Mark Nichols, Ph.D.

Chair, Associate Professor - Department of Biomedical and Health Informatics, Director of Research Development, School of Medicine,
Department(s) of Biomedical Sciences, Biomedical and Health Informatics
UMKC School of Medicine
Education and Background

B.A. - Biochemistry - University of California, Berkeley
Ph.D. - Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry - Yale University
Fellowship - German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg

Meet Mark Nichols

As Director of Research Development, foster collaborative research across units to grow external federal funding and clinical translational research. As Chair, mentor faculty, and review science and grant applications to federal agencies NIH, NSF, DoD, HRSA, Foundations. In past few years, revised the science/grantsmanship of 82 funded NIH applications for > $129 million; many PIs received first-time funding.

Nichols M and Steinman RA. U.S. Patent 7,524,653 (awarded March 2009, filed May 2003). “Small interfering RNA libraries and methods of synthesis and use”. USPTO, 2009.

Research in Dr. Nichols’ lab involved study of steroid hormone receptors, primarily the estrogen receptors alpha and beta (ERa, ERß), and their role in normal, as well as in cancer tissue. Dr. Nichols has developed in vitro model systems that allow (a) the analysis of the effect of estrogen receptor (ER) mutations, some found in breast cancers, on antihormone/SERM resistance and (b) screening of novel compounds for ER-subtype selective ligands. Better understanding of ligand activation of ERs should lead to improved endocrine therapies for treating and perhaps preventing breast and other estrogen responsive cancers.

  • He is a consultant, expert witness, and biomedical researcher in molecular pharmacology, oncology, endocrinology for 20+ years with a focus on estrogens, tamoxifen regulated Cre/Flp recombinases for gene manipulation, protein receptors, gene expression, breast cancers and endocrine tumors. Expertise includes molecular mechanisms of drug and enzyme action, molecular biology, mutagenesis, cloning, signal transduction, genomic regulation, cell cycle, apoptosis, and CME, with peer-reviewed publications in 20 biomedical journals, inventor on a biotechnology patent, knowledge of yeast genetics, pharmaceutical drug mechanisms and therapeutic development.
  • He has also done consulting for law firms- biomedical topics- scientific strategy, search and discovery. Work-product led to victory in hormone/lung cancer patient case; Consultant on estrogen/progestin HRT in breast cancer patients (2 cases); Expert witness in a patent case- generic drug application to FDA with excellent settlement; Consultant for legal cases on risks of contraceptive hormones.
  • He has coauthored a chapter in the textbook “Cancer Medicine” and written six continuing medical education (CME) courses on various pharmacology topics.
  • UMKC Campus-wide Research Advisory Council (RAC)
  • Steering committee for the annual Bionexus One-Health conference
  • UMKC Entrepreneurship Advisory Board, Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Bloch School of Management.
  • Research Advisory Council for the UMKC Health Sciences District (12 institutions)
  • Faculty Development Seminar Series, focused on NIH and the review process, “Constructing
  • Competitive Grant Applications to Acquire External Research Funding”
  • Course Director of MED 9119 “Learning Basic Medical Sciences” for 110 first year MD students
  • Chair of the review committee for proposals to use the Cerner Health Facts EHR database
  • Member of the National Organization of Research Development Professionals (NORDP)
  • Pitt Innovator Award, University of Pittsburgh, 2006
  • Hillman Fellow in Innovative Cancer Research, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, 2004-2007
  • Grant Reviewer of the Year, 2016
Continuing Education

Mini-MBA for Biomedical Scientists.
Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh

From Basic Research to Therapeutic Use: What Every Scientist Needs to Know.
Limbach Entrepreneurial Center, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute

Clinical Research Coordinator Orientation.
University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine, and the Office of Clinical Research.

The Commercialization Pathway: Short course series in Intellectual Property.
Offices of Enterprise Development, and Technology Management, University of Pittsburgh.

NIH Regional Seminar for NIH Program Funding and Grants, Scottsdale, AZ.

NIH Regional Seminar for NIH Program Funding and Grants, Baltimore, MD.

“Grant Writers Seminar and Workshop: Training in the Art of Grantsmanship” presented by GWSW, LLC

“Cerner Health Facts Bootcamp” for understanding and searching massive EHR databases

Selected Publications

Nichols, M. (2015) New directions for drug-resistant breast cancer: the CDK4/6 inhibitors. Future Med Chem. 2015 Aug 7:1473-1481.

Kim SW, Fishilevich E, Arango-Argoty G, Lin Y, Liu G, Li Z, Monaghan AP, Nichols M, & John B. (2015) Genome-wide transcript profiling reveals novel breast cancer-associated intronic sense RNAs. PLoS ONE 10(3): e0120296. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0120296, March 23, 2015.

Nichols M, Cheng P, Liu Y, Kanterewicz B, Hershberger PA, McCarty Jr KS. (2010) Breast cancer derived M543V mutation at helix 12 of ERa inverts response to estrogen and SERMs, Breast Cancer Research & Treatment, 120:761-8. [Epub 2009 Jun 13 ahead of print]

Kim SW, Li Z, Moore PS, Monaghan AP, Chang Y, Nichols M, and John B. (2010) A sensitive nonradioactive northern blot method to detect small RNAs. Nucleic Acids Research, 38(7): e98. Epub 2010 Jan 15 (A top ten paper in NAR 2010-2012)

Nichols M and Steinman RA. (2009) A recombinase-based palindrome generator capable of producing random shRNA libraries, J Biotechnol, 143:79-84.

Nichols M and Steinman RA.  U.S. Patent 7,524,653 (awarded March 2009, filed May 2003).  Small interfering RNA libraries and methods of synthesis and use.  USPTO, 2009.

Hershberger PA, Stabile LP, Kanterewicz B, Rothstein ME, Gubish CT, Land S, Shuai Y, Siegfried JM, & Nichols M. (2009) Estrogen receptor beta (ERß) subtype-specific ligands increase transcription, p44/p42 mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) activation and growth in human non-small cell lung cancer cells. J Steroid Biochem Molec Biol.116: 102-109.

Nichols M. (2007) The fight against tamoxifen resistance in breast cancer therapy: a new target in the battle? Molecular Interventions, 7:13-6.

Additional Publications and Links of Interest