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Thahani Shifna studied chemistry at the University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka, where she studied the anti-fungal activity and isolation of a kaurane diterpenoid extracted from the root of Austeroeupatorium inulifolium, an invasive plant, under the direction of Professor Veranja Karunaratne, and also studied the bioactivity of the invasive plant Ageratina riparia in collaboration with Professor Karunaratne.  At Loyola with Professor Becker, she is currently developing an efficient synthesis of peptidomimetic cyclobutanones as enzymatic inhibitors.  She is also designing and synthesizing bisubstrate ligands for GNAT N-acetyl transferase enzymes and new tetrazole-based inhibitors of the bacterial enzyme DapE as potential new antibiotics.