Ranjan Srivastava

Professor & Department Head


Ph.D. U of Maryland (1999)

Current Research

  • Systems Biology
  • Metabolic Engineering
  • Evolutionary Algorithms
  • Computational Biology Tool Development

Professional Activities

Faculty Member: Biomedical Engineering Department, UConn, 2002 – Present
Faculty Member: Multidisciplinary Head & Neck Cancer Program, The Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Connecticut Health Center, 2008 – Present
Affiliated Faculty: Environmental Engineering Program, UConn, 2006 – Present
Member: American Chemical Society
Member: American Institute of Chemical Engineers
Member: Society of Biological Engineering

Current Research Group

Graduate Students
Christine Endicott
Abraham Friedman
Stephen Lincoln
Maryam Pardakhti
Rebecca Rubinstein
Ian Rogers

Former Group Members

Research Statement

Our group is utilizing a systems biology and metabolic engineering approach to pursue a number of different research projects.

Infectious Microbial Pathogens
Using tools from metabolic engineering, we are characterizing the metabolims of different pathogenic microbes. Specifically we are studying Bacillus anthracis and Rickettsia prowazekii, which are responsible for anthrax and epidemic typhus respectively. Through computational analysis, such as genome-scale metabolic modeling, coupled with experimental studies carried out by our collaborators, we are developing a better understanding and discovering new ways to deal with these infectious agents.

Oral Cavity Mucositis
Chemotherapy or radiation therapy of people suffering from oral cavity cancer can lead to mucosal injury referred to as “mucositis.” We are using a systems biology approach to understand the cascade of events ranging from the molecular level to the tissue level involved in mucositis. Our computational work is tightly integrated with clinical studies carried out by our collaborators. Our hope is to alleviate the suffering of these patients and enhance their quality of life.

Fuel Biotechnology
A number of approaches are being developed for using biotechnology to address the energy problems currently facing our society. A strategy we are pursuing in collaboration with colleagues is the cellular engineering of microbes for the production of hydrogen. By carrying out genome-scale metabolic analysis, we are identifying how to re-engineer microbial metabolism to optimally produce hydrogen.

Computational Biology Tool Development
Much of our work involves a significant amount of computational analysis and model development. To facilitate our studies, we are developing a variety of tools for use in systems biology, metabolic engineering, and bioinformatics. In all cases, these tools have value beyond our own work. As a result, we regularly make our computational tools and models available to the general research community.

Previous Positions

2002 – 2008 Facility Head, Fermentation & Bioprocessing Facility, University of Connecticut
2002 – 2008 Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering, University of Connecticut

Awards & Honors

2010 Leermakers Symposia Speaker, Wesleyan University
2009 Award for Teaching Excellence as Determined by the Students
2007 Office of Naval Research Fellow
2004 University of Connecticut Junior Faculty Fellow
2004 Rogers Corporation Outstanding Teaching Award
2000 NIH Post-Doctoral Trainee in Cancer Biology

Recent Publications

Peterson D. E., Srivastava R., Lalla R. V.  (2013) Oral Mucosal Injury in Oncology Patients: Perspectives on Maturation of a Field. Oral Diseases.

Bautista E., Srivastava R.  (2013) Leveraging Ensemble Information of Evolving Populations in Genetic Algorithms to Identify Incomplete Metabolic Pathways.  Proceedings of the Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference, GECCO-2013.

Johnson E., Srivastava R. (2012) Volatility in mRNA secondary structure as a design principle for antisense.  Nucleic Acids Research, 41(3):e43.

Srivastava R, White JR, Lalla RV, Loew LM, Peterson DE (2011) Optimizing personalized treatment of oral mucositis secondary to cancer therapy through systems biology. J Clin Onc. 29:e19690.

Li S, Srivastava R, Suib SL, Li Y, Parnas RS (2011) Performance of batch, fed-batch, and continuous A-B-E fermentation with pH-control. Bioresource Technology, 102(5):4241-4250.

Li S, Srivastava R, Parnas RS (2011) Study of in situ 1-butanol pervaporation from A-B-E fermentation using a PDMS composite membrane: Validity of solution-diffusion model for pervaporative A-B-E fermentation. Biotechnology Progress, 27(1):111-120

Li S, Srivastava R, Parnas RS (2010) Separation of 1-butanol by pervaporation using a novel tri-layer PDMS composite membrane. Journal of Membrane Science. 363:287-294.

Jain R and Srivastava R (2009) Metabolic investigation of host/pathogen interaction using MS2-infected Escherichia coli. BMC Systems Biology. 3:(1):121.

Peterson DE, Srivastava R, White JR, Lalla RV, Loew LM (2008) Systems biology of mucosal injury in cancer patients. J Clin Oncol 26:9634.

Knorr AL, Jain R, Srivastava R (2007) Bayesian-Based Selection of Metabolic Objective Functions. Bioinformatics 23(3):351-357.

Contact Information
Phone(860) 486-4020
Mailing Address191 Auditorium Road, Unit 3222, Storrs, CT 06269-3222
Office LocationEII-204