Logan Nickels

Logan Nickels - 2019 Nominee
Position: Director of Operations and Programming
Organization: Male Contraceptive Initiative
Current Location: United States, North America
PhD from University of Oklahoma / Biochemistry
Awards Received:
  • Award:
    Eagle Scout
    Awarding Organization:
    Boy Scouts of America
    Date Awarded:
    May 1, 2006
  • Award:
    Distinguished Graduate Teaching Fellow
    Awarding Organization:
    University of Oklahoma
    Date Awarded:
    May 1, 2013
Logan was the first full-time employee at MCI and has successfully managed a grant program that has awarded over $2 Million in the past two years. He also oversees MCI’s Fellowship and travel grant programs to support young researchers in the field. – Nominator
Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

As Director of Operations for MCI, I've managed the granting of over $2M towards male contraceptive development, managing a diverse portfolio of basic science, medical device research, small molecule drug development, and attitudinal research. This portfolio strongly supports young researchers and provides opportunities for them to grow into a career in the world of male contraceptives. In addition to the management of grants, I take a strong role in advocacy, appearing in media outlets and listening to potential users and their partners what is important to them. My outlook is long-term, and we have promoted multiple projects through the development pipeline, all moving towards our personal goal of first-in-man studies.

What sparked your passion for family planning?

Male contraceptives represent a comparatively low-cost way to ensure the diversity of the method mix, which will provide the economic, social, and health benefits to men and women globally. Moreover, male contraception represents a scientific goal that has proved elusive, but is achievable. It's something we're so close to, and you can almost reach out and touch it, and I think that the drive to do something difficult but noble has driven me into this field.

Give one or two examples of how you display leadership in your family planning work.:

My organization is small. Until late 2018, I was the only full-time employee. In fact, I've had three different Executive Directors in two years. As such, I've had to be my own leader, and my own champion. Leadership to me is a multifaceted quality that means being able to make decisions and move forward, but more than that it means being able to listen to people that you think know more than you, and have your best interests at heart. I've done that listening and used that to guide MCI forward.

If you are named a winner of 120 under 40, how will you use this new platform and the $1000 grant to advance your work? :

The platform will be used to bring more light to the natural role of male contraception in family planning. From current male engagement to the potential users of the contraceptive methods of the future, there are ways to set the stage so that this is issue can be an empathetic, couples issue. I would use any awarded funds to assist in my attendance at ICFP2020 in Sydney.

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