University of Hawaii

MMS Faculty

Robert A. Nichols, Ph.D.

Dr. Robert Nichols is currently Professor of Cell & Molecular Biology at the UH Mānoa John A. Burns School of Medicine. Dr. Nichols also serves as the Director of the Neuroscience Graduate Specialization. Dr. Nichols is the Principal Investigator and Director of the IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) for Hawai‘i, a statewide development program for biomedical research funded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. Dr. Nichols serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Trained as molecular neuroscientist, Dr. Nichols conducted research at Stanford University, Yale University, Rockefeller University and the Medical College of Pennsylvania, later Drexel University College of Medicine, before coming to JABSOM in 2008. His research as an independent investigator for nearly 30 years has involved multiple aspects of synaptic regulation and, for the last 18 years, the role of synaptic regulation in Alzheimer’s Disease. Most recently, Dr. Nichols has partnered with collaborators with the aim of taking basic science discoveries into drug development for Alzheimer’s Disease. Dr. Nichols’s research program has been funded by the NIH and several foundations.

Concurrent with his active research program, Dr. Nichols has taught extensively in the medical school, graduate school and undergraduate campuses. He has mentored a large number of undergraduate and graduate students, who have gone on to a variety of careers in academics, medicine (human and veterinary) and service. Through his own program and through INBRE, Dr. Nichols has strongly fostered advancement of under-represented students, including racial/ethnic minorities and women.

Dr. Nichols has been active in community outreach and involvement, particularly the Native Hawaiian film community through Sundance in Hawai‘i, the Honolulu Museum of Art, Mana Maoli, and the Hawai‘i International Film Festival. He also volunteers at the Waikīkī Aquarium.

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