The mission of Dr. Thomas’s program is to develop integrated, multidisciplinary approaches to the study of liver cancer/liver diseases and to bridge clinical medicine and basic science with translation of fundamental knowledge to prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of liverdiseases. Dr. Thomas is a Fellow of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (FAASLD). He serves on the National Advisory Board of the American Liver Foundation. Dr. Thomas currently has over $4 million dollars in program support through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Florida Department of Health (FL-DOH). The laboratory, in the Department of Pathology, is directly addressing the current COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 through testing for both wildtype and variant viral strains.
Since completing a Doris Duke Clinical Fellowship and graduating from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in May 2007 simultaneously obtaining both the MD and PhD degrees, Dr. Thomas has made steady progress toward creating and implementing a translational research program focused on preventing liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma. Our program leverages resources and clinical/scientific expertise available through the Miami CTSI, the Schiff Center for Liver Diseases, the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Miami Center for AIDS Research to address the rapid development of liver disease and Hepatocellular Carcinoma which occurs in patients with viral hepatitis. Infection by the Hepatitis B and C viruses and HIV impacts our South Florida community significantly and our efforts will help minimize their detrimental effects in our catchment area. Further research interests include the host defense mechanisms and cell-intrinsic immune reactions to infection by the NL63 human coronavirus in addition to comparison studies with SARS-CoV-2 in collaboration with NIEDL.
Having been raised in Miami-Dade county, Dr. Thomas has a strong commitment to improving the health of our local community. Recently, breakthroughs have been achieved in the treatment of viral hepatitis and specifically for treatment of HCV. Potent all oral therapies are now available to cure patients with HCV infection. Through our community screening program, funded by Gilead Sciences, we are identifying HCV infected individuals and linking them to care so that they can be cured of this deadly virus. In addition, we are also facilitating the ability of uninsured patients to receive these costly medications through patient assistance programs.