Jonathan Nickels

Jonathan David Nickels

Asst Professor

Rhodes Hall


CEAS - Chemical & Env Eng - 0012

Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering
2901 Woodside Drive
Cincinnati , Ohio 45221-0012

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


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

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, Structure, dynamics, and nanomechanical properties of proteins, lipids, hydration water, and biomaterials. Goal - understanding how structure and dynamics at the nano-scale impact cellular processes and material properties, with a specific focus on neutron scattering methods. , 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