Barbara S. Nikolajczyk, PhD

Associate Professor, Microbiology

Barbara Nikolajczyk
(617) 638-7019
72 E. Concord St Instructional (L)


Work in the lab is divided into multiple projects. The first project aims to understand the role T cell play in human obesity and type 2 diabetes. Th17 cells are expanded in type 2 while Tregs are under-represented; Th1s and Th2s are unchanged. What do these subset changes have to do with disease etiology and pathogenesis in human, and how does this skewing occur in vivo? The second project aims to understand the role B cells play in type 2 diabetes as an example systemic inflammatory diseases. We have unexpected found human B ells express surface TLR4 and that engagement of this receptor prevents B cells activation. Fundamental differences in TLR4 regulation and function between B cells and monocytes has implications in treatment of these inflammatory diseases. This project also have a mouse component where we will aim to identify roles B cells play in the response to high fat diet in vivo. Finally, a new project will similar explore the role B cells play in periodontal disease in a mouse model of chronic periodontitis.

Other Positions

  • Associate Professor, Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine
  • Associate Professor, Molecular & Cell Biology, Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine
  • Graduate Faculty (Primary Mentor of Grad Students), Boston University School of Medicine, Division of Graduate Medical Sciences
  • Boston Medical Center


  • University of North Carolina, PhD
  • Ohio State University, BS


  • Published on 9/12/2017

    Bharath LP, Ip BC, Nikolajczyk BS. Adaptive Immunity and Metabolic Health: Harmony Becomes Dissonant in Obesity and Aging. Compr Physiol. 2017 Sep 12; 7(4):1307-1337. PMID: 28915326.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 8/15/2017

    Agrawal M, Kern PA, Nikolajczyk BS. The Immune System in Obesity: Developing Paradigms Amidst Inconvenient Truths. Curr Diab Rep. 2017 Aug 15; 17(10):87. PMID: 28812211.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 2/8/2017

    Nicholas D, Proctor EA, Raval FM, Ip BC, Habib C, Ritou E, Grammatopoulos TN, Steenkamp D, Dooms H, Apovian CM, Lauffenburger DA, Nikolajczyk BS. Advances in the quantification of mitochondrial function in primary human immune cells through extracellular flux analysis. PLoS One. 2017; 12(2):e0170975. PMID: 28178278.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 12/30/2016

    Lentucci C, Belkina AC, Cederquist CT, Chan M, Johnson HE, Prasad S, Lopacinski A, Nikolajczyk BS, Monti S, Snyder-Cappione J, Tanasa B, Cardamone MD, Perissi V. Inhibition of Ubc13-mediated Ubiquitination by GPS2 Regulates Multiple Stages of B Cell Development. J Biol Chem. 2017 Feb 17; 292(7):2754-2772. PMID: 28039360.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 10/1/2016

    Hafida S, Mirshahi T, Nikolajczyk BS. The impact of bariatric surgery on inflammation: quenching the fire of obesity? Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes. 2016 Oct; 23(5):373-8. PMID: 27455515.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 8/4/2016

    Nicholas DA, Andrieu G, Strissel KJ, Nikolajczyk BS, Denis GV. BET bromodomain proteins and epigenetic regulation of inflammation: implications for type 2 diabetes and breast cancer. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2017 Jan; 74(2):231-243. PMID: 27491296.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 2/5/2016

    Nicholas DA, Nikolajczyk BS. B cells shed light on diminished vaccine responses in obesity. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2016 Mar; 24(3):551. PMID: 26847721.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 12/1/2015

    Zhu M, Nikolajczyk BS. Comment on "The B Cell-Stimulatory Cytokines BLyS and APRIL Are Elevated in Human Periodontitis and Are Required for B Cell-Dependent Bone Loss in Experimental Murine Periodontitis.". J Immunol. 2015 Dec 1; 195(11):5099. PMID: 26589743.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 11/18/2015

    Ip B, Cilfone NA, Belkina AC, DeFuria J, Jagannathan-Bogdan M, Zhu M, Kuchibhatla R, McDonnell ME, Xiao Q, Kepler TB, Apovian CM, Lauffenburger DA, Nikolajczyk BS. Th17 cytokines differentiate obesity from obesity-associated type 2 diabetes and promote TNFa production. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2016 Jan; 24(1):102-12. PMID: 26576827.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 9/30/2015

    Bucur O, Almasan A, Zubarev R, Friedman M, Nicolson GL, Sumazin P, Leabu M, Nikolajczyk BS, Avram D, Kunej T, Calin GA, Godwin AK, Adami HO, Zaphiropoulos PG, Richardson DR, Schmitt-Ulms G, Westerblad H, Keniry M, Grau GE, Carbonetto S, Stan RV, Popa-Wagner A, Takhar K, Baron BW, Galardy PJ, Yang F, Data D, Fadare O, Yeo KJ, Gabreanu GR, Andrei S, Soare GR, Nelson MA, Liehn EA. An updated h-index measures both the primary and total scientific output of a researcher. Discoveries (Craiova). 2015 Jul-Sep; 3(3). PMID: 26504901.

    Read at: PubMed

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