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Nicholas E Dickenson

Nicholas E  Dickenson


R. Gaurth Hansen Assistant Professor

Contact Information

CallPhone: 435 797 0982
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B.S. - Chemistry, 2003, Lewis Clark State College
B.S. - Biology, 2003, Lewis Clark State College
Ph.D. - Bio-Analytical Chemistry, 2008, University of Kansas
Postdoctoral, 2008-2009, University of Kansas
Postdoctoral, 2009-2013 Oklahoma State University


Our group takes an interdisciplinary approach to address challenging health related problems. Students in our group can expect to learn and apply techniques from many disciplines including molecular biology, microbiology, physics, analytical chemistry, and biochemistry. We are especially interested in developing and characterizing novel techniques that allow us to understand the interactions between proteins, lipids, and a variety of small molecules.

Currently, the main project in our lab focuses on characterizing the initial interaction that occurs between the human pathogen Shigella flexneri and host cells during an infection. Through understanding the protein interactions, dynamics, and mechanistic triggers of this interaction, our goal is to develop anti-infective therapeutic agents capable of treating not only shigellosis, but a large class of related diseases. Using similar techniques, we are also initiating new projects that involve probing specific host immune responses to bacterial infections and the development of efficient cellular nano-delivery devices. Students at both undergraduate and graduate levels interested in conducting research in our lab are encouraged to contact me directly at the email address listed above.

Selected Recent Publications and Grants

Recent Publications and Grants

NIH (NIAID) K22 Career Development Award Lipid raft effects on Shigella type III secretion system-based interactions
$268,400 08/01/2013 - 07/31/2015

17. S. R. Lotlikar, S. B. Hnatusko, N. E. Dickenson, S. P. Choudhari, W. L. Picking, and M. A. Patrauchan. Three functional carbonic anhydrases in P. aeruginosa PAO1. Role in survival in ambient air. Microbiology. 2013 159(8): 1748-1759. PMID: 23728627.

16. F. J. Martinez-Becerra, X. Chen, N. E. Dickenson, S. P. Choudhari, K. Harrison, J. D. Clements, W. D., Picking, W. L. Picking. Characterization of a novel fusion protein of IpaB and IpaD of Shigella and its potential as a pan-Shigella vaccine. Infect. Immun. December 2013 vol. 81 no. 12 4470-4477

15. N. E. Dickenson, M. Patil, O. Arizmendi, W. D. Picking, and W. L. Picking. The N-terminus of IpaB provides a potential anchor to the Shigella type III secretion system tip complex protein IpaD. Biochemistry, 2013, 52 (49), pp 8790–8799

14. N. E. Dickenson, S. Choudhari, P. R. Adam, R. M. Kramer, S. B. Joshi, C. R. Middaugh, W. L. Picking, and W. D. Picking. Oligomeric States of the Shigella Translocator Protein IpaB Provide Structural Insights into Formation of the Type III Secretion Translocon. Protein Science 2013 22(5):614-627 PMID: 23456854.

13. G. Schönknecht, W. Chen, C. M. Ternes, G. G. Barbier, R. P. Shrestha, M. Stanke, A. Bräutigam, B. J. Baker, J. F. Banfield, R. M. Garavito, C. Benning, K. Carr, C. Wilkerson, S. A. Rensing, D. Gagneul, N. E. Dickenson, C. Oesterhelt, M. J. Lercher, and A. P.M. Weber. Gene Transfer from Bacteria and Archaea Facilitated Evolution of an Extremophilic Eukaryote. Science. 2013 339(6124):1207- 1210. PMID: 23471408.

12. N. E. Dickenson and W. D. Picking. FRET as a tool for dissecting molecular interactions within the bacterial type III secretion needle tip complex. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2012 13(11):15137-15161. PMID: 23203116

11. P. R. Adam, M. Patil, N. E. Dickenson, M. L. Barta, S. Choudhari, B. V. Geisbrecht, W. L. Picking and W.D. Picking. Binding Affects the Tertiary and Quaternary Structures of the Shigella Translocator Protein IpaB and its Chaperone IpgC. Biochemistry 2012 51:4062-4071. PMID: 22497344

10. C. R. Epler, N. E. Dickenson, E. Bullitt, and W. L. Picking. Ultrastructural analysis of IpaD at the tip of the nascent MxiH type III secretion apparatus ofShigella flexneri. Journal of Molecular Biology 2012 420:29-39. PMID: 22480614

9. N. E. Dickenson,O. L. Mooren; E. S. Erickson; R. C. Dunn. Near-Field Scanning Optical Microscopy: A New Tool for Exploring Biological Structure and Function. In Surface Analysis and Techniques in Biology; Smentkowski, V. S., Eds.; IN PRESS

8. M. L. Barta, N. E. Dickenson, M. Patil, W. D. Picking, W. L. Picking, and B. V. Geisbrecht. The crystal structures of coiled-coil domains from type three secretion system first translocator proteins reveal homology to pore-forming toxins. Journal of Molecular Biology 2012, 417(5):395-405. PMID: 22321794

7. M. L. Barta, M. Guragain, P. R. Adam, N. E. Dickenson, B. V. Geisbrecht, W. L. Picking, and W. D. Picking. Identification of the bile salt binding site on IpaD from Shigella flexneri and the influence of ligand binding on IpaD structure. Proteins 2011, 80(3):935-945. PMID: 22423359

6. N. E. Dickenson, L. Zhang, C. R. Epler, P. R. Adam, W. L. Picking, and W. D. Picking. Conformational Changes in IpaD from Shigella flexneri Upon Binding Bile Salts Provide Insight into the Second Step of Type III Secretion. Biochemistry 2011 50:172-180. PMID: 21126091

5. N. E. Dickenson, K. P. Armendariz; H. A. Huckabay; P. W. Livanec R. C. Dunn. Near-field scanning optical microscopy: a tool for nanometric exploration of biological membranes. Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 2010, 396(1):31-43. PMID: 19730836

4. C. R. Epler; N. E. Dickenson, A. J. Olive; W. L. Picking; W. D. Picking. Liposomes recruit IpaC to the Shigella flexneri type III secretion apparatus needle as a final step in secretion induction. Infection and Immunity 2009, 77(7):2754-61. PMID: 19433542

3. N. E. Dickenson, E. S. Erickson; O. L. Mooren; R. C. Dunn. Characterization of Power Induced Heating and Damage in Fiber Optic Probes for Near-Field Scanning Optical Microscopy. Review of Scientific Instruments 2007, 78, 53712-53716. PMID: 17552830

2. N. E. Dickenson, D. Moore; K. A. Suprenant; R.C. Dunn. Vault Ribonucleoprotein Particles and the Central Mass of the Nuclear Pore Complex. Photochemistry and Photobiology 2007, 83, 1-6. PMID: 17576379

1. O. L. Mooren; E. S. Erickson; N. E. Dickenson, R. C. Dunn. Extending Near-Field Scanning Optical Microscopy for Biological Studies. Journal of the Association for Laboratory Automation 2006, 11, 268-272.