Jonathan Nickels

Jonathan David Nickels

Assistant Professor

Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering
2901 Woodside Drive
P.O. Box 210012
Cincinnati , Ohio 45221-0012
Phone 5135563938

Professional Summary

Our research focus is the structure and dynamics of soft matter and biological materials.

​Our studies take a primarily deconstructionist approach to systematically investigate the structure and molecular motions at the nanometer scale. This research is highly interdisciplinary, informing applied disciplines such as Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, as well as fundamental scientific fields such as physics, chemistry, biology, and biophysics. We utilize approaches from experimental soft matter physics, molecular biology, and microbiology. 

A few of the topics that we are pursuing include: The Structure, Dynamics, and Phenomena of Biomolecular Hydration Water; Untangling the Nanoscopic Origins of Materials Properties in Low Entropy Liquids; and Insights and Applications from Lipid Phase Behavior. 


Ph.D.: University of Texas at Austin 2009

B.S. : The University of Notre Dame 2004

Research Support

Grant: #CBET-1836556 Investigators:Angelopoulos, Anastasios; Nickels, Jonathan 09-01-2018 -08-31-2021 National Science Foundation COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH: The Role of Sulfonated Polymer Membrane Morphology in Microscale Transport of Organic Molecules Role:Collaborator $105,527.00 Active Level:Federal

Grant: #UCRI - 181219 Investigators:Jonathan Nickels and Andrew Czaja Bad Format: 20180431 -06-30-2018 The Procter and Gamble Company Polarized and Depolarized Low Frequency Raman Spectroscopy Role:Principle Investigator Completed Type:Contract

Grant: #4000172301 Investigators:Nickels, Jonathan 07-15-2019 -06-30-2022 Department of Energy Visualization of Solvent Disruption of Biomass and Biomembrane Structures in the Production of Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts Role:PI $31,944.00 Active Level:Federal

Grant: #ACS PRF Grant Investigators:Nickels, Jonathan 09-01-2022 -08-31-2024 American Chemical Society - National Chapter The role of static and dynamic structure factors in the viscosity scaling of n-alkanes Role:PI 110000.00 Hold Level:Non Profit

Grant: #MCB-2146264 Investigators:Nickels, Jonathan 05-01-2022 -04-30-2027 National Science Foundation CAREER: Standing Out in a Crowd, Neutron Based Methods to Study Molecular Transport in Crowded Environments. Role:PI 194019.00 Awarded Level:Federal


Peer Reviewed Publications

Perticaroli, Stefania; Ehlers, Georg; Stanley, Christopher B; Mamontov, Eugene; O'Neill, Hugh; Zhang, Qiu; Cheng, Xiaolin; Myles, Dean AA; Katsaras, John; Nickels, Jonathan D; (2017. ) Description of Hydration Water in Protein (Green Fluorescent Protein) Solution .Journal of the American Chemical Society, , 139 (3 ) ,1098-1105.

Dutcher, John R; Grossutti, Michael; Atkinson, John; Baylis, Benjamin; Shamana, Hurmiz; Bergmann, Eric; Nickels, Jonathan; Katsaras, John; (2017. ) Phytoglycogen Nanoparticles: Exciting Science and Promising Technologies from Nature .Physics in Canada., ,

Nickels, Jonathan D; Chatterjee, Sneha; Stanley, Christopher B; Qian, Shuo; Cheng, Xiaolin; Myles, Dean AA; Standaert, Robert F; Elkins, James G; Katsaras, John; (2017. ) The in vivo structure of biological membranes and evidence for lipid domains .PLoS Biology, , 15 (5 ) ,e2002214.

Perticaroli, Stefania; Mostofian, Barmak; Ehlers, Georg; Neuefeind, Joerg C; Diallo, Souleymane Omar; Stanley, Christopher; Daemen, Luke L; Egami, T; Katsaras, John; Cheng, Xiaolin; (2017. ) Structural Relaxation, Viscosity, and Network Connectivity in a Hydrogen Bonding Liquid. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics., ,

Nickels, Jonathan D; Atkinson, John; Papp-Szabo, Erzsebet; Stanley, Christopher; Diallo, Souleymane O; Perticaroli, Stefania; Baylis, Benjamin; Mahon, Perry; Ehlers, Georg; Katsaras, John; (2016. ) Structure and hydration of highly-branched, monodisperse phytoglycogen nanoparticles .Biomacromolecules, , 17 (3 ) ,735-743.

Heberle, Frederick A; Marquardt, Drew; Doktorova, Milka; Geier, Barbara; Standaert, Robert F; Heftberger, Peter; Kollmitzer, Benjamin; Nickels, Jonathan D; Dick, Robert A; Feigenson, Gerald W; (2016. ) Subnanometer structure of an asymmetric model membrane: interleaflet coupling influences domain properties .Langmuir, , 32 (20 ) ,5195-5200.

