Steven Sikes was born in Charlotte, NC on December 20, 1949. He
is the fourth of eleven children. The family moved several times in the early years and by 1954 lived in Cleveland,
Ohio. Steve attended St. Ann's elementary school, St. Ignatius High School, and John Carroll University in Cleveland,
where he received both the B.S. and M.S. degrees. In 1976, he received the Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
In 1968, he met the dark-haired, blue-eyed, Irish beauty, Maggie Danaher
at a wedding. A few years later, they were married. Maggie is an artist. She began advanced training in
painting/printmaking, then took some time to start a family, and later finished the BS in fine arts, summa cum laude,
from the University of South Alabama.
They have two children.
Their daughter, Hadley Sikes Johnson, is an associate professor of chemical engineering at MIT, beginning in the Fall
of 2009 (MIT Chem Eng). She was a research fellow at Caltech in the previous year where she studied molecular recognition, including medical
diagnostics and cancer therapies. Before that, she worked at UC Boulder as a postdoctoral associate. She
married Joe Johnson in 2007. Both Hadley and Joe received the Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Stanford
University. Joe's research is focused on advanced physics of fluorescence reactions, with emphasis on neurophysiology.
Joe and Hadley Johnson
welcomed their first child into the world on September 27, 2009. On May 14, 2013, their second child was born. Mother,
father, and the two stunning girls, Victoria and Violet, were joined on August 8, 2016 by young Reed, a little brother who
is calm and inquisitive and will have his hands full ongoing.
Danny Sikes was a co-founder of Aquero
Company while still in school at the University of Oregon. He married Melita Wickham in 2003.
They also have exceptionally beautiful children, first two daughters, followed by four sons, the youngest born August
Danny and Melita both studied music at the U of O where they
graduated with high academic honors. Danny specialized in composition, guitar, and keyboards.
Melita is trained in classical vocal performance. They perform locally, for example at weddings
and other events.
Danny later took up formal studies in chemistry, and
works on business development and special projects at Aquero Company. He is skilled and thoroughly trained in synthesis,
analytical methods, and performance assessment. He particularly is at home in pilot studies and field trials. He
supervises and participates directly on-site during installation and commissioning of Aquero process-water treatment systems.
|Danny Sikes on site in Alberta
After receiving the Ph.D., Steve took a position as an NIH research fellow
(environmental health sciences) for two years at Duke University. He next participated in the Fulbright exchange
program for one year at the University of the West Indies (Kingston, Jamaica), returned to Duke for one more year, then began
an assistant professorship at the University of South Alabama in 1981, where he was promoted to Associate Professor in 1986
and Professor in 1989.
In 1980, the Bayh-Dole Act (also known as the University and Small Business Patent
Procedures Act) gave Universities, small businesses, and non-profits control of their inventions arising from federally
funded research. Prior to this, the property rights resided mainly in the federal government.
to this development, attorneys of the Oblon firm, then of Arlington and now located in Alexandria, VA, began visiting
Universities mainly in the eastern US and explaining the new landscape for University innovation. By the mid-80's,
the Universities had begun to realize that Bayh-Dole had not only opened a new potential to bring their
useful discoveries to the public benefit, but to generate new University-based resources as well.
By 1982, Norman
Oblon and other attorneys at the firm had established a relationship with Steve Sikes, who along with Hap Wheeler of Clemson
University, had originated the field of polyaspartates and other biopolymers as water treatment chemicals. Their first
patents were issued in the US in 1985 and 1986 and covered polyamino acids, proteins, and polysaccharides as
antiscalants and detergent additives. Early commercial interactions were with Calgon Corporation, Nalco Chemical, and
Monsanto. Soon afterwards, Donlar Corporation of Chicago, led by Larry Koskan, who had been VP of the Industrial Division
at Nalco, began the first focused efforts in the private sector to commercialize polyaspartate.
through the sponsorship of the President's office at the University, the Mineralization Center was started at the University
of South Alabama to promote the work on biopolymers, to develop the intellectual property, and to provide a focus
for research and licensing agreements. The Mineralization Center, with Steve as Director, before long was
comprised of a group of people working at each of the levels of undergraduate and graduate assistants, postdoctoral
associates, assistant professors, and associate professors, as well as visiting professors and scientists of various types.
