Introducing Chris Hollars, Ph.D., Associate Director in the Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Division at MRIGlobal who works side-by-side with government clients to provide out of the box solutions for COVID-19 testing.
Chris Hollars is an associate director in the Defense business group at MRIGlobal. With nearly 20 years of experience in research science and project management, he oversees programs, technical staff, operations and business development primarily for government clients. He earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and Ph.D. degree in analytical chemistry, has co-authored more than 20 peer-reviewed publications, and holds two patents.
Included in his research, Chris works with and develops mobile lab solutions. MRIGlobal’s mobile labs have become essential infrastructure to many nations and customers in diagnosing infectious diseases and other biological and chemical threats around the globe. New versions of mobile laboratories are available to address a myriad of biological and chemical threats. MRIGlobal’s mobile laboratory product line includes Athena, Mercury, and CBCS (Containerized Bio-Containment System).
What was your path to becoming a scientist?
I grew up in Oklahoma. As a kid, I wanted to become a police officer. My father was a highway patrolman who worked extra jobs to put my sister and me through school, and he wanted bigger things for me.
Long before it was fashionable, I developed an interest in forensic crime lab science. I was also inspired by a high school teacher who left teaching to become a state lab scientist. In college I did internships with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation’s forensic science laboratory and at an analytical pharmaceutical company.
After spending eight years as a research scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, I moved back to the Midwest to be closer to family and took a job at MRIGlobal.
How would you describe your approach to client relationships?
Every customer is unique. When they come to us for help solving a problem, we begin by gathering a lot of information about the program scope and their expectations. Sometimes that involves a complex balance between what they expect and what’s realistic. Once the program’s parameters are identified, we stay in close contact with the client with progress reports, and we address problems along the way. Communicating with the client early and often is the key.
What excites you about working at MRIGlobal every day?
I like the diversity of work. There’s always something new to challenge me. I’m also a very mission-driven person. Our client’s success is our success and through our work, we ultimately help make the world a more secure place. It’s that simple.
What are your interests outside of work?
I’m a father and a grandfather, which is very important to me. I live on a 20-acre ranch that I do all the upkeep on. I also like to restore classic cars, primarily for the fun of restoring them, driving them for a while and then moving onto the next. It’s impossible to say which one I like best, but my current favorite classic car is my 1984 El Camino SS.