Dr. NICHOLAS NOINAJAssociate Professor
PROFESSIONAL FACULTY RESEARCH
Primary Research Area : Structural and Computational Biology & Biophysics Secondary Research Area : Microbiology, Immunology, and Infectious Diseases
BA/BA, Chemistry/Mathematics, Berea College, Kentucky
PhD, Biochemistry, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Kentucky
Postdoctoral Fellow, NIH/NIDDK, Bethesda, Maryland
2020 Excellence in Research Award, Purdue University
2019 Showalter Faculty Scholar, College of Science, Purdue University
2019 Mentoring Award, College of Science, Purdue University
2018 Excellence in Research Award, College of Science, Biological Sciences, Purdue University
2017 College of Science Team Award, Biological Sciences, Purdue University
2013 Fellows Award for Research Excellence (FARE) Award Winner
2012 Fellows Award for Research Excellence (FARE) Award Winner
2021 Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Biomolecular Galaxy symposium, Purdue Univ.
2020 Lorne Research Conference (45th) on Protein Structure and Function, Lorne, Australia
2019 Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Biomolecular Galaxy symposium, Purdue Univ.
2019 14th Annual Midwest Protein Folding symposium, Notre Dame
2019 Missouri Symposium in Molecular Biophysics, Univ. of Missouri
2018 Purdue CryoEM Symposium, Purdue Univ.
2018 Hitchhiker's Guide to the Biomolecular Galaxy symposium, Purdue Univ.
2018 13th Annual Midwest Protein Folding symposium, Notre Dame
2018 Gordon Research Conference - Protein Transport Across Membranes (Invited talk)
2017 American Crystallographic Association Meeting (Invited talk)
2017 Tessman symposium, Purdue Univ.
2017 Hitchhiker's Guide to the Biomolecular Galaxy symposium, Purdue Univ.
2017 12th Annual Midwest Protein Folding symposium, Notre Dame
2016 Zing Conference - Protein Secretion Across Membranes
2016 FASEB Meeting - Molecular Biophysics of the Membrane (Invited talk)
2016 11th Annual Midwest Protein Folding symposium, Notre Dame (Plenary talk)
2015 Membrane Proteins Symposium at APS/Argonne IL
2014 International Union of Crystallography (Invited talk)
2014 American Crystallographic Association (Invited talk)
2014 Gordon Research Conference - Protein Transport Across Membranes (Invited talk)
2014 44th Mid-Atlantic Macromolecular Crystallography meeting (Invited talk)
BIOL 595 | Spring - Introduction to X-ray Crystallography
BIOL 195 | Fall - First Year Research Experience: Phages to Folds
Faculty Advisor | Biology Graduate Student Association 2018 - present
Faculty Advisor | Structural Biology Journal Club (SCBB) 2015 - present
Faculty Advisor | Hitchhiker's Guide to the Biomolecular Galaxy 2016
Co-organizer | Tessman Symposium 2017
See link at the left of the page (or click HERE ).
We would like to offer special thanks to the following for funding: NIH/NIGMS, Purdue University EVPRP, Showalter Trust, NIH/NIAID, Achaogen.
My research interests are in understanding how pathogenic Gram-negative bacteria are able to use virulence factors found on their surface to mediate infection. These virulence factors are found in the outer membrane and belong to a class of surface proteins commonly referred to as outer membrane proteins (OMPs). In particular, my lab investigates the multi-component complex called BAM, which is responsible for the biogenesis of all OMPs, in hopes of understanding how it is able to fold and insert OMPs into the outer membrane. Additionally, we study the TOC complex, the import machinery found in plastid containing organisms such as those causing malaria. And the third focus is on metal acquisition systems in pathogenic bacteria such as Neisseria. We use a combination of techniques to accomplish our goals including X-ray crystallography, electron microscopy (negative-stain and cryo), crosslinking, and various functional assays. Our ultimate goal is to use the information from the structural and functional characterization as a starting point for drug discovery and development targeting these pathogens.