Mitul Saha

I am a NIH-funded distinguished postdoctoral scholar. I work between Baylor College of Medicine (advised by Wah Chiu) and Stanford School of Medicine (advised be Michael Levitt, Russ Altman, and Scott Delp). My research is about constructing simplified/approximate representation of conformation spaces using Probabilistic Roadmaps (PRMs). This has applications in robotics, computational structural biology, and computer-graphics/media.

One of my current projects (with Baylor College of Medicine) involves Electron cryomicroscopy (cryo-EM) which is emerging as a powerful technique for determining structures of large proteins (biological machines: viruses, chaperonins, ribosomes, enzymes, etc.) which is otherwise too difficult for conventional methods (such as X-ray crystallography). Single particle cryo-EM images often contains information about mixed conformations. We intend to use the available information to guide the construction of a simplified representation of the conformation space (using motion planning techniques) from which one can extract ensemble of potential structural models representing the dynamic nature of the biological machine. As of now I have successes with two biological nano-motors myosin-II and myosin-V1.

I recently graduated (September, 2006) with a PhD from the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab. Prior to that, I obtained a BS degree from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur (2001). During my PhD at Stanford, I have focused on Robot Motion Planning, developing new motion planners based on Probabilistic Roadmaps for planning guaranteed collision-free paths, multi-goal tours, paths in difficult and high-dimensional configuration spaces, and robotic manipulation of deformable objects (knot-tying).

For the next few years I would like to focus on the applications of motion
planning in computational structural biology and digital-actors (computer-graphics).

My primary webpage: