While Dr. Nicholas was with the Lemelson Foundation, he helped seed a pipeline of inventors and entrepreneurs to improve the quality of life for all and alleviate burdens for people living in poverty around developing countries. In addition, as a senior policy advisor at the US Commerce Department, he co-designed an innovation program based on "clean tech" competition between small businesses and universities as part of Start-Up America initiative. At the National Science Foundation, he was named American Association for the Advancement of Science Policy Fellow in the Division of Graduate Education; in this role, he led committees and headed programs focused on innovation and green technology. Dr. Nicholas has served on multiple advisory boards, including the Commission on Innovation, Competitiveness, and Economic Prosperity, Selco Foundation in Bangalore, and Giddens Schools He was also a member of the National Academy of Inventors Selection Committee.
Dr. Nicholas received a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Florida State University, where his research focused on the role of sensory experience in the development of the nervous system, before serving as a research scientist at Harvard University.