you have any questions please contact me at: sunsubra(at) Itís always better to ask instead of assuming!

Hui Peng

Hello, my name is Hui Peng and I’m a fourth year graduate student in Biochemistry program. I got my bachelor’s degree in Wuhan University, China. Now I’m working in Dr. David Giedroc’s lab. He’s a great mentor! There are three major projects going on in our lab, metallostasis in bacterial pathogens, sulfide sensing and reactive sulfur species in Staphylococcus aureus, and coronavirus replication. My research is focused on the sulfide sensing and signaling at metabolite and protein levels, hopefully providing some insights into how sulfide protects bacteria against antibiotics. Various biochemical, biophysical and biological methods are applied to address the question. I really appreciate the supportive and collaborative environment in the Biochemistry program. Excellent facilities and staff definitely help a lot in research! As an international students, I think Bloomington is a nice and friendly place for study and living. Life is convenient in town, and plenty of gorgeous sceneries are waiting for you to explore if you love outdoor activities. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at: penghu(at)

Benny Walker

Hello! My name is Ben Walker and I am in my fourth year of graduate school. I received a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Purdue University. I currently work in Dr. Cochran’s lab on the biophysics of kinesin and myosin motor proteins. My project focuses on the human and Drosophila chromokinesins KID and NOD, respectively. We are trying to understand how these motors produce force to achieve their intracellular function. We use structural (crystallography , Cryo-EM), kinetic (steady state and pre-steady state), and microscopy methods to understand the basic properties of these motors. In my experience students here are not limited by the expertise and equipment of their particular lab to design and complete experiments. This is due to the outstanding instrumentation facilities run by knowledgeable staff and a collaborative environment among labs. I also love living in Bloomington. The surrounding hills, forests, and lakes make for beautiful and fun hikes and bike rides. There are also lots of opportunities to see and listen great music and theater performances at affordable prices for students. The local farmer’s market, fair grounds, restaurants, and festivals keeps you well fed and entertained. There is something for everybody here. If, you have any questions please contact me at: benjwalk(at)

Allissa HaneyMy name is Allissa Haney and I am in my third year of graduate study in the Biochemistry program. I received my bachelor’s degree in Forensic Chemistry from Lake Superior State University in 2014. I have since joined the Kehoe Laboratory here at IU and we study the effects and response of light on cyanobacteria. My specific project looks at repair of ultraviolet light damage via photolyases in a marine Synechococcus strain. Photolyases are divided into two classes and each class repairs one type of dimer that is induced by exposure to UV light. Most organisms contain one of these proteins, however all high-light adapted cyanobacteria contain four photolyases. I am characterizing these proteins to help determine why there is a need for four photolyase genes. Our laboratory uses a variety of genetic and biochemical approaches to answer the questions we ask. I love that being a Biochemistry student I have still been able to join a predominately Microbiology lab. IU-Biochemistry department excels at being interdisciplinary when it comes to seeking and joining labs for graduate students. IU has many amazing facilities that are staffed with highly knowledgeable researchers that are always willing to train students. The faculty and upper level graduate students here are always enthusiastic to chat with students about an idea for your research, the best restaurants in town, or just how to survive in graduate school. If you have any questions do not hesitate to ask email me at amhaney(at)!