Dr. Mark Thomas, Associate Professor

Mark Thomas

Previous positions

  • Postdoc: University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • Postdoc: University of Texas at Austin


  • Ph.D.: (Physiology) University of California, Davis (1995)
  • B.A.: (Physiology) University of California, Davis (1982)

Contact information

  • E-mail: mark.thomas@unco.edu
  • Phone: (970) 351-2329
  • Fax: (970) 351-2335
  • Office: Ross Hall 2530
  • Office hours: by appointment

Courses Taught

  • BIO 103 (Success in Biology II)
  • BIO 246 (Advanced Human Anatomy and Physiology)
  • BIO 350 (Human Physiology)
  • BIO 552 (Mammalian Physiology I)
  • BIO 553 (Mammalian Physiology II)
  • BIO 581 (Neurobiology)
  • BIO 591 (Biology Roundtable)

Research Interests and Professional Activities

Research in my lab focuses on the neurobiology and pathophysiology of midbrain dopamine systems. In humans, dopamine systems are critically involved in the regulation of behavior, reward-based learning, initiation and regulation of movement, and regulation of cognitive functions. With regard to Parkinson's disease, I am interested in the role of oxidative stress in the demise of midbrain dopamine neurons. Regarding schizophrenia, I study the effects of dopamine on electrical and synaptic properties of prefrontal cortical neurons that may contribute to working memory function in the normal and schizophrenic brain.

Funding, Awards, and Professional Honors

  • (2010-2011) NARSAD Young Investigator Award
  • (2004-2006) NIH COBRE Research Grant
  • (2004-2006) NIH/NIMH Research Grant
  • (2001) Grable Investigator, National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression
  • (2000-2002) NARSAD Young Investigator Award
  • (1995) NIAAA/RSA Meeting Junior Investigator Award

Recent Peer-Reviewed Research Publications

  1. Reynolds, A.D., Glanzer, J.G., Kadui, I., Ricardo-Dukelow, M., Chaudhuri, A., Ciborowski, P., Cerny, R., Gelman, B., Thomas, M.P., Mosley, R.L., Gendelman, H.E. (2008) Nitrated alpha-synuclein-activated microglial profiling for Parkinson's disease. Journal of Neurochemistry, 104 (6):1504-25.
  2. Glanzer, J.G., Enose, Y., Wang, T., Kadiu, I, Gong, N., Rozek, W., Liu, J., Schlautman, J., Ciborowski, P.S., Thomas, M.P., Gendelman, H.E. (2007) Genomic and proteomic microglial profiling: pathways for neuroprotective inflammatory responses following nerve fragment clearance and activation. Journal of Neurochemistry, 102 (3): 627-645.
  3. M.P. Thomas, K. Chartrand, A. Reynolds, V. Vitvitsky, R. Banerjee, and H.E. Gendelman (2007) Ion channel blockade attenuates aggregated alpha synuclein induction of microglial reactive oxygen species: Relevance for the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease. Journal of Neurochemistry, 100(2): 503-519.
  4. V.Vitivitsky, M.P. Thomas, A. Ghorpade, H.E. Gendelman and R. Banerjee (2006) A Functional Transsulfuration Pathway in Brain Regulates Glutathione Homeostasis. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 281(47): 35785-35793.
  5. Hendricson A.W., Thomas M.P., Lippmann M.J., Morrisett R.A. (2003) Suppression of L-type voltage-gated calcium channel-dependent synaptic plasticity by ethanol: analysis of miniature synaptic currents and dendritic calcium transients. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, 307(2):550-558.
  6. Thomas M. P. and Morrisett, R.A. (2000) Dynamics of NMDAR-mediated neurotoxicity during chronic ethanol exposure and withdrawal. Neuropharmacology, 39: 218-226.
  7. Thomas M. P., Monaghan, D. T. and Morrisett R. A. (1998) Evidence for a causative role of NMDA receptors in an in vitro model of alcohol withdrawal hyperexcitability. Journal of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics, 287: 87-97.
  8. Thomas, M.P., Webster, W.W., Norgren, R.B., Monaghan, D.T., and Morrisett, R.A. (1998) Survival and functional demonstration of interregional pathways in fore/midbrain slice explant cultures. Neuroscience, 85: 615-626.
  9. Thomas M. P., Davis M. I., Monaghan D. T. and Morrisett R. A. (1998) Organotypic brain slice cultures for functional analysis of alcohol-related disorders: novel versus conventional preparations. Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research, 22: 51-59.

Peer-Reviewed Review Articles

  1. Mosley, R.L., Benner, E.J. Kadiu, I., Thomas, M., Boska, M.D., Hasan, K., Laurie, C., Gendelman, H.E. (2006) Neuroinflammation, oxidative stress, and the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease. Clinical Neuroscience Research 6: 261-281.
  2. Kadiu, I., Glanzer, J.G., Kipnis, J., Gendelman, H.E., Thomas, M.P. (2005) Mononuclear phagocytes in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. Neurotoxicology Research, 8(1-2), 25-50.

Book chapters

  1. Murrin, L.C. and Thomas, M.P., Molecular, Cellular and Physiological Mechanisms of Psychiatric Disorders. The Neuroimmune System in Psychiatric Disorders (Overview). In: Textbook of Neuroimmune Pharmacology, (T. Ikezu and H.E.Gendelman, ed.) Springer Science, 2008.
  2. Thomas, M.P., Ion Channel Physiology, In: Texbook of Redox Biochemistry, (Ruma Banerjee, ed). Wiley Interscience, 2008.
  3. Skifter, D.A., Thomas, M.P. and Monaghan, D.T. (2000) Molecular biology of kainate receptors: targets of domoic acid toxicity. In: Seafood and Freshwater Toxins: Pharmacology, Physiology, and Detection (L.M. Botana, ed.) Marcel Dekker, Inc., pp. 373-381.
  4. Morrisett R.A. and Thomas, M.P. (1999) Of mice and minis: Novel forms and analyses of ethanol effects on synaptic transmission. In: The Drunken Synapse (Y. Liu and W.A. Hunt., eds.), Plenum Press.