Tian, Jianhui; Nickels, Jonathan; Katsaras, John; Cheng, Xiaolin; (2016. ) Behavior of Bilayer Leaflets in Asymmetric Model Membranes: Atomistic Simulation Studies .The Journal of Physical Chemistry B, , 120 (33 ) ,8438-8448.

Baptist, Matilda; Panagabko, Candace; Nickels, Jonathan D; Katsaras, John; Atkinson, Jeffrey; (2015. ) 2, 2�-Bis (monoacylglycero) PO4 (BMP), but not 3, 1�-BMP, increases membrane curvature stress to enhance α-tocopherol transfer protein binding to membranes .Lipids, , 50 (3 ) ,323-328.

Nickels, Jonathan D; Perticaroli, Stefania; Ehlers, Georg; Feygenson, Mikhail; Sokolov, Alexei P; (2015. ) Rigidity of polyâ??Lâ??glutamic acid scaffolds: Influence of secondary and supramolecular structure .Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A, , 103 (9 ) ,2909-2918.

Perticaroli, S; Russo, D; Paolantoni, M; Gonzalez, MA; Sassi, P; Nickels, JD; Ehlers, G; Comez, L; Pellegrini, E; Fioretto, D; (2015. ) Painting biological low-frequency vibrational modes from small peptides to proteins .Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, , 17 (17 ) ,11423-11431.

Nickels, Jonathan D; Smith, Jeremy C; Cheng, Xiaolin; (2015. ) Lateral organization, bilayer asymmetry, and inter-leaflet coupling of biological membranes .Chemistry and physics of lipids, , 192 ,87-99.

Marquardt, Drew; Heberle, Frederick A; Nickels, Jonathan D; Pabst, Georg; Katsaras, John; (2015. ) On scattered waves and lipid domains: detecting membrane rafts with X-rays and neutrons .Soft Matter, , 11 (47 ) ,9055-9072.

Perticaroli, Stefania; Ehlers, Georg; Jalarvo, Niina; Katsaras, John; Nickels, Jonathan D; (2015. ) Elasticity and inverse temperature transition in elastin .The journal of physical chemistry letters, , 6 (20 ) ,4018-4025.

Nickels, Jonathan D; Cheng, Xiaolin; Mostofian, Barmak; Stanley, Christopher; Lindner, Benjamin; Heberle, Frederick A; Perticaroli, Stefania; Feygenson, Mikhail; Egami, Takeshi; Standaert, Robert F; (2015. ) Mechanical properties of nanoscopic lipid domains .Journal of the American Chemical Society, , 137 (50 ) ,15772-15780.

Norris, Adrianne Lee; Nickels, Jonathan D; Sokolov, Alexei P; Serpersu, Engin H; (2014. ) Protein dynamics are influenced by the order of ligand binding to an antibiotic resistance enzyme .Biochemistry, , 53 (1 ) ,30â??38.

Perticaroli, Stefania; Nickels, Jonathan D; Ehlers, Georg; Mamontov, Eugene; Sokolov, Alexei P; (2014. ) Dynamics and rigidity in an intrinsically disordered protein, β-casein .The Journal of Physical Chemistry B, , 118 (26 ) ,7317-7326.

Perticaroli, Stefania; Nickels, Jonathan D; Ehlers, Georg; Sokolov, Alexei P; (2014. ) Rigidity, secondary structure, and the Universality of the Boson Peak in Proteins .Biophysical journal, , 106 (12 ) ,2667-2674.

Nickels, Jonathan D; Schmidt, Christine E; (2013. ) Surface modification of polypyrrole via affinity peptide: quantification and mechanism .Journal of Materials Chemistry B, , 1 (7 ) ,1060-1066.

Hong, Liang; Glass, Dennis C; Nickels, Jonathan D; Perticaroli, Stefania; Yi, Zheng; Tyagi, Madhusudan; Oâ??Neill, Hugh; Zhang, Qiu; Sokolov, Alexei P; Smith, Jeremy C; (2013. ) Elastic and conformational softness of a globular protein .Physical review letters, , 110 (2 ) ,028104.

Perticaroli, Stefania; Nickels, Jonathan D; Ehlers, Georg; O (2013. ) Secondary structure and rigidity in model proteins .Soft Matter, , 9 (40 ) ,9548-9556.

