Du Niu, PhD

Post-Doctoral Fellow



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Niu Du, PhD, received his BS in marine chemistry at Ocean University of China, Qingdao (2006) and PhD at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego (2018). Prior to his PhD career he worked at Liaoning Ocean and Fishery Science Research Institute studying trace metal contaminations in the Bohai Sea. He is now a post-doctoral fellow at JCVI working with Dr. Andrew Allen studying functional genomics and systems biology in photosynthetic microorganisms.

Dr. Du’s research interest is to better understand the energy propagations in photosynthesis. His current research uses functional genomics approach and bioinformatics tools to investigate the regulation mechanisms in a model diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum, which has shown remarkable high light tolerance capacities. The findings from these studies will provide insights on how to better design metabolic pathways in photosynthetic microorganisms and ultimately crops for energy harvesting and utilization, more specifically, minimizing undesirable energy losses from high light stress and maximizing the efficiency of carbon fixation.

Research Priorities

Bioinformatics and systems biology

  • Systems biology and genome scale metabolic modeling for pathway and gene function characterization;
  • Metagenomic and metatranscriptomic data analysis;
  • Machine learning model development and algorithm design;

Microbial physiology

  • Experimental design, execution and data analysis;
  • Phenotype characterization and genotype-phenotype correlation;
  • Energy utilization measurement and efficiency computation

Instrumentation and ocean science

  • Marine chemistry with focus on carbonate system and boundary layer interactions
  • Bioreactor design, modification and implementation
  • Software development for laboratory instrument data acquisition and analysis

Select Publications

Simultaneous quantum yield measurements of carbon uptake and oxygen evolution in microalgal cultures.
PloS one. 2018-06-19; 13.6: e0199125.
PMID: 29920568
Unique attributes of cyanobacterial metabolism revealed by improved genome-scale metabolic modeling and essential gene analysis.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2016-12-20; 113.51: E8344-E8353.
PMID: 27911809
Life cycle GHG emissions from microalgal biodiesel--a CA-GREET model.
Environmental science & technology. 2014-06-03; 48.11: 6060-8.
PMID: 24779347