Jacqueline Nikles. Associate Professor; Coordinator of Undergraduate Organic Chemistry
Chemistry Building 283
(205) 934-8130

Teaching Interests: Organic Chemistry, Writing and Critical Thinking in Organic Chemistry 

Research Interests: Targeted Drug Delivery for Chemotherapy, Chemical Education

Office Hours: By appointment

  • BS, Marietta College, Chemistry
  • MS, Case Western Reserve University, Physical Organic Chemistry
  • PhD, Case Western Reserve University, Physical Organic Chemistry
  • Postdoctral, Rutgers University
  • Postdoctoral, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey

I joined the faculty here at UAB in 2001, as assistant professor of chemistry and coordinator of undergraduate organic chemistry. I am an adjunct chemistry faculty at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, and serve on the ACS First Semester Organic Exam committee.

A critical area in undergraduate education is teaching students to become effective writers. Good writing requires solid critical thinking skills which are necessary in all areas of science. For most students, undergraduate organic lab is the first time they have been required to write scientific reports. We developed and implemented a scaffolded approach to teach scientific writing in the undergraduate organic lab program. This approach is continually under refinement and we are currently developing an online writing workshop.

Current chemotherapy treatments for cancer have devastating effects on the patient including hair loss, diarrhea, fatigue, memory changes, nausea, neuropathy, and loss of appetite. The drugs are toxic and kill both cancer cells and healthy cells. The drug is free to roam around the bloodstream, killing healthy cells and causing adverse side effects. There is a need for targeted, triggered delivery systems for cancer drugs. Many benefits can be realized by delivering cancer drugs to the cancer site and triggering release at that site. Since the targeted delivery would efficiently deliver the drug to the cancer site, a smaller dose would be required. Furthermore, the targeted delivery would allow the use of more active but more toxic drugs. I am currently working on the design and assembly of a targeted, magnetically triggered drug delivery system which would consist of a polymer micelle. Trapped in the crystalline core would be a hydrophobic cancer drug and magnetic particles. Targeting has been demonstrated by attaching a RGD peptide to the periphery of the polymer micelles. The RGD peptide bind to integins expressed on the surface of certain cancer cells lines. When exposed to an external radio frequency ac magnetic field, the particles will heat by magnetic induction, melting the crystalline core and allowing drug to be released at the tumor site.
  • McClure, C. P.; Nikles, J. A.; March, J. L.; Gray, G. M. The Chemistry Scholar’s Program: A Program to Recruit and Retain Students in Chemistry. The Chemical Educator 2010, 15, 1-3.
  • Bennett, J. B.; Glover, A. L.; Nikles, D. E.; Nikles, J. A.; Brazel, C. S. Magnetothermally-triggered Drug Delivery Using Temperature-responsive Polymeric Micelles. Proceedings of the Division of Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering, 2011, ACS.
  • Glover, A. L.; Bennett, J. B.; Nikles, S. M.; Nikles, J. A.Brazel, C.S.; Nikles, D. E. Micellular Drug Delivery System from Poly(ethylene glycol-b-caprolactone) Diblock Coploymers. Proceedings of the Division of Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering, 2011, ACS.
  • Brazel, C. S.; Bennett, J. B.; Glover, A. L.; Nikles, J. A.Everts, M.; Glasgow, J. N.; Nikles, D.EDesign of Poly(ethylene glycol)-Polycaprolactone Diblock Micelles with RGD Targeting Ligands and Embedded Iron Oxide Nanoparticles for Thermally-Activated Release. MRS Online Proceedings Library, 1416, mrsf11-1416-jj05-31 doi:1 (2012).
  • Glover, A. L.; Nikles, S. M.; Nikles, J. A.Brazel, C. S.; D.E. Nikles. Polymer Micelles with Crystalline Cores for Thermally-triggered Release. Langmuir 2012, 28(29), 10653-10660.
  • Glover, A.L.; Bennett, J.B.; Pritchett, J.S.; Nikles, S.M.; Nikles, D.E.; Nikles, J.A.; Brazel, C.S. Magnetic Heating of Iron Oxide Nanoparticles and Magnetic Micelles for Cancer Therapy. IEEE Transactions on Magnetics 2013, 49 (1), 231-235.
  • Weaver, C.L.; Duran, E.C.; Nikles, J.A. An Integrated Approach for Development of Scientific Writing in Undergraduate Organic Lab. In Addressing the Millennial Student in Undergraduate Chemistry; Potts, G.E. and Dockery, C.R., Eds.; ACS Symposium Series 1180; American Chemical Society: Washington, DC, 2014; pp.105-123.
  • UAB AOΠ Professor of the Month, February 2002
  • President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching for Natural Science and Mathematics, April 2004
  • National Society of Leadership and Success, Excellence in Teaching Award, April 15, 2011
  • AB EMSAP Class 2012, Outstanding Professor Award, April 2012
  • UAB Student Excellence Awards, Faculty of Character Award, April 2012
Professional/Honor Societies:
  • American Chemical Society
  • Who’s Who of American Women
  • Kappa Mu Epsilon (Ohio Epsilon Chapter
  • Iota Sigma Pi (Ohio Fluorine Chapter)
  • Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers
  • Faculty adviser to the UAB Student Affiliate of the American Chemical Society (SAACS)