Sivaraj (Shiv) Sivaramakrishnan

Professor, Director of Graduate Studies

University of Minnesota, Twin-Cities

Department of Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development
Molecular, Cellular, Development Biology and Genetics Graduate Program

Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine

Visiting Faculty, inStem (India)


Shiv grew up in Pune (India) and did his Bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering from the College of Engineering Pune. Subsequently, he traveled to the U.S. for a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign. His M.S. research examined the turbulent flow and heat transfer in continuous casting of steel.

He then worked as an engineer at Fluent Inc. using computational fluid mechanics to analyze fluid flow in biomedical devices. This marked his transition into biological sciences. As an engineer, Shiv was captivated by the complex architecture of the cell cytoskeleton. He returned to graduate school at Northwestern University to study the effects of mechanical forces on the keratin intermediate filament network in lung epithelial cells. He trained with Karen Ridge and Robert Goldman and developed a deep appreciation for cell biology.

Keen to understand the cell in molecular detail, he then did a postdoctoral fellowship with James Spudich in the biochemistry department at Stanford University. Shiv's postdoctoral work focused on using single molecule biophysics techniques to understand how molecular motors work. The broad research interests of the lab mirror Shiv's diverse training background with an emphasis on integrating multiple approaches to understand how cells work.

When not at the bench or in the office writing, Shiv looks forward to time with his wife Ramya and their two children, Indira (Indu) and Vivek. He has a passion for Indian classical music and is an avid reader.

Shiv on the banjo and Indu on the ukulele.