Roy J. Carver Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology

Nikolau Research Group

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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 biology of biotin and biotin-containing enzymes and the regulation of plant lipid metabolism.

Nikolau group research is conducted in the Molecular Biology Building and the 4th floor of the Biorenewables Research Laboratory (BRL 4th).


Faculty Membership:


The Nikolau Research Group

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.

News & Updates

New Plant Journal article
September 28, 2015
Congratulations to Xin Guan and Basil Nikolau on their new Plant Journal article, A phosphopantetheinyl transferase that is essential for mitochondrial fatty acid biosynthesis, epublished on September 24.

CBiRC funding extended
September 4, 2015
The National Science Foundation has awarded the Center for Biorenewable Chemicals (CBiRC) an additional three years of funding. Full story.

Goodlaxson rejoins Nikolau group
September 1, 2015
Kenna Goodlaxson rejoined the Nikolau Research Group at the beginning of Fall semster as an interdepartmental genetics MS student. She previously worked with the group as an undergraduate research assistant. Kenna's graduate research project involves exploring genetic redundancies in plants by bioengineering a system in yeast for the production of designer chemicals. Welcome back, Kenna!

Showman appointed to Metabolomics Research Lab
September 1, 2015
Nikolau group postdoc Lucas Showman recently was named assistant manager of the W.M. Keck Metabolomics Research Laboratory at Iowa State University. Congratulations, Lucas. We wish you all the best in your new position!


News & Updates Archives