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Senior Associate Vice President for Research and Professor This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Dr. Jason Nichols is a Professor and Senior Associate Vice President for Research in the UAB Office of Research. He has more than 20 years of experience working at the cross-roads of translational research and development, entrepreneurial initiatives, and research administration in academic medical settings. As the Senior Associate Vice President for Research in the UAB's Office of Research, he helps oversee 26 university-wide institutional research centers (UWIRCs) and the Research Development Office. Dr. Nichols has also been instrumental in developing clinical trials initiatives at the university level, more than doubling university-wide clinical trials expenditures. He has also helped build a southeast partner regional network for multisite studies through the NIH/NCATs supported Center for Clinical and Translational Science. He is responsible for strategy development and implementation of UAB's research and entrepreneurial initiatives including administration and business development with a focus on large/center grants, institutional training grants, industry-academia partnerships, startups, joint-ventures, and SBIR/STTR activity. He has strong analytical, leadership and management skills, but also understands the importance of alliance building and the cultivation of shared governance. He actively collaborates with other university functions such as research risk, post-award, legal, procurement, and safety in addition to upholding and implementing policies and procedures related to research administration and has served on or chairs numerous university or national committees representing research administration.

Dr. Nichols is also an internationally recognized clinician-scientist with long-standing track record of research development, oversight, and scientific discovery. He has over 175 publications, an h-index approaching 50, and ranks in the Top 25 of the Top 200 most widely recognized optometrists ranked by scholarly activity of all time. He has in-depth experience with research operations and the medical/regulatory landscape within an academic and corporate environments. He maintains an ocular surface research group with full scale capabilities for conducting clinical and basic research having continued to receive research funding from the National Eye Institute (NEI) and National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATs). His research unit employs state-of-the art facilities and equipment for the study of dry eye, meibomian gland disease, and pharmaceutical and medical device development and testing. He is a dual diplomate in both the American Academy of Optometry’s (AAO) sections of Public Health and Environmental Optometry and Cornea, Contact Lenses, and Refractive Technology. He has chaired of the AAO’s Research Committee and served as a Board of Directors of the American Optometric Foundation and Sjogren’s Foundation. He also Chaired of the Tear Film and Ocular Surface (TFOS) Society’s Medical and Scientific Advisory Board, and the TFOS International Workshop on Contact Lens Discomfort. His awards include three Ezell Fellowships and the Borish Award from the American Academy of Optometry and he is a Distinguished Scholar and Fellow of the National Academies of Practice.