Ishai, Paul Ben; Mamontov, Eugene; Nickels, Jonathan D; Sokolov, Alexei P; (2013. ) Influence of Ions on Water Diffusionâ??A Neutron Scattering Study .The Journal of Physical Chemistry. B, , 117 (25 ) ,7725-7729

Nickels, Jonathan D; Garcia-Sakai, Victoria; Sokolov, Alexei P; (2013. ) Dynamics in Protein Powders on the Nanosecond-Picosecond Time Scale are Dominated by Localized Motions. The Journal of Physical Chemistry B, , 117 (39 ) ,11548-11555.

Nickels, Jonathan D; Perticaroli, Stefania; Oâ??Neill, Hugh; Zhang, Qiu; Ehlers, Georg; Sokolov, Alexei P; (2013. ) Coherent Neutron Scattering and Collective Dynamics in the Protein, GFP .Biophysical Journal, , 105 (9 ) ,2182-2187.

Nickels, Jonathan D; Schmidt, Christine E; (2013. ) Surface modification of the conducting polymer, polypyrrole, via affinity peptide .Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A, , (5 ) ,1464-1471.

Nickels, Jonathan D; (2013. ) Instrumental Resolution Effects in Neutron Scattering Studies of Protein Dynamics .Chemical Physics, , 424 ,7-11.

Ishai, P Ben; Sobol, Z; Nickels, Jonathan D; Agapov, Alexander L; Sokolov, Alexei P; (2012. ) An assessment of comparative methods for approaching electrode polarization in dielectric permittivity measurements .Review of Scientific Instruments, , 83 (8 ) ,083118.

Nickels, Jonathan D; Curtis, Joseph E; Oâ??Neill, Hugh; Sokolov, Alexei P; (2012. ) Role of methyl groups in dynamics and evolution of biomolecules .Journal of Biological Physics, , 38 (3 ) ,497-505.

Nickels, Jonathan D; Oâ??Neill, Hugh; Hong, Liang; Tyagi, Madhusudan; Ehlers, Georg; Weiss, Kevin L; Zhang, Qiu; Yi, Zheng; Mamontov, Eugene; Smith, Jeremy C; (2012. ) Dynamics of protein and its hydration water: neutron scattering studies on fully deuterated GFP .Biophysical journal, , 103 (7 ) ,1566-1575.

Seidlits, Stephanie K; Khaing, Zin Z; Petersen, Rebecca R; Nickels, Jonathan D; Vanscoy, Jennifer E; Shear, Jason B; Schmidt, Christine E; (2010. ) The effects of hyaluronic acid hydrogels with tunable mechanical properties on neural progenitor cell differentiation .Biomaterials, , 31 (14 ) ,3930-3940.

Gomez, Natalia; Lee, Jae Y; Nickels, Jon D; Schmidt, Christine E; (2007. ) Micropatterned polypyrrole: a combination of electrical and topographical characteristics for the stimulation of cells .Advanced functional materials, , 17 (10 ) ,1645-1653.

Lee, Joo-Woon; Serna, Francisco; Nickels, Jonathan; Schmidt, Christine E; (2006. ) Carboxylic acid-functionalized conductive polypyrrole as a bioactive platform for cell adhesion .Biomacromolecules, , 7 (6 ) ,1692-1695.

Li, Shuliang; Nickels, Jonathan; Palmer, Andre Francis; (2005. ) Liposome-encapsulated actinâ??hemoglobin (LEAcHb) artificial blood substitutes .Biomaterials, , 26 (17 ) ,3759-3769.

Palmer, Andre F; Wingert, Philip; Nickels, Jonathan; (2003. ) Atomic force microscopy and light scattering of small unilamellar actin-containing liposomes .Biophysical journal, , 85 (2 ) ,1233-1247.

Nickels, Jonathan; Palmer, Andre F; (2003. ) Changes in liposome morphology induced by actin polymerization in submicrometer liposomes .Langmuir, , 19 (25 ) ,10581-10587.

Jonathan D Nickels, Sneha Chatterjee, Barmak Mostofian, Christopher B Stanley, Michael Ohl, Piotr Zolnierczuk, Roland Schulz, Dean AA Myles, Robert F Standaert, James Elkins, Xiaolin Cheng, John Katsaras (2017. ) Bacillus subtilis Lipid Extract, A Branched-Chain Fatty Acid Model Membrane .The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, , 8 (17 ) ,4214

R Ashkar, H Bilheux, H Bordallo, R Briber, DJE Callaway, X Cheng, X-Q Chu, JE Curtis, M Dadmun, P Fenimore, D Fushman, F Gabel, K Gupta, F Herberle, F Heinrich, L Hong, J Katsaras, Z Kelman, E Kharlampieva, GR Kneller, A Kovalevsky, S Krueger, P Langan, R Lieberman, Y Liu, M Losche, E Lyman, Y Mao, J Marino, C Mattos, F Meilleur, P Moody, Jonathan D. Nickels, WB O'Dell, H O'Neill, U Perez-Salas, J Peters, L Petridis, AP Sokolov, C Stanley, N Wagner, M Weinrich, K Weiss, T Wymore, Y Zhang, JC Smith (2018. ) Neutron scattering in the biological sciences; progress and prospects.Acta Crystallographica Section D, , 74 (12 ) ,1129 More Information

