Dr Eric Chanikov was a scientist in many areas of expertise, Rex Chance's father and the man credited with the discovering and developing the Sigma technology. Although he is central to the early plot of the Impossible Creatures Campaign, he does not appear in person and information about him is only gained through other characters or letters written by him.
The exact year during which Chanikov's timeline begins is not specified, but it is roughly 1900. In the Tunguska region of Siberia, he participated in the field test of the Death Ray, a weapon invented by Nikola Tesla. The scientists did not realise the weapon's devastating power, which destroyed the natural habitat for thousands of kilometers in all directions and killed Chanikov's unnamed wife. His baby son Rex was also exposed to the ray, but he did more than just survive; he was endowed with countless animal-like abilities, making him a combined creature. The Death Ray somehow created the original Sigma chamber, the first machine capable of combining genetic material, while the weapon itself was dismantled.
Fearing the wrath of the Russian government, Chanikov sent Rex away to live in New York for his own safety. With the help of his trusted friend Upton Julius, Chanikov escaped and took refuge on the isolated Isla Variatas islands. He salvaged the Sigma chamber and was able to reverse-engineer it, bringing into creation the Sigma Technology, and continued to develop it for the next 30 years. In 1932 he met Lucy Willing, a brilliant scientist in her own right who became his close colleague and friend, helping him develop the technology. During this time, Julius plotted to use the power of Sigma and combined creatures to take over the world.
By 1937, Chanikov felt he may soon die of old age and sent Rex a letter, inviting him to the islands to explain the truth. Unfortunately, Julius saw it as the time to finally bring his scheme into motion and kidnapped Chanikov. When Rex arrived at the islands, Julius attempted but failed to capture him as well. Rex and Lucy later discovered that Chanikov had been murdered by Julius, who apparently decided he was no longer of any use.
The information about Chanikov provided in the story is limited, but Lucy describes him as "a kind and brilliant man". He was evidently a scientific genius, and presumably invented most, if not all, structures and devices used in-game. Tragically, in spite of all his intelligence he was unable to realise that Julius was evil, due to his excitement over the Sigma technology blinding him to the truth.
Although he was a charismatic and caring person, he hid an intense sorrow over his wife and son, and chose not to tell anyone about them until 1937. He only confessed to Julius about Rex and his incredible abilities because he could not find him on his own, but this proved to be his undoing.
Chanikov pledged to use the Sigma technology solely for good. Specifically, he hoped to combine genetic material at a microscopic level to eridicate diseases and perform similar medical miracles. Although he was not able to achieve this goal in his lifetime, his legacy still remains to be wondrous advancements in science and technology.