Michael Chambers, J.D., Ph.D.

Michael Chambers, J.D., Ph.D.

Chief Economic Development Officer and Associate Vice President for Research


Dr. Michael Chambers currently serves as Chief Economic Development Officer of the University of South Alabama. He continues to serve as Associate Vice President of Research & Economic Development. Before joining USA, he founded and served as President and CEO of Swift Biotech, a company developing technologies to fight cancer.  Before Swift, Chambers helped found and served as CEO of InnoRx Pharmaceuticals, an ocular drug delivery company.  He negotiated its sale to SurModics (NASDAQ: SRDX) in 2005.

Prior Chairman of NASDAQ-listed ProUroCare, he has served on the boards of InQ Biosystems, Gene Capture, BioAlabama, the Alabama Germany Partnership and the EDPA Foundation.  He was a co-author of the Commercialization portion of the Alabama Science & Technology Roadmap commissioned by then Governor Bob Riley. Dr. Chambers has been recognized in Best Lawyers in America in Commercial Law, Arbitration and Mediation, as well as a Top Attorney in Healthcare.  

He served as Chairman of the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce in 2014. He co-founded 1702, an entrepreneurship and mentoring organization and was named Start-Up Executive of the Year in 2014 by Alabama LaunchPad.  An active Rotarian, he served as District Governor in 2015-2016.

He received B.A. and J.D. degrees from the University of Alabama and a Ph.D. from the University of Geneva in Switzerland where he was a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar and a Swiss Confederation Fellow.  He speaks French and Spanish.

In 2021 he was named Entrepreneur of the Year by the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce. Governor Kay Ivey appointed Dr. Chambers in 2021 to the newly formed Alabama Innovation Corporation (AIC), now branded as Innovate Alabama. The AIC is charged by statute to implement programs to prepare Alabama “for the economy of the future.” Dr. Chambers helped launch Innovate Alabama’s new SBIR/STTR supplemental funding program for award recipients. 

In 2023 Dr. Chambers was recognized as a Certified Research Administrator by the Research Administrators Certification Council. He has served on many occasions as a grant reviewer for the National Science Foundation. He is the Principal Investigator (PI) and Executive Director of the NSF’s USA I-Corps Site and the Executive Director of RAMP, a MIT licensed, business mentoring program serving the Gulf Coast. He serves as PI on an NSF funded industry collaboration (IUCRC), co-PI on an NSF Partner for Innovation Award and has served as co-PI on another NSF grant teaching the transition of technology into practice (TTP).