Research in the Nikolau Group is focused on the comprehensive understanding of metabolism. The lab is particularly focused on the discovery and characterization of novel metabolic processes, and the associated biocatalysts, utilizing expanding genomics resources as the starting point for these endeavors.
The past decade has seen an explosion of genomics datasets, which have revolutionized the way biological systems are defined. Yet the majority of the gene sequences that are deposited at databases are ambiguously annotated relative to biochemical functionality. These gaps in knowledge therefore offer opportunities for novel discoveries that can be used to generate innovative metabolic solutions to societally defined issues.
These research activities are providing opportunities for research-based education and training of undergraduate and graduate students, as well as post-doctoral researchers.
Dr. Nikolau is the Frances M. Craig Professor of Biochemistry at Iowa State University where he has taught and conducted research since 1988. He was awarded his Ph.D. in Biochemistry at Massey University, New Zealand, in 1982, and conducted postdoctoral research at the University of California, Davis, and the University of Utah before joining the faculty of Iowa State University. Dr. Nikolau's research interests focus on the biochemistry and molecular genetic of enzymes affect novel and complex metabolic processes.
Nikolau group research is conducted in the Molecular Biology Building and the 4th floor of the Biorenewables Research Laboratory (BRL 4th).