A peptide laboratory with full capabilities in synthesis of peptides and sequencing of proteins was also part of the The
Mineralization Center. Everyone there participated in teaching, research, and service.
received numerous awards and various types of recognition over time for teaching, research, and service. It was
a good place to work, but by 1998, the entire administration had changed, including the Board of Directors, the University
President, the University Attorney, and virtually all of the Vice Presidents and Deans. The College of Arts and Sciences
was returning to an earlier time with much more emphasis on classroom-based, undergraduate education, almost to the exclusion
of research and scholarship.
In addition, within a few years, Hadley and Danny had relocated to the west coast
to pursue their educations. So the elder Sikes couple decided to move on as well. They resigned
the academic position (amicably), sold or gave away almost everything, and drove cross-country to Oregon in
October of 2001.
In recent years, Steve's professional writing has been focused entirely on filing and
prosecuting patent applications worldwide, an activity he began in 1983. A sampling of some of the more traditional
scholarly papers and books (selected from a list of a little more than 100) over the interval from 1970 to 2000 is shown
Some Representative Papers
Steven, A.P. Wheeler, A. Wierzbicki, A.S. Mount, and R.M. Dillaman. 2000. Nucleation and growth of calcite on
native versus pyrolyzed oyster shell folia. Biological Bulletin 198: 50-66.
Sikes, C. Steven, A.P. Wheeler,
A. Wierzbicki, R.M. Dillaman, and L. DeLuca. 1998. Oyster shell protein and atomic force microscopy of oyster
shell folia. Biological Bulletin 194: 304-316.
Sikes, C. Steven and A. Wierzbicki. 1997. Atomic
force microscopy and molecular modeling of branched and unbranched polyaspartate bound to calcite and mica. Corrosion
97, paper 166, 1-17.
Sikes, C. Steven, F. Martin, A. Wierzbicki, and A.P. Wheeler. 1997. Atomic force
microscopy and enzymatic degradation of oyster shell protein and polyaspartate. Macromolecular Symposium 123, 85-92.
Sikes, C.S. and A. Wierzbicki. 1996. Polyamino acids as antiscalants, dispersants, antifreezes, and absorbent
gelling materials. In, S. Mann (ed.), Biomimetic Approaches in Materials Science, VCH Publishers, New York, 249-278.
Sikes, C.S., A. Wierzbicki, and V. Fabry. 1994. From atomic to global
biomineralization. Bulletin de l'Institut
Oceanographique, Monaco, No. 4, 1-49.
Sikes, C.S. and V. Fabry. 1994. Photosynthesis, calcium carbonate deposition, and the global carbon cycle.
In: E.N. Tolbert and J. Preiss (eds.), Regulation of Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and Oxygen by Photosynthetic
Carbon Metabolism, Oxford Press, New York, pp. 217-233.
Sikes, C. Steven (Organizer). 1993. U.S. Congress,
Office of Technology Assessment, Biopolymers: Making Materials Nature's Way - Background Paper, OTA-BP-E-102 (Washington,
DC: US Government Printing Office), 80 p.
Sikes, C. Steven and A.P. Wheeler.
1991. Surface Reactive Peptides and Polymers: Discovery and Commercialization. ACS Books, Washington, DC, 416 p.
Sikes, C. Steven and
A.P. Wheeler. 1988. Chemical Aspects of Regulation of Mineralization. Proceedings of an ACS Symposium.
University of South Alabama Publication Services, 60 p.
Sikes, C. Steven and A.P. Wheeler. 1986. The
organic matrix from oyster shell as a regulator of calcification in vivo.
Biological Bulletin 170:494-505.
C. Steven and A.P. Wheeler. 1986. The organic matrix from oyster shell as a regulator of calcification in vivo. Biological Bulletin 170:494-505.
Sikes, C. Steven. 1983. Laboratory Manual for Life Science.
Burgess Publishing Company, Minneapolis. 96 pgs. Used for 12 years, adopted by several other colleges and
Sikes, C. Steven, R.D. Roer, and Karl M. Wilbur. 1980. Photosynthesis and
coccolith formation: inorganic carbon sources and net inorganic reaction
of deposition. Limnology and Oceanography 25:248-261.
C. Steven and M. P. Drain. 1973. Mercury in Lakes. Nature 244:529.