After completing his BSc at the University of Saarland (1993) and his MSc at the RWTH Aachen (1995) in Germany, Nico completed a PhD thesis (1999) in polymer surface chemistry at the DWI Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials under Professor Hartwig Höcker. He received postdoctoral fellowships to work in the area of bioorganic chemistry under Professor Reza Ghadiri at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. In 2001 he became a Lecturer at Flinders University in Australia, an Associate Professor in 2006 and a full Professor in 2008. From 2008-2011, he was the Associate Head of the Faculty of Science and Engineering at Flinders University. Since 2012, he is a Professor in Chemistry and Materials Science at the Mawson Institute of the University of South Australia. From 2013-2015, he was Deputy Director of the Mawson Institute at the University of South Australia and Program Leader of the Cooperate Research Centre for Cell Therapy Manufacturing. Since 2014, he is also Node Leader in the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Convergent Bio-Nano Science & Technology. Since 2015, he is the Lloyd Sansom Chair in Biomaterials and Nanomedicine and Strand Leader at the Future Industries Institute of the University of South Australia.
His key research interest lies in the fabrication and surface modification of porous semiconductor materials for applications in biosensors, biochips, biomaterials and drug delivery. A core research activity in his laboratory is the study of porous silicon based nanostructures and their surface chemistry.
Using advanced surface analytical spectroscopy and microscopy techniques, his research has also contributed to the understanding of the fundamental principles of interfacial interactions of proteins, nucleic acids and whole cells on solid surfaces. Using this fundamental understanding, he is also developing new nanostructured materials for biosensors, biochips, biomaterials and drug delivery.
He has authored over 290 peer-reviewed journal articles with over 5300 citations, h-index 39. He has received fellowships from the German Research Foundation (DFG), the CSIRO, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, is a recipient of the Tall Poppy Science Award, a finalist for the South Australian Scientist of the Year 2015 and the Australian Innovation Challenge. He is serving on the College of Experts of the Australian Research Council. Learn more about Dr. Voelcker and the University of South Australia