Dr. James R. Nichols
When I think of my earthly home I think of Shawnee Mission, the Kansas City suburb where I spent my pre-college years. It was there in junior high that I met the person who would eventually become my wife. I graduated from what was then Abilene Christian College in 1966 and began graduate school during the exciting times of America in the Vietnam era. I went from Abilene to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where I received a masters degree in zoology. From there we moved to Columbia, Missouri, where I completed my Ph.D. in zoology at the University of Missouri. My first faculty appointment was at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway where I served for ten years. I came to ACU in 1982.
Besides those appointments I have had two year-long sabbatical research positions - one in the Department of Physiology at the University of Kansas Medical School and the second in the Department of Pharmacology at the Emory School of Medicine in Atlanta.
I have done summer research multiple summers at the V.A. Hospital in Little Rock and in the Department of Pharmacology at the Texas Tech Medical Center. I have been a visiting instructor at Pepperdine for three different summers.
At ACU my teaching responsibilities have been in general biology (both majors and non-majors), cell biology, animal physiology, and biology seminar. My research interests have been in cell physiology, areas of cardiovascular physiology, salt/water balance and cell signal transduction. In recent years I have developed a growing interest in bioethics and have added a course in biomedical ethics to my class load, which I co-teach with a colleague from the College of Biblical Studies at ACU. I have found the challenge of struggling with the amazing opportunities of science and the complementary tensions of ethical stances to be fascinating. It is clearly an area that Christian science students need to seriously consider.
I have enjoyed working at ACU because it allows me to study in a field I love and to do so surrounded by students and colleagues with whom I share the same basic spiritual goals. There is an overall spirit of encouragement here and I believe it is a very good place for students to learn lots of science and grow closer to God at the same time. I have made some life-long friends of students in my classes and have appreciated seeing them mature academically and spiritually as they use their gifts in God's service.