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School of Engineering

Nikhil Nair

Assistant Professor
Chemical and Biological Engineering
Synthetic Biology and Systems Engineering Lab

Nikhil Nair

Nikhil Nair

Assistant Professor
Chemical and Biological Engineering
Synthetic Biology and Systems Engineering Lab

Phone 617-627-3900
Science and Technology Center, Room 276
4 Colby Street, Medford, MA
Research: 
synthetic biology, systems bioengineering, protein engineering, metabolic engineering, biofuels, biocatalysis
Biography: 

After receiving his B.S. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from Cornell University in 2003, Nikhil Nair worked at Bristol-Myers Squibb as a manufacturing research scientist in biotechnology purification development. He then went on to receive his M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from the University of Illinois—Urbana-Champaign in 2006 and 2010, respectively. As a graduate student, he developed processes for the production of the sugar substitute xylitol using E. coli and the biofuel butanol using yeast, via a combination of protein and genome engineering approaches. He joined Tufts after completing a postdoctoral fellowship in microbiology and immunobiology at the Harvard Medical School under the guidance of Professor Ann Hochschild.

Education: 
Ph.D., Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Illinois—Urbana-Champaign, 2010
M.S., Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Illinois—Urbana-Champaign, 2006
B.S., Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Cornell University, 2003
Professional Experience: 
2013-present:

Assistant Professor, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Tufts School of Engineering

2010-2013:

Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard Medical School

2003-2004:

Research Scientist, Biotechnology Purification Development, Bristol-Myers Squibb

Research Interests: 

Research in Nikhil Nair's lab is focused primarily on altering various aspects of microbial physiology, with the aim of not only engineering them for applications but also understanding why various features of life evolved the way they did. This involves deconvoluting the complexity of their makeup and finding ways to alter their components (genes, proteins, metabolites, etc.) to achieve a desired outcome.

Selected Honors and Awards: 
2016: NIH Director's New Innovator Award
2009: Third Place in Annual ChBE Graduate Research Symposium, University of Illinois—Urbana-Champaign
2008-2009: Mavis Memorial Fund Scholarship Award, University of Illinois—Urbana-Champaign
2008-2009: Drickamer Endowment Fund, University of Illinois—Urbana-Champaign
2008: Third Place in Annual ChBE Graduate Research Symposium, University of Illinois—Urbana-Champaign
2008: Best Oral Presentation in the CMB/MBTG Research Symposium
Professional Memberships: 
American Chemical Society
American Institute of Chemical Engineers
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology