Dr. Nikolas Nikolaidis, Biological Science


Ph.D., Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece)

Research Areas

In our laboratory, we study the evolution and functional differentiation of protein families. In particular, we are using theoretical and experimental approaches to investigate:

  1. The origin, long-term evolution, and functional differentiation of molecules involved in the innate and adaptive immune systems. We are studying the Immunoglobulin (Ig)-like domains, which play a pivotal role in the immune response of vertebrates. We are using bioinformatics and phylogenetic methods to study the evolutionary relationships of the Ig-like domains. On the basis of these studies we generate hypotheses, which we test by molecular biology and biochemistry techniques.
  2. The functional diversification of stress response proteins. We are studying the heat shock proteins (hsps), which as a major component of the stress response pathway are important for cell survival and homeostasis. We are using comparative genomics/proteomics to reveal conserved and new functional partners of the hsps in evolutionarily key species. We test the physiological importance of these interactions by examining how environmental or molecular perturbations affect the cellular response, adaptation, and survival.


Klein J, A Sato, N Nikolaidis. Mhc, TSP, and the origin of species. Annu Rev Genet 2007 41:281-304.

Kourtidis A, E Drosopoulou, N Nikolaidis, V Hatzis, C Chintiroglou, ZG Scouras. Analysis and characterization of the cytoplasmichsp70 genes in the Mediterranean mussel. J Mol Evol 2006 62:446-59. 

Nikolaidis N, I Makalowska, D Chalkia, W Makaloski, J Klein, M Nei. Origin and evolution of the chicken leukocyte receptor complex.Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2005 102:4057-62.

Nikolaidis N, J Klein, M Nei. Origin and evolution of the Ig-like domains present in mammalian leukocyte receptors: insights from chicken, frog, and fish homologues. Immunogenetics 2005 57:151-7.

Klein J, N Nikolaidis. The descent of the antibody-based immune system by gradual evolution. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2005 102:169-74.

Nikolaidis N and M Nei. Concerted and non-concerted evolution of the Hsp70 gene superfamily in two sibling species of nematodes. Mol Biol Evol 2004 21:498-505.

Nikolaidis N and ZG Scouras. A PCR application for free-living nematodes (Rhabditida) discrimination. Mol Ecol Notes 2002 2:248-249.

Konstantopoulou Ι, N Nikolaidis, ZG Scouras. The hsp70 locus of Drosophila auraria (montium subgroup) is single and contains copies in a conserved arrangement. Chromosoma 1998 107:577-586.