Vice President for Research and Economic Development
Michael F. Nichols, Ph.D.
Michael F. Nichols became the vice president for research and economic development for the University of Missouri System in November 2007. Nichols brings more than 25 years of experience in research, product development and small business startup and operations to the position, which has a statewide focus.
Nichols joined the research faculty at the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1978, leaving nine years later to create technology-based startups. He returned to the university in 2002 as state director and creator of MOFAST, the Small Business Innovation Research, and Small Business Technology Transfer Assistance Centers (SBIR/STTR). Most recently he directed the Office of Technology Management and Industry Relations at MU.
Nichols holds eight patents, many involving high-tech coatings he developed for health care applications. An entrepreneur, he was the founder and president of one of the first companies to be spun off of University of Missouri research. The firm he currently heads, the Atomic Paint Shop, develops unique coatings with a wide variety of applications.
Nichols received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from California Polytechnic State University, and his doctorate in the area of biomedical sciences from the University of Missouri-Columbia. An adjunct associate professor, his research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. The editor of two books, he is a member of several professional societies, a journal reviewer and a consultant.