Nikhil received his M.S. in Physics from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Mumbai, and then moved to University of Massachusetts, Amherst for his Ph.D. training in Biophysics under the mentorship of Dr. Mark Tuominen, where he developed new measurements methods that revealed for the first time electron conductivity and storage capacity in microbial biofilms due to bacterial cytochrome proteins. His postdoctoral work with Derek Lovley in the Microbiology Department demonstrated that the conductivity is essential for bacterial respiration and communication.
In 2015, Nikhil established his independent group at Yale and has been leading an interdisciplinary team to develop and apply novel technologies to define the mechanisms by which microbes interact with and manipulate their environment, with the ultimate goal of engineering these interactions to control microbial pathophysiology and ecology. Nikhil has received the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award and Hartwell Foundation Individual Biomedical Research Award in 2017, Charles H. Hood Foundation Child Health Research Award in 2016 and the BWF Career Award at the Scientific Interface in 2014.

Education & Training

Postdoc, Microbiology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Ph.D. Biophysics, University of Massachusetts, Amherst (2010).
M.S. Physics, University of Massachusetts, Amherst (2007).
M.Sc. Physics, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (2003)

B.Sc. Physics, University of Mumbai (2001)


2018-2023 NSF CAREER Award

2017-2022 NIH Director’s New Innovator Award

2017-2020 Hartwell Foundation Individual Biomedical Research Award                             

2017-2019 Charles H. Hood Foundation Child Health Research Award                                 

2014-2021 Burroughs Wellcome Fund – Career Award at the Scientific Interface             

Spring & Fall 2016  Helmsley Fellowship for interdisciplinary research, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.                          

2015-2017 Pacific Northwest National Laboratory User Proposal (PI)                                    

2012-2014 Department of Defense - Office of Naval Research grant (Co-PI)                        

2013-2015 Center for Functional Nanomaterials, Brookhaven National Lab  (PI)                

2013-2015 National Synchrotron Light Source, Brookhaven National Lab  (PI)                     

2013-2015 Center for Nanophase Materials Science, Oak Ridge National Lab  (PI)             

03/2014 Department of Energy -  Energy Research Workshop travel grant                          

02/2010 US Department of Energy - Genomic Science Program travel grant                      

03/2010 University of Massachusetts, Amherst graduate student travel grant                  

05/2009 Biophysics research award, University of Massachusetts, Amherst                     

2008-2009 Entrepreneurship Fellowship, UMass, Amherst ($10K)                                          

2004-2008 American alumni association, India, graduate fellowship (₹ 50K)                    

06/2004 Indo-American Society travel grant for graduate studies in U.S. (₹ 30K)