Hi! I am

Kira Mills

I'm a


About Me

Ph.D. Candidate using Molecular Dynamics simulations to study fluoride transporting proteins. Passionate about science communication, mental health, and making higher education more accessible to all communities.

  • Name: Kira Mills
  • Program: Dept of Chemistry & Biochemistry - The University of Texas at Dallas
  • Email: KiraRMills@gmail.com



Ph.D. - Chemistry & Biochemistry

The University of Texas at Dallas

Advisor: Dr. Hedieh Torabifard 2021-present
Dr. Steven Nielsen 2018-2021

Research Interests: Computational Chemistry, specifically the use of MD simulations to study proteins.


B.S. - Chemistry, Magna Cum Laude

Texas A&M University - Commerce

Advisor:Dr. Bukuo Ni

Research Interests: Organic synthesis, specifically the use of a diarylpyrolinol silyl ether derivative as an organocatalyst for asymmetric cycloadditions.



Vice President

Chemistry Graduate Student Association, The University of Texas at Dallas

I plan and organize events and seminars dedicated to helping new graduate students acclimate to the program and work with administration to improve both the working and personal lives of graduate students.


Teaching Assistant

The University of Texas at Dallas

Courses: Physical & General Chemistry

I aid student comprehension of concepts via once weekly lectures and office hours. I've also worked with senior lecturers to revise course schedules to ensure all students are adequately prepared, regardless of previous education or experience.


Ronald E. McNair Scholar

Texas A&M University - Commerce

The McNair Scholar program is a federally funded program to assist first-generation, low-income, and underrepresented students prepare for graduate studies or other post-baccaleurette programs. By being a Scholar, I performed a 10-week undergraduate research project under the guidance of Dr. Bukuo Ni, focusing on organic synthesis. I also had the opportunity to present my work at multiple conferences, both orally and in poster-form.


Mills, K.R., Baglia, R.A., Mitra, K., Tutol, J.N., Ball, D., Page, K.M., Kallu, J., Gottipolu, S., D'Arcy, S., Nielsen, S.O., and Dodani, S.C.. "An activity-based fluorescent sensor for the detection of the phenol sulfotransferase SULT1A1 in living cells", RSC Chem. Biol., 2021, 2, 830-834

*This article is part of the themed collections: Analytical methods in chemical biology and RSC Chemical Biology Editors' Choice


Oral Presentation: ACS Southwest Regional Meeting (2021) "Computational study of CLCF F-/H+ Antiporter Protein"
Oral Presentation: 255th ACS National Meeting (2018) "Diarylpyrolinol silyl ether as organocatalyst for asymmetric cycloaddition of α,β-unsaturated aldehydes to 3-hydroxyoxindoles to produce spirocyclic δ-lactones in aqueous media"
Oral Presentation: Texas National McNair Research Conference (2018) "Synthesis of spirocyclic δ-lactones by asymmetric organocatalytic reactions"
Poster Presentation: 14th Annual Pathways Student Research Symposium (2017) "Synthesis of spirocyclic δ-lactones..."
Oral Presentation: Gulf Coast Student Success Conference (2016) "Teaching Scientific Writing, Even as a Non-STEM Peer Educator"



My Blog

Transferable Skills of Teaching (for graduate students)

Regardless of your career plans, serving as a teaching assistant or instructor helps you gain skills that will make you a better employee and a better boss