Seeley G. Mudd Building, 2101 E. Wesley Ave. Denver, CO 80208
What I do
Scott Nichols is an Associate Professor of Evolutionary Cell Biology in the Department of Biological Sciences. Using sponges (phylum Porifera) as a model, the Nichols lab uses the tools of molecular and cell biology, developmental biology, genomics and proteomics to to address questions about the evolutionary origins of animals.
Dr. Nichols earned his BS in Biological Sciences in Marine Biology at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, his PhD in Integrative Biology at the University of California, Berkeley, and was an American Cancer Society postdoctoral fellow in Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkeley.
Ph.D., Integrative Biology, University of California, 2004
BS, Marine Biology, University of North Carolina, 1998
Our research focus is on the earliest events in animal evolution. Current projects include: 1) the evolution of epithelial organization and the origin of cell adhesion/polarity complexes, 2) the evolution of animal sensory-motor systems, and 3) the evolution of cellular mechanisms for microbial recognition and response. Our research centers around the belief that curiosity-driven, fundamental research is key to innovation and discovery.
Areas of Research
Towards an integrative model of cell adhesion and self-recognition in
sponge (Porifera) tissues
Evolution of a Multi-Functional Adhesion Module Necessary for Complex Multicellularity
Marie Curie Fellowship - Sponse Signaling - Using sponges as a model to examine the evolutionof the Wnt/beta-catenin signaling pathway
Colgren, J., & Nichols, S. A. (2022). MRTF specifies a muscle-like contractile module in Porifera. Nature Communications, 13(4134).
Miller, P., Pokutta, S., Mitchell, J., Chodaparambil, J., Clarke, N., Nelson, J., et al. (2018). Analysis of a vinculin homolog in a sponge (phylum Porifera) reveals that vertebrate-like cell adhesions emerged early in animal evolution. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 293(30), 11674-11686.
Nichols, S. A., Roberts, B. W., Richter, D. J., Fairclough, S. R., & King, N. (2012). Origin of metazoan cadherin diversity and the antiquity of the classical cadherin/?-catenin complex. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 109(32), 13046-13051.
Nichols, S. A., Dirks, W., Pearse, J. S., & King, N. (2006). Early evolution of animal cell signaling and adhesion genes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences U.S.A., 103(33), 12451-12456.