Skip to main content

Specialized metabolism

The term “specialized metabolism” encompasses metabolic processes that are asymmetrically distributed across phylogenetic space - historically this metabolism was called secondary metabolism.  In contrast to central metabolism, which is common to all life forms, specialized metabolism generates the “chemical-spice” of different life forms, and thus is responsible for the large degree of chemical diversity in the biosphere.


The Nikolau group is collaborating with Dr. Robert Minto, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Indiana University-Purdue University Indiannapolis, to decipher the metabolic pathway for alkamide biosynthesis using Echinacea genus as the model.


Current researchers:

Ludmila Rizhsky, assistant scientist

Lisa Vaknin, lab assistant


Past researchers:

Huanan Jin, postdoctoral research associate

Xiaobin Zhang, MS student, Biochemistry


Funding Organization: National Science Foundation