Nicolle is interested in the gene regulation of secondary metabolite clusters in Streptomyces.
Streptomyces are an important source of useful antimicrobial and antitumor drugs. Recent advances in genome sequencing revealed that there are many gene clusters which can make new interesting compounds. However most of the mechanisms to activate these clusters are unknown.
Nicolle researches Two Component Systems (TCS) in Streptomyces. TCS are known to activate secondary metabolite clusters upon environmental stresses. She mainly focuses on the TCS MtrAB-LpqB which is a master regulator of secondary metabolism.
She uses the new genome editing tool CRIPSR-Cas9 to genetically modify Streptomyces species to understand the role of TCSs in the metabolism of Streptomyces.