Research and regional advancement are key elements of UMSL’s mission. 

The Office of Research and Economic & Community Development provides leadership and support in the design, execution and operation of programs in sponsored research, technology commercialization and regional engagement and development at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. We promote and support:

  • UMSL’s world-class investigators as they build strong research programs, seek funding, and share results via publication and commercialization for public benefit; 

  • a campus culture of responsibility, ethics, compliance, innovation and entrepreneurship in research activities; and

  • the engagement and application of UMSL’s economic and human capital to positively impact the local and regional community and drive economic opportunity.

As an integral part of its mission, the office oversees a select group of interdisciplinary research centers on campus to leverage university resources for the benefit of students, faculty and the community at large.

Major operating units include Research Development; Sponsored Projects Administration;Intellectual Property (IP) Management & Commercialization; Research Compliance (including Conflict of Interest, the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee and the Institutional Review Board); Economic & Community Development; the Center for Neurodynamics; the Community Innovation & Action Center (CIAC); and the Missouri Institute of Mental Health (MIMH).


Chris Spilling
Professor of Chemistry
Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic & Community Development

Administrative Assistant: Marie Kenney

Biographical Summary

Christopher D. Spilling is Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic & Community Development and Professor of Chemistry at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Dr. Spilling received his B.Sc. (Hons.) and Ph.D. degrees from Loughborough University (England). He was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Northwestern University before joining the UMSL faculty in 1989. He was promoted to associate professor in 1995 and professor in 2001. He served as Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry from 2004 to 2015 and Chair of the Faculty Senate and University Assembly from 2012 to 2014. During his 30 years at UMSL, Prof. Spilling returned briefly to the UK for a one-year sabbatical leave at Cambridge University (1996) working in association with Prof. S.V. Ley. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC) and a member of both the American Chemical Society and the National Academy of Inventors. He has published over 90 peer-reviewed research papers and is a named inventor on 10 issued patents and published patent applications. He was recipient of the 2009 St. Louis award for Chemistry (ACS), the 2009 UM President’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and the 2015 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Service. Prof. Spilling maintains an active research program. His current research involves the design of catalysts for asymmetric phosphonylation, chemistry of hydroxy phosphonates, synthesis of natural products and enzyme inhibitors with applications in the treatment of tuberculosis, sepsis and malaria. He serves on the board of directors for the Center for Research, Technology and Entrepreneurial Expertise (Cortex) and the Center for Emerging Technologies (CET).

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