Jonathan D Nickels, Micholas Dean Smith, Richard J Alsop, Sebastian Himbert, Ahmad Yahya, Destini Cordner, Piotr Zolnierczuk, Christopher B Stanley, John Katsaras, Xiaolin Cheng, Maikel C Rheinstädter (2019. ) Lipid Rafts: Buffers of Cell Membrane Physical Properties .The Journal of Physical Chemistry B, , 123 (9 ) ,2050

Barmak Mostofian, Tony Zhuang, Xiaolin Cheng, Jonathan D Nickels (2019. ) Branched-chain fatty acid content modulates structure, fluidity, and phase in model microbial cell membranes .The Journal of Physical Chemistry B, , 123 (27 ) ,5814

John Katsaras, Jonathan Nickels (2019. ) Combining experiment and simulation to study complex biomimetic membranes.Characterization of Biological Membranes, , 515 More Information

Jonathan D Nickels, Jacob Hogg, Destini Cordner, John Katsaras (2020. ) Lipid rafts in bacteria: Structure and function.Health Consequences of Microbial Interactions with Hydrocarbons, Oils, and Lipids, , 3 More Information

Ahmad Yahya, Luoxi Tan, Stefania Perticaroli, Eugene Mamontov, Daniel Pajerowski, Joerg Neuefeind, Georg Ehlers, Jonathan D Nickels (2020. ) Molecular origins of bulk viscosity in liquid water .Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, , 22 (17 ) ,9494

Micholas Dean Smith, Sai Venkatesh Pingali, James G Elkins, Dima Bolmatov, Robert F Standaert, Jonathan D Nickels, Volker S Urban, John Katsaras, Brian H Davison, Jeremy C Smith, Loukas Petridis (2020. ) Solvent-induced membrane stress in biofuel production: molecular insights from small-angle scattering and all-atom molecular dynamics simulations .Green Chemistry, , 22 (23 ) ,8278

Jonathan D Nickels, Suresh Poudel, Sneha Chatterjee, Abigail Farmer, Destini Cordner, Shawn R Campagna, Richard J Giannone, Robert L Hettich, Dean AA Myles, Robert F Standaert, John Katsaras, James G Elkins (2020. ) Impact of fatty-acid labeling of Bacillus subtilis membranes on the cellular lipidome and proteome .Frontiers in microbiology, , 11 ,914

John Simmons, Jonathan D Nickels, Michelle Michalski, Michael Grossutti, Hurmiz Shamana, Christopher B Stanley, Adrian L Schwan, John Katsaras, John R Dutcher (2020. ) Structure, hydration, and interactions of native and hydrophobically modified phytoglycogen nanoparticles .Biomacromolecules, , 21 (10 ) ,4053

Samuel J Berens, Ahmad Yahya, Junchuan Fang, Anastasios Angelopoulos, Jonathan D Nickels, Sergey Vasenkov (2020. ) Transition between Different Diffusion Regimes and Its Relationship with Structural Properties in Nafion by High Field Diffusion NMR in Combination with Small-Angle X-ray and Neutron Scattering .The Journal of Physical Chemistry B, , 124 (40 ) ,8943

Stefania Perticaroli, Jana Herzberger, Yiping Sun, Jonathan D Nickels, Ryan P Murphy, Katie Weigandt, Paula J Ray (2020. ) Multiscale Microstructure, Composition, and Stability of Surfactant/Polymer Foams .Langmuir, , 36 (48 ) ,14763

Luoxi Tan, James G Elkins, Brian H Davison, Elizabeth G Kelley, Jonathan Nickels (2021. ) Implementation of a self-consistent slab model of bilayer structure in the SasView suite .Journal of Applied Crystallography, , 54 (1 ) ,363

Book Chapter

Nickels J.D., Katsaras J. (2015 ) Water and Lipid Bilayers Membrane Hydration. Subcellular Biochemistry .(pp. 45).Springer, Cham (Author)

Post Graduate Training and Education

2010-2017 Postdoctoral Researcher, Neutron Scattering / Biophysics of lipids and proteins / Structure and dynamics of polymers and small molecules. , Oak Ridge National Laboratory, , Oak Ridge, TN

Contact Information

Academic - Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering
2901 Woodside Drive
Cincinnati   Ohio, 45221-0012
Phone: 5135563938