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Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas

Associate Professor

School of Biological Sciences
College of Natural and Health Sciences

Contact Information

Ross Hall, Room 2530
Mailing Address
501 20th Street, Greeley, CO 80639


Ph.D.: (Physiology) University of California, Davis (1995)

B.S.: (Physiology) University of California, Davis (1982)

Professional/Academic Experience

Sept 2011 – present: Associate Professor, UNC School of Biological Sciences

August 2006 – August 2011: Assistant Professor, UNC School of Biological Sciences

Jan 2000- July 2006: Research Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE

1998-1999: Research Associate, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE

1997-1998: Research Associate, University of Texas, Austin, TX

1994 -1997: Postdoctoral Associate, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE

Other Experience

Courses Taught:

BIO 350 (Human Physiology)

BIO 552 (Mammalian Physiology I)

BIO 553 (Mammalian Physiology II)

BIO 581 (Neurobiology)

BIO 591 (Biology Roundtable)

BIO 246 (Advanced Human Anatomy and Physiology)

BIO 103 (Success in Biology II)

Research/Areas of Interest

Research in my lab focuses on the neurobiology of prefrontal brain regions and their modulation by midbrain dopamine systems. In humans, prefrontal regions are critically involved in executive functions including attention control, working memory and reward-based learning, and the selection and regulation of flexible, goal-directed behavior. We utilize a mouse model to study the cellular properties of cortical pyramidal neurons, their role in cortical networks, and their modulation by dopamine. We hope to gain insight into how these networks, when dysfunctional, may contribute to anxiety disorders (eg. PTSD), attentional disorders (eg. ADD) and other psychiatric disorders (eg. schizophrenia).

Publications/Creative Works

Peer-reviewed Research Articles:

 Sheng, Z., Santiago, A.M., Thomas, M.P., Routh, V.H. (2014) Metabolic regulation of lateral hypothalamic glucose-inhibited orexin neurons may influence midbrain reward neurocircuitry. Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, 62: 30-41.

 Spindle, M.S and Thomas, M.P. (2014) Activation of 5-HT2A Receptors by TCB-2 Induces Recurrent Oscillatory Burst Discharge in Layer 5 Pyramidal Neurons of the mPFC in vitro. Physiological Reports, 2(4): 1-12.

 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.

 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.

 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 Neurochemistry100(2): 503-519.

 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 Chemistry281(47): 35785-35793.

 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. J Pharmacol Exp Ther, 307(2):550-558.

 Thomas M. P. and Morrisett, R.A. (2000) Dynamics of NMDAR-mediated neurotoxicity during chronic ethanol exposure and withdrawal. Neuropharmacology, 39: 218-226.

 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.

 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.

 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 & Experimental Research. 22: 51-59.

 Krelstein, M.S., Thomas, M.P. and Horowitz, J.M. (1990) Thermal effects on long term potentiation in the hamster hippocampus. Brain. Res. 520, 115-122.

 Giacchino, J.L., Thomas, M.P. and Horowitz, J.M. (1988) Repetitive excitation of bursts of action potentials in the rat hippocampus following single shock excitation. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. 89A, 37-44.

 Lindley, M.A., Thomas, M.P. and Horowitz, J.M. (1987) A simulation of the effects of temperature on hippocampal neurons. Comp. Prog. in Biomed. 25, 3-12.

 Horowitz, J.M., Thomas, M. and Eckerman, P. (1987) Thermal dependence of neural activity in the hamster hippocampal slice preparation. J. Thermal Biol. 12, 97-101.

 Thomas, M.P., Martin, S.M. and Horowitz, J.M. (1986) Temperature effects on evoked potentials of hippocampal slices from noncold-acclimated, cold-acclimated and hibernating hamsters. J. Thermal Biol. 11, 213-218.

Peer-reviewed Review Articles:

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.

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:

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.

Thomas, M.P., Ion Channel Physiology, In: Texbook of Redox Biochemistry, (Ruma Banerjee, ed). Wiley Interscience, 2008.

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.

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.

Honors and Awards

(2011-2015) NIH/NIMH R15 Research Grant

(2010-2011) NARSAD Young Investigator Award

(2004-2006) NIH COBRE Research Grant

(2004-2006) NIH/NIMH R03 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