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Nikolai Slavov

Assistant Professor,  Bioengineering
Affiliated Faculty,  Biology


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Research Focus

Single-cell proteomics, Ribosome-mediated translational regulation, quantitative systems biology, mass-spectrometry


Nikolai Slavov received his undergraduate education from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2004. He pursued doctoral research in the Botstein laboratory at Princeton University, aiming to understand how cells coordinate their growth, gene expression, and metabolism. He discovered a simple mechanism that can account for the growth-rate dependent transcriptional responses across a wide range of growth conditions and growth rates  (Slavov and Botstein, 2011Slavov et al., 2011). After defending his dissertation in 2010, Nikolai Slavov began a postdoctoral project in the van Oudenaarden laboratory at MIT, aiming to understand the Warburg effect, a hallmark of cancer cells characterized by the fermentation of glucose in the presence of enough oxygen to support respiration. This work demonstrated that aerobic glycolysis can reduce the energy demands associated with respiratory metabolism and stress survival and that, contrary to expectations and decades-long assumptions, exponential growth at a constant rate can represent not a single metabolic/physiological state but a continuum of changing states characterized by different metabolic fluxes (Slavov et al., 2014). Following a lead from these experiments, Nikolai Slavov obtained direct evidence for differential stoichiometry among core ribosomal proteins in unperturbed wild-type cells (Slavov et al., 2015). His findings support the existence of ribosomes with distinct protein composition and physiological function that represent an explored layer of regulating gene expression.  Most recently, the Slavov laboratory developed methods for high-throughput Single Cell ProtEomics by Mass Spectrometry (SCoPE-MS and SCoPE2) and used them to quantify proteome heterogeneity during cell differentiation.


  • PhD (2010), Botstein Laboratory, Princeton University
  • BS (2004), Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Honors & Awards

  • NIH Director’s New Innovator Award
  • SPARC Award from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
  • Princeton University Dean’s Award
  • IRCSET Postgraduate Research Fellowship
  • Finalist in the Young European Entrepreneur Competition
  • Princeton Graduate Fellowship
  • MIT Undergraduate Fellowship
  • Eureka Fellowship for Academic Excellence
  • Bronze Medal in the 31st International Chemistry Olympiad
  • National Diploma for Exceptional Achievements in Chemistry

Professional Affiliations

  • Broad Institute of MIT & Harvard
  • American Society for Mass Spectrometry (ASMS)
  • American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB)
  • Genetics Society of America (GSA)

Research Overview

Single-cell proteomics, Ribosome-mediated translational regulation, quantitative systems biology, mass-spectrometry

Department Research Areas

Selected Publications

portrait of slavov


Sep 30, 2019

Voices in methods development

As part of the 15th anniversary of Nature Methods, BioE Assistant Professor Nikolai Slavov was featured in the article “Voices in methods development” about what he thinks are the most exciting and essential methodological biology challenges that are poised to be tackled in the near future.


Aug 14, 2019

A Dream of Single-Cell Proteomics

BioE Assistant Professor Nikolai Slavov Lab was highlighted in the Nature Methods article A Dream of Single-Cell Proteomics highlighting their research in single-cell proteomics.


Jul 10, 2019

Improving Protein Measuring Technology

Bioengineering Assistant Professor Nikolai Slavov has developed a breakthrough method of identifying more than a thousand proteins per cell which could help map the functions of them throughout the body.


Feb 01, 2019

Bajpayee and Slavov Receive Sanofi iAwards

BioE Assistant Professors Ambika Bajpayee and Nikolai Slavov were each recipients of a $125K Sanofi iAward, which were created to promote scientific breakthroughs by tapping into the world’s greatest minds through close collaboration with renowned academic institutions.


Nov 09, 2018

NIH Highlights Slavov's Innovative Research

The NIH Director’s office highlighted game-changing research on “Pinpointing Plenty of Proteins – in a Single Cell” conducted by BioE Assistant Professor Nikolai Slavov and his team.


Oct 22, 2018

A big breakthrough for regenerative medicine?

BioE Assistant Professor Nikolai Slavov has devised a method to identify more than a thousand proteins in an individual cell and estimate their abundance.


Oct 17, 2018

Through the Looking Glass of Single Cell Proteomics

Research from BioE Assistant Professor Nikolai Slavov’s lab was featured in Technology Network’s article “Through the Looking Glass of Single Cell Proteomics“


Aug 03, 2018

Pioneering single cell proteomics

The article “Transformative Opportunities for Single-Cell Proteomics”, which is research from BioE Assistant Professor Nikolai Slavov’s Laboratory, is featured on the cover of the Journal of Proteome Research.


Jun 13, 2018

Northeastern Engineering Hosts First Single Cell Proteomics Conference

The 1st Single Cell Proteomics (SCP) Conference was recently held at Northeastern which focused on demonstrating the feasibility of quantifying thousands of proteins in single cells by mass-spectrometry


May 01, 2018

Faculty and Staff Awards 2018

Congratulations to all the winners of the faculty and staff awards, and to everyone for their hard work and dedication during the 2017-2018 academic school